18 Pages


ByJenny Rees, Diana Trilling

Rees often said that Oxford had been bad for him; it changed him. Others have said that it ruined him, or point out that he exploited it for all its worth. Whatever else, among those staircases, gardens and quadrangles Mr Nobody came on like a young horse in training; the character that he denied he had and which was to lead him into so much trouble took shape and, despite his protestations to the contrary, he took all the fences in his stride. There were plenty of glittering prizes for him. In the autumn of 1931, shortly after taking a First in philosophy (which he said he was not much good at), politics and economics – he had changed schools at the end of his first year – he was elected to a prize fellowship at All Souls.