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The way we were

Extracts from memoirs and diaries, chosen by Ian Irvine

Getting a degree

John Scott, later Earl of Eldon and Lord Chancellor, recalls taking his BA at Oxford in 1770:

“An examination for a degree was a farce in my time. I was examined in Hebrew and History. ‘What is the Hebrew for the place of a skull?’ —I replied ‘Golgotha’—Who founded University College?’—I stated ‘King Alfred.’ ‘Very well, sir,’ said the examiner, ‘You are competent for your degree.’”

In 1888, Gertrude Bell takes a first at Oxford. A contemporary later recalled:

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s June issue: Bronwen Maddox lays out the case for Britain to stay in Europe—the position taken by the magazine. Mikhail Gorbachev explains his hopes for Russia, suggesting that the claim democracy is bad for Russia is “balderdash.” Rachel Sylvester looks at the Conservative Party and explores what might happen to the Tories after the EU referendum. Also in this issue: Nicholas Shaxson and Alex Cobham unpick the world of hidden money and what Britain can do about tax havens. Neil Kinnock argues that Labour isn’t making progress under Jeremy Corbyn and Jason Burke examines Islamic State and the networks that underpin their attacks. Plus Stephen Bayley asks was BritArt any good?