A Son of Belial (Balliol)

Found in one of our old catalogues this curious satirical work by Martin Geldart describing the hell of his undergraduate years at Balliol College, Oxford.

Martin Geldart (writing as 'Nitram Tradleg') A SON OF BELIAL. Autobiographical sketches by Nitram Tradleg.  (Trubner, London 1882). 8vo. pp viii, 250. Autobiographical 'sketches.' Geldart was at Balliol with Gerard Manley Hopkins who is mentioned several times in the text as 'Gerontius Manley.' A witty satire of Balliol life,  in which Geldart refers to Hopkins as my 'ritualistic friend.'** Hopkins wrote to his mother that Geldart was 'the ugliest man I have ever laid eyes on', although he had been a friend and even stayed with Geldart's family in one Oxford holiday. The phrase 'Sons of Belial' was apparently used by Newman to refer to the orgies that took place at his college on Trinity Monday. Rev. Edmund Martin Geldart, M.A., disappeared from the tidal boat from Newhaven to Dieppe in 1889, aged 41. Apart from this book he wrote several works relating to the language and literature of Modern Greece, on which he was an acknowledged authority.

It appears to have been a slightly used copy and sold (not rapidly) for £120 in 2002.

** "Gerontius Manley and I had many talks on religion. He was quite at one with me on the hollowness of Protestant orthodoxy, but he had a simple remedy-the authority of the Church. The right of private judgment must in the long run inevitably lead to Rationalism."

Sons of Belial is now the name of a 'progressive death metal' band from the UK, aiming their music at  fans of Tesseract, Monuments, Ion Dissonance, Animals As Leaders. Album cover below...


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