August 7th 1920

As the summer edition of the ‘Draconian’ is assembled and I come to the examinations section, I recall that there may be a number of you interested in the the results of the English Literature Paper set by Frank Sidgwick towards the end of term.

He duly furnished us with the marks (out of 100) which ranged from 85-21. The joint winners were JM Huggins & Isabel Fausset-Farquhar (85%) with J Betjemann (75%) third.

For those of you who attempted the paper at home, here are some of the answers:

1 (a) Charles Kingsley (b) Erskine Childers (c) Rudyard Kipling (d) Alfred Lord Tennyson (e) Sir Walter Scott (f) Charles Dickens  (g) William Blake (h) John Masefield (i) Edward Fitzgerald (j) George Chapman.

2 (a) ‘The Pickwick Papers’ – Charles Dickens (b) ‘Kidnapped’ – Robert Louis Stevenson (c) ‘Peter Pan’ – JM Barrie (d) ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ – WS Gilbert (e) ‘Hiawatha’ – HW Longfellow.

6 (a) And never brought to mind,/Should auld acquaintance be forgot/For the sake of Auld Lang Syne? (Robert Burns, ‘Auld Lang Syne‘) (b) ‘All things both great and small,/For the dear God who loveth us,/He made and loveth all’. (S. T. Coleridge, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’) (c) The captains and the kings depart:/Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,/An humble and a contrite heart. (Kipling, ‘Recessional) (d) A thing of shreds and patches,/Of ballads, songs and snatches,/And dreamy lullaby (W. S. Gilbert, ‘The Mikado’).

Frank Sidgwick also provided these comments regarding answers to the other more general questions:

“The paper was not so much a test of knowledge of the facts of English Literature as an attempt to probe general literary intelligence and thought: this was particularly the purpose of questions 3, 4, and 5 which gave scope for the display of literary history, and the comparison of ancient and modern literatures…

In question 3 most showed good sense, but this was often nullified by bad expression… Isabel, Betjemann and Vernon did particularly well.

Question 4 was rather a disappointment in the result. Nearly everyone proposed to ask Shakespeare whether he wrote his own plays, and which he thought his best play. Burton suggested asking him what he thought of the OPS performances, and others had original ideas; but on the whole the opportunity was missed. Somebody ought to note that that Elysian Fields do not mean the Champs-Élysées.”

Indeed!

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