Thursday, 10 September 2009

We academics don't change much

I'm reading Schoenbaum's Shakespeare's Lives at the moment - it's very good. In it, I found this description of an 18th-century academic, which fits almost exactly the character and appearance of one of my colleagues. English lit students and staff are invited to speculate.

Of Farmer, it was said that he enjoyed three things above all else–old port, old clothes and old books–and that there were three things he could not be persuaded to do: rise in the morning, go to bed at night, and settle an account [this last doesn't apply, as my colleague always buys his round]. To such externals as his personal appearance he was happily indifferent… [he met the Archbishop of Canterbury] "dressed in stockings of unbleached thread, brown breeches, and a wig not worth a shilling"… his most delighted hours were spent over good wine, and amiable conversation in the common room…

To me, he sounds like the perfect academic, and great company.

No comments: