Saturday, June 6, 2015

BOOK: Gatsby at Oxford

New Book: Ian Flintoff on what Gatsby would have found in
1919 at Trinity College, Oxford - Gatsby's alleged alma mater. 
Ian Flintoff has written a sort-of Prequel to Jay Gatsby's putative time at Oxford in his new book Gatsby at Trinity.

His new 120-page book takes you through Gatsby's time in France in World War and then his years at Oxford, arriving at Trinity College when the famed Herbert Blakiston was President.

The book uses clues left by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby to reconstruct Jay Gatsby's alleged time at Oxford.

We are introduced to the people Gatsby would have met at Oxford in about 1919.

Flintoff consulted with Trinity's famed archivist, Clare Hopkins, to get the details just right.

The style is in Nick Carraway's voice. The Kindle version has one five-star review. Amazon also offers a peek at the book - the opening chapter. The Kindle version can be downloaded immediately and costs $3.99.

***

About 50 years ago I spoke to a fellow alumnus of Trinity who was there in the post-Great War era when Herbert Blakiston (1862-1942) was President of Trinity. He said that when he came in for his beginning-of-term interview, Blakiston looked up from his notes and said: "I see you are an a-MED-ican. ... ... ... EK-chewellay, I prefer South Africans."

My alumnus friend told me that what happened next is that Blakiston made abundantly clear that the  interview had been completed and that it was time for the young man to leave.

During his entire administration Blakiston reportedly admitted one person of color (during World War I, the Trinity student body in residence fell to 30 or fewer). Blakiston's History of Trinity College was published in 1898. Blakiston became Vice Chancellor of Oxford.

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