[ilds] Education of great writers

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Oct 7 14:45:08 PDT 2009

Thanks for the correction.  Yes, not mentioning Virginia Woolf would  
be a glaring omission, were I trying to list all the great writers of  
the 20th century.  But I wasn't.  I'm speaking of the "High Moderns"  
and the inevitable snobbism attached to such categorization.  V. Woolf  
and D. H. Lawrence certainly make that list -- but Katherine  
Mansfield?  I doubt it.  Just as LD himself is highly unlikely to gain  
entry into the club, sad to say.


On Oct 6, 2009, at 9:00 PM, Edward Hungerford wrote:

> On Oct 5, 2009, at 12:00 PM, ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca wrote:
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Re:  --  Oxbridge or Cambridge
> Several of the corespondents on the List seem to define great writers
> (and even 20th cent. writers) as exclusively male.  I see no reference
> to either Virginia Woolf or Katherine Mansfield, or for that  matter
> other feminine writers (There were some good ones.)    As to  
> education,
> aren't you all forgetting that D. H . Lawrence never attended anything
> other than a redbrick teachers college?  Perhaps there are those who  
> do
> not consider Lawrence a great writer? V.  Woolf had her main
> educational system entirely at home, in her father's library.   She
> lived among Cambridge graduates such as Leonard Woolf and Lytton
> Strachey, and in adulthood often lunched among the Cambridge colleges
> with  friends, but did not study there.  (She also studied Latin and
> Greek with capable WOMEN  tutors and taught herself Russian. ) K.
> Mansfield, brought up in New Zealand, got to England when she was 17,
> but never reached, or considered it necessary, to go to Oxford or
> Cambridge.     Ed Hungerford
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Sun, 4 Oct 2009 12:21:23 -0700
>> From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>> Subject: [ilds] Oxbridge
>> To: Durrell list <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>, Ilyas <ilyas.khan at crosby.com>
>> Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>> Message-ID: <E9C8D514-1E0A-41F7-A006-0ABFB6F9938A at earthlink.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>> Ilyas,
>> Before I read MacNiven, I took Durrell at his word and assumed he
>> failed the entrance exams to Cambridge.  MacNiven presents another
>> view, fairly convincingly, given the lack evidence, that Durrell  
>> never
>> even tried to get into Oxbridge.  In either case, I think he was  
>> later
>> disappointed, as you state, at never attending one of those
>> universities.  Like you, I see his attempt, either real or imagined,
>> as a "failure," which he later uses in his various fictions.  Most of
>> the great writers of English letters in the 20th century attended a
>> British university.  The only one who didn't -- correct me if I'm
>> wrong -- was George Orwell, although he went through Eton.  (Remember
>> the sarcasm attached to "Eton boy," smacking of envy, somewhere in  
>> the
>> Quartet.)  As Sumantra notes, many of these writers barely got  
>> through
>> their schools and ended up with third class degrees.  Nevertheless,
>> they had that certificate, which was a stamp of approval and entry-
>> pass into English society.  The English seem impressed by degrees;
>> I've seen many a card listing degrees and awards.  E.g., "John Doe,
>> BA, MA, Cantab., OBE, etc."
>> Bruce

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