A moat defensive to a house

A teacher once warned me, always trust geography, never history. Geography was truth, history a pack of distortions. Yet geography has long been an academic underdog. To the Greeks of Ptolemy and Strabo’s day it was the queen of sciences, the study of reality, only to be suppressed by a thousand years of theology. The … Read more

Best chair in the house

“Mr Maurice Bowra / Gets sourer and sourer, / Having been in a hurry / To succeed Gilbert Murray / And is now (poor soul) at the bottom: / Ie Warden of Wadham.” TS Eliot’s wartime doggerel about this “vulgar little fat Head of a House” is not its finest moment. But it’s a suitably … Read more