The campus novel is one of the best loved forms of fiction in the post-war period. But what are its characteristic themes? What are its prejudices? And what does it take for granted?
Originally published in 1990, this is the first study to connect literary, historical, and sociological aspects of modern British universities. It shows that the culture celebrated in British university fiction represents a particular view of humane education which has its origins in the values of Oxbridge. Threats are seen to come from the ‘redbrick’ and ‘new’ universities, from proletarians, scientists (including sociologists), women, and foreigners.
This exhilarating book makes a nonsense of sociology’s reputation for turgid and plodding analysis. Sharp-witted, shrewd, and penetrating, it will be of interest to students of sociology, literature, and for the same wide audience that appears to have an insatiable appetite for stories about university life.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Part 1. 1. Not with a Wimp, But a Banger Part 2. 2. The Exemplar 3. Keep and Outworks 4. Culture and Anarchy Part 3. 5. Barbarous Proletarians 6. Barbarous Scientists 7. Barbarous Women 8. Barbarous Foreigners 9. American Difference Part 4. 10. Dark Days and Black Papers 11. How to be an Alien. Appendix: British University Fiction 1945-88 (with selected earlier novels). Bibliography. Name Index. Subject Index.