Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Zuleika in Peterhouse

"They did wonderful things for me in Oxford, but in retrospect I cannot help feeling that they overdid them. The art of dying for me ceased, I fear, to be an art. It degenerated into a stampede."

A delightful corner of Peterhouse, the oldest college in Cambridge, founded in 1284. Continuing our theme of lost literary history, here's a recent reprint of a 1941 satire Zuleika in Cambridge in which the aforementioned young lady arrives in our fair city to the consternation of University authorities after her fatal tour of Oxford... During the visit she attends a party here in Peterhouse but many other parts of the locale are recognisable. Written by the then Master of Pembroke (just across the road actually), this excellent novella was a hilarious tribute to Max Beerbohm who, 30 years earlier, had given us the eponymous Zuleika Dobson, a shockinly funny novel, which I'm sure many of us will have read...