The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books

The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books


By (author) John Carey

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  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Non-Fiction
  • Format: Hardback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 218mm x 36mm | 500g
  • Publication date: 20 March 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0571310923
  • ISBN 13: 9780571310920
  • Sales rank: 50,543

Product description

Best known for his provocative take on cultural issues in The Intellectuals and the Masses and What Good Are the Arts?, John Carey describes in this warm and funny memoir the events that formed him - an escape from the London blitz to an idyllic rural village, army service in Egypt, an open scholarship to Oxford and an academic career that saw him elected, age 40, to Oxford's oldest English Literature professorship. He frankly portrays the snobberies and rituals of 1950s Oxford, but also his inspiring meetings with writers and poets - Auden, Graves, Larkin, Heaney - and his forty-year stint as a lead book-reviewer for the Sunday Times. This is a book about the joys of reading - in effect, an informal introduction to the great works of English literature. But it is also about war and family, and how an unexpected background can give you the insight and the courage to say the unexpected thing.

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Author information

John Carey is an Emeritus Professor at Oxford University. His books include studies of Donne, Dickens and Thackeray, The Intellectuals and the Masses, What Good Are the Arts? and a life of William Golding.