|The Unexpected Professor
An Oxford life in books
|John Carey, English professor at Oxford, controversial commentator, book critic and beekeeper, reflects on a life immersed in literature, from grammar school beginnings to the Oxford establishment.
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 in the 1950s and an academic career that saw him elected, age forty, to Oxford’s oldest English Literature professorship.
Books formed the backbone of his life — from Biggles in his boyhood home in the Midlands to G. K. Chesterton in his West London grammar school to his rigorous scholarship on Milton in Oxford. He writes about the rewards of his forty-year career as the Sunday Times lead book reviewer and his inspiring meetings with writers and poets: Auden, Graves, Larkin, Heaney.