Sunday, May 20, 2018

THE GREAT GATSBY | What His Days at Trinity Would Have Been Like

Ian Flintoff on what Gatsby would have found in 1919
 at Trinity College, Oxford – Gatsby's alleged alma mater.
The face is that of Princetonian F. Scott Fitzgerald. 
Ian Flintoff, Trinity Oxon. '57,  has written a sort-of Prequel to Jay Gatsby's putative time at Oxford in his recently published book Gatsby at Trinity.

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

The book uses clues left by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, to reconstruct the time when Jay Gatsby would have been at Trinity.

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. When I looked up the reviews, the Kindle version had five stars. Amazon also offers a peek at the book – the opening chapter. The Kindle version can be downloaded immediately and costs $3.99. You can order through Amazon or from the College or directly from the publisher. Instructions for ordering the printed book direct are at the end of this post.

About 50 years ago I spoke to a fellow alumnus of Trinity who was up in the post-Great War era when Blakiston headed the college. 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 Amedican. ... Ek-chewalleh, I prefer South Africans."

My alumnus friend told me that he was flustered by the comment. What happened next is that Blakiston made clear that the beginning-of-term "interview" was over. This was voicelessly communicated, but the mode of dismissal reminds me of another famous Oxonian, who said to his students: "It is time for my tea. You will be wanting to leave." Fair enough.

Here is the review by Ian Senior, Trinity Oxon. '58, reposted by permission. The links don't work because I used a screenshot to capture the newsletter. I have retyped the link at the very end.

Here is the link retyped:

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