chapter  5
THE PRODIGAL DON RETURNS TO KING’S COLLEGE
Pages 16

One year after his discouraging dismissal from Eton, O.B.returned to his fellowship at King’s College, a lifetime guaranteed position granted to all who graduated as Fellows of the College. Because most of the King’s contingents were former Etonians, they would have been aware of the gossip surrounding the Browning/Hornby clash. Some must have had misgivings not only about the Eton hearsay but also about Browning’s reputation as a contentious colleague. Anstruther presents a dismal picture of the overall King’s attitude about Browning’s return:

The College was a small, closed community with only a handful of resident Fellows who kept its affairs to themselves, entertained each other in the evenings, and had no desire to welcome newcomers. Any arrival was bound to upset them. Browning’s appearance, with his reputation as an extremely difficult colleague-worst of all a ‘violent reformer’—caused them the greatest anxiety.1