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What the dickens!

Mistry, V (2017) What the dickens! Innovations in Practice, 11 (2). pp. 88-90. ISSN 1757-921X

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Abstract

(Editorial piece): Whilst browsing an old copy of the Times Higher Education (12 June, 2014), I came across a feature penned by the world-renowned historian Richard J. Evans; he was reflecting on becoming Provost at Gresham College. Founded in London in 1597, Evans explains that the College “has no students, awards no degrees, sets no examinations and owns no property.” Further, “there are no permanent teaching posts, and there is no set curriculum for its public lectures.” In all senses – a bizarre state of affairs! It was fascinating to get an insight into this seemingly eccentric institution and Evans recalls the mixed fortunes Gresham College experienced. This was because, by the eighteenth century, some professors insisted on lecturing in Latin, a requirement abolished only in 1811, while others failed to deliver any lectures at all! Charles Dickens visited Gresham College in 1860 when, as Evans states, “it was still a rather somnolent institution.” Dickens recounts his visit when he was greeted by a “pleasant faced beadle, gorgeous in blue and gold broad cloth”, who told him that the lecture he wanted to hear was to be delivered “in the theatre upstairs, sir. Come at once and you’ll hear it in English.” “Isn’t it given in Latin at twelve?” Dickens asked. “Lor’ bless you, not unless there’s three people present, and there never is!” He replied.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Charles Dickens; Culture; Higher Education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Education and Academic Quality Services
Publisher: Liverpool John Moores University
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2018 10:12
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 15:01
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9755

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