Robert Byron was a British travel writer, best known for his travelogue The Road to Oxiana. He was also a noted writer, art critic and historian.
Born: February 26, 1905, Wembley, United Kingdom
Died: February 24, 1941, Cape Wrath, United Kingdom
Education: Merton College, Oxford
Find A Grave Memorial# 52713294
Date killed: February 24, 1941
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university located in Oxford.
Address: Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1, UK (51.75663, -1.2547)
Type: Student Facility (open to public)
Phone: +44 1865 270000
While having no known date of foundation, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest surviving university. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled northeast to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two "ancient universities" are frequently jointly referred to as "Oxbridge". The university is made up of a variety of institutions, including 38 constituent colleges and a full range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions.
Notable Queer Alumni and Faculties at University of Oxford:
• Harold Acton (1904-1994) went up to Oxford in October 1923 to read Modern Greats at Christ Church, and while there he co-founded the avant garde magazine The Oxford Broom, and published his first book of poems, “Aquarium” (1923). In this phase of life and following it, Acton moved in the circles of, was influenced by, and he himself influenced many intellectual and literary figures of pre-war Britain; Acton is noted by Evelyn Waugh for having inspired, in part, the character of Anthony Blanche “Brideshead Revisited” (1945).
• Richard Addinsell (1904-1977) was educated at home before attending Hertford College, to study Law but went down after just 18 months. He then became interested in music.
• W.H. Auden (1907-1973) went up to Christ Church in 1925, with a scholarship in biology; he switched to English by his second year. Friends he met at Oxford include Cecil Day-Lewis, Louis MacNeice, and Stephen Spender; these four were commonly though misleadingly identified in the 1930s as the "Auden Group" for their shared (but not identical) left-wing views. Auden left Oxford in 1928 with a third-class degree. In 1956–61 he was Professor of Poetry at Oxford; his lectures were popular with students and faculty and served as the basis of his 1962 prose collection “The Dyer's Hand.” In 1972, Auden moved his winter home from New York to Oxford, where his old college, Christ Church, offered him a cottage, while he continued to summer in Austria.
• Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse, 2nd Baronet (1873–1944) attended Winchester College and Merton College. While at Oxford he suffered a nervous breakdown in 1894, and although he returned to the university in 1895, he never completed his degree, instead fleeing the country due to the massive debts he had accumulated.
• Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929) studied at Oxford University during 1890–91.
• Francis Beaumont (1584–1616) was educated at Broadgates Hall (now Pembroke College) at age thirteen. Following the death of his father in 1598, he left university without a degree and followed in his father's footsteps by entering the Inner Temple in London in 1600.
• George Benson (1613–1692) matriculated at Queen's College, on November 21, 1628, aged 15; BA, on May 10, 1631; MA from St Edmund's Hall, on February 11, 1633 or 1634; DD from Queen's College, on August 2, 1660. Prebendary of Chichester. Rector of Chetton (Sallop), 1638. Canon and archdeacon of Hereford, 1660; canon of Worcester, 1671; Dean of Hereford, from September 10, 1672 to August 24, 1692. He married Katherine Fell, daughter of Samuel Fell, at Christ Church, Oxford. He died aged 78 years and is buried beside his friend Bishop Croft underneath the throne in the Choir of Hereford Cathedral.
• Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989) was born in Oxford, and educated at the Dragon School, Gresham's School and Merton College.
• Maurice Bowra (1898-1971) was an English classical scholar and academic, known for his wit. He was Warden of Wadham College, from 1938 to 1970, and served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford from 1951 to 1954. In his long career as an Oxford don Bowra had contact with a considerable portion of the English literary world, either as students or as colleagues. The character of Mr Samgrass in Evelyn Waugh's “Brideshead Revisited” is said to have been modelled on Bowra. Cyril Connolly, Henry Green, Anthony Powell and Kenneth Clark knew Bowra quite well when they were undergraduates. Clark called Bowra "the strongest influence in my life". Waugh marked his friend's election as Warden of Wadham by presenting him with a monkey-puzzle tree for his garden. As an undergraduate in Oxford in the 1920s Bowra was fashionably homosexual and was known to cruise for sex. He used the term "the Homintern" and privately referred to his leading position in it, also calling it "the Immoral Front" or "the 69th International". Bowra retired in 1970, but continued to live in rooms in the college that had been granted to him in exchange for a house he owned. He became an honorary fellow of Wadham and was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law. He died of a sudden heart attack in 1971 and was buried in Holywell Cemetery (St Cross Church, St.Cross Rd, City Centre, Oxford OX1 3TP).
• Edwin Emmanuel Bradford (1860–1944) was an English clergyman and Uranian poet and novelist. He attended Exeter College, received his B.A. in 1884, and was awarded a D.D. He was vicar of Nordelph, Downham Market, Norfolk, from 1909 to 1944.
• Sir John Bramston (1832–1921), was a politician in Queensland (now part of Australia) and a British colonial government administrator in Queensland and Hong Kong. Bramston was the second son of Thomas William Bramston (later MP for South Essex), of Skreens, Essex and his wife Eliza, daughter of Admiral Sir Eliab Harvey. He was educated at Winchester College and at Balliol College, where he graduated B.A. in 1854, becoming Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford in the following year, and D.C.L. in 1863. He entered the Middle Temple in November 1854 and was called to the bar in June 1857.
• Beau Brummell (1778-1840) attended Oxford University, where, by his own example, he made cotton stockings and dingy cravats a thing of the past. While an undergraduate at Oriel College in 1793, he competed for the Chancellor's Prize for Latin Verse, coming second to Edward Copleston, who was later to become provost of his college. He left the university after only a year at the age of sixteen.
• Peter Burra (1909-1937) attended Christ Church College and edited Farrago, founded by Simon Nowell-Smith as a rival to Oxford Poetry. Farrago ran for six issues, from February 1930 to June 1931, and quickly established a reputation a long way from Oxford; The Times was soon calling it “that very excellent undergraduate literary review,” while the London Mercury hailed it as “the best undergraduate journal published since the War.” Burra was occasionally successful in attracting contributions from figures such as Evelyn Waugh, Robert Bridges, the artist Edward Burra (Peter’s cousin) and Max Beerbohm, but the magazine was identified closely with the group of poets, artists and musicians around the Oxford University Orchestral Society.
• Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) matriculated at Trinity College, on 19 November 1840. Before getting a room at the college, he lived for a short time in the house of Dr. William Alexander Greenhill, then physician to the Radcliffe Infirmary. Here, he met John Henry Newman, whose churchwarden was Dr. Greenhill. Despite his intelligence and ability, Burton was antagonised by his teachers and peers. During his first term, he is said to have challenged another student to a duel after the latter mocked Burton's moustache. Burton continued to gratify his love of languages by studying Arabic; he also spent his time learning falconry and fencing. In April 1842, he attended a steeplechase in deliberate violation of college rules and subsequently dared to tell the college authorities that students should be allowed to attend such events. Hoping to be merely "rusticated" – that is, suspended with the possibility of reinstatement, the punishment received by some less provocative students who had also visited the steeplechase – he was instead permanently expelled from Trinity College.
• Robert Byron (1905–1941) was educated at Eton and Merton College, from which he was expelled for his hedonistic and rebellious manner. He was best known at Oxford for his impersonation of Queen Victoria. He died in 1941, during WWII, when the ship on which he was travelling was torpedoed by a U-Boat off Cape Wrath, Scotland, en route to Egypt. His body was never found. Nancy Mitford hoped at one stage that Byron would propose marriage to her, and was later astonished as well as shocked to discover his homosexual tastes, complaining: "This wretched pederasty falsifies all feelings and yet one is supposed to revere it." Byron's great, though unreciprocated, passion was for Desmond Parsons, younger brother of the 6th Earl of Rosse, who was regarded as one of the most magnetic men of his generation. They lived together in Peking, in 1934, where Desmond developed Hodgkin's Disease, of which he died in Zurich, in 1937, when only 26 years old. Byron was left utterly devastated. It has been said that Parsons was also the only man Harold Acton has ever loved.
• Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, (1587–1645), was a politician, and favourite of King James VI and I. His alma mater was Queen's College.
• Lord David Cecil (1902–1986), was a British biographer, historian and academic. He held the style of "Lord" by courtesy, as a younger son of a marquess. David Cecil was the youngest of the four children of James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury, and the former Lady Cicely Gore (second daughter of Arthur Gore, 5th Earl of Arran). After Eton he went on to Christ Church, as an undergraduate. Cecil read Modern History at Oxford and in 1924 obtained first-class honours. From 1924 to 1930 he was a Fellow of Wadham College. With his first publication, “The Stricken Deer” (1929), a sympathetic study of the poet Cowper, he made an immediate impact as a literary historian. Studies followed on Walter Scott, early Victorian novelists and Jane Austen. In 1939 he became a Fellow of New College, where he remained a Fellow until 1969, when he became an Honorary Fellow. In 1947 he became Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College, London, for a year; but in 1948 he returned to the University of Oxford and remained a Professor of English Literature there until 1970. Joyce Grenfell mentions that Lord David Cecil was bisexual.
• Cyril Connolly (1903-1974) achieved academic success in 1922 winning the Rosebery History Prize, and followed this up with the Brackenbury History scholarship to Balliol College. After his cloistered existence as a King's Scholar at Eton, Connolly felt uncomfortable with the hearty beer-drinking rugby and rowing types at Oxford. His own circle included his Eton friends Mynors and Dannruthers, who were at Balliol with him, and Kenneth Clark, whom he met through Bobbie Longden at Kings. He wrote: "The only exercise we took was running up bills." His intellectual mentors were the Dean of Balliol, "Sligger" Urquhart, who organised reading parties on the continent, and the Dean of Wadham, Maurice Bowra.
• Antony Copley (1937–2016) was a British historian. He was an honorary professor at the University of Kent at Canterbury, and specialised in XIX century French history and modern Indian history. At the time of his death he was looking forward to a general pardon for gay men who like himself, had been convicted of homosexual acts. He was born on 1 July 1937 in Hertfordshire, the son of Alan, a solicitor, and Iris Copley, and educated at Gresham's School and Worcester College.
• Paul Dehn (1912-1976) was educated at Shrewsbury School, and attended Brasenose College. While at Oxford, he contributed film reviews to weekly undergraduate papers.
• Alfred Douglas (1870-1945) was educated at Wixenford School, Winchester College (1884–88) and Magdalen College (1889–93), which he left without obtaining a degree. At Oxford, he edited an undergraduate journal, The Spirit Lamp (1892–3), an activity that intensified the constant conflict between him and his father.
• Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu (1926-2015) attended St Peter's Court, a prep school at Broadstairs in Kent, then Ridley College in Canada, Eton College and finally New College. He read Modern History at Oxford, but during his second year an altercation between the Bullingdon Club, of which he was a member, and the Oxford University Dramatic Society led to his room being wrecked, and he felt obliged to leave.
• Tom Driberg (1905-1976) won a classics scholarship to Christ Church. Oxford in 1924 featured an avant-garde aesthetic movement in which personalities such as Harold Acton, Brian Howard, Cyril Connolly and, a little later, W. H. Auden were leading lights. Driberg was soon immersed in a world of art, politics, poetry and parties: "There was just no time for any academic work", he wrote later. A poem of Driberg's in the style of Edith Sitwell was published in Oxford Poetry 1926; when Sitwell came to Oxford to deliver a lecture, Driberg invited her to have tea with him, and she accepted. After her lecture he found an opportunity to recite one of his own poems, and was rewarded when Sitwell declared him "the hope of English poetry." The consequence of his various extracurricular involvements was neglect of his academic work; failure in his final examinations was inevitable, and in the summer of 1927 he left Oxford without a degree.
• Robert Flemyng (1912–1995) was an English film and stage actor. Flemyng was married to Carmen Sugars, who died in 1994, and they had one daughter. According to “Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography,” a biography of Alec Guinness by Piers Paul Read, he "[fell] in love with a younger man in [his] middle age." He could not act upon his repressed feelings because male homosexuality was illegal in the United Kingdom (until 1967) and because he was married. Therefore, "he had a nervous breakdown and then a stroke and had a really terrible time."
• Peter Glenville (1913-1996) was the son of Sean Glenville and Dorothy Ward, a highly successful double act in the pantomime. Dorothy Ward, with famously beautiful legs, played the principal “boy” and Sean Glenville the “dame”. It was hardly surprising, Glenville used to say, that he was queer. Since Dorothy Ward was Roman Catholic, she provided the funds to send Peter to Stonyhurst, the public school run by the Jesuits in Lancashire. From there Glenville went to Christ Church, where he joined OUDS. The OUDS at that time was a distinctly homosexual society with some very good-looking young men, among them Peter Glenville, Robert Flemyng and Terence Rattigan, all of whom were keen to cluster around the visiting star. The “visiting star” was John Gielgud who, in 1932, came to direct “Romeo and Juliet”. In 1934, Glenville was elected president of OUDS, and after graduation made his first professional stage appearance at the Manchester Repertory Company in Louis Jourdan’s role as the tutor, Dr. Agi, in Ferenc Molnar’s “The Swan”.
• Alastair Graham (1904-1982), one of the three Oxford lovers of Evelyn Waugh (in order Richard Pares, Alistair Graham and Hugh Lygon.) Paula Byrne said that while he was "candid" about the relationships with Pares and the well-heeled Graham in his autobiography, Waugh refrained from explicitly describing them as homosexual.
• Robert Graves (1895-1985) won a classical exhibition to St John's College, but did not take his place there until after the war. His most notable Oxford companion was T. E. Lawrence, then a Fellow of All Souls', with whom he discussed contemporary poetry and shared in the planning of elaborate pranks. In 1961 he became Professor of Poetry at Oxford, a post he held until 1966.
• Henry William Greville (1801–1872) was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, where he graduated B.A. on 4 June 1823.
• Bryan Guinness, 2nd Baron Moyne (1905-1992) attended Christ Church and was called to the bar in 1931.
• Leslie Poles Hartley (1895–1972), known as L. P. Hartley, was a British novelist and short story writer. Hartley was born in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, the son of Bessie and Harry Hartley. While he was young, the family moved to a small country estate near Peterborough. Hartley was educated in Cliftonville, Thanet, then briefly at Clifton College, where he first met Clifford Henry Benn Kitchin, then at Harrow. In 1915, during WWI, he went up to Balliol College, to read modern history, and there he befriended Aldous Huxley. In 1916, with the arrival of conscription, Hartley joined the army, and in February 1917 he was commissioned as an officer in the Norfolk Regiment, but for health reasons he was never posted overseas for active duties. Invalided out of the army after the war, he returned to Oxford in 1919, where he gathered a number of literary friends, including Lord David Cecil, the platonic ‘love of his life’ according to Francis King. He was introduced by Huxley to Lady Ottoline Morrell. Kitchin, who was also then at Oxford, introduced him to the family of H. H. Asquith, and Cynthia Asquith became a lifelong friend. Despite being named after Leslie Stephen, Hartley always belonged to the Asquith set and was rebuffed by the Bloomsbury group. Hartley was homosexual but not open about his sexuality until toward the end of his life. Hartley regarded his 1971 novel “The Harness Room” as his "homosexual novel" and feared the public reaction to it.
• Gavin Henderson, 2nd Baron Faringdon (1902-1977), was sent to Eton College, then attended McGill University in Montreal, before graduating from Christ Church, in 1924.
• Robert Herbert (1831-1905) was the first Premier of Queensland, Australia. He was educated at Eton and Balliol College. He won a Balliol scholarship in 1849 and subsequently the Hertford and Ireland scholarships. He took a first class in classical moderations, won the Latin verse prize in 1852, and obtained second-class final honours in the classical school. He was elected Fellow of All Souls in 1854 and was Eldon law scholar. In 1855 he was private secretary to William Ewart Gladstone and was called to the bar of the Inner Temple in 1858. Robert Herbert met his companion, John Bramston, in the early 1850s at Balliol College. The pair shared rooms at Oxford, and also in London. When Herbert was Premier of Queensland, and Bramston his Attorney-General, the two created a farm on what is now the site of the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. They named the farmhouse in which they both lived "Herston", a combination of their names. It also became the name of the modern-day Brisbane suburb of Herston, in the same location.
• Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) studied classics at Balliol College (1863–67). Hopkins was an unusually sensitive and shy student and poet, as witnessed by his class-notes and early poetic pieces. At Oxford he forged a lifelong friendship with Robert Bridges (eventual Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom) which would be of importance in his development as a poet and in his posthumous acclaim. Hopkins was deeply impressed with the work of Christina Rossetti and she became one of his greatest contemporary influences, meeting him in 1864. During this time he studied with the prestigious writer and critic Walter Pater, who tutored him in 1866 and who remained a friend until Hopkins left Oxford in September 1879. In July 1866, he decided to become a Roman Catholic, and he traveled to Birmingham in September to consult the leader of the Oxford converts, John Henry Newman. Newman received him into the Roman Catholic Church on 21 October 1866.
• A. E. Housman (1859-1936) won an open scholarship to St John's College, where he studied classics. Although introverted by nature, Housman formed strong friendships with two roommates, Moses Jackson and A. W. Pollard. Jackson became the great love of Housman's life, but he was heterosexual and did not reciprocate Housman's feelings.
• Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) graduated from Balliol College, with a first in English literature. In 1916 he edited Oxford Poetry and in June of that year graduated BA with First Class honours.
• H. Montgomery Hyde (1907-1989) was a barrister, politician (Ulster Unionist MP for Belfast North), prolific author and biographer. He was deselected in 1959, losing his seat in the House of Commons, as a result of campaigning for homosexual law reform. He attended Queen's University Belfast where he gained a first-class history degree, and then Magdalen College, and a second-class law degree. He was an extension lecturer in History at the University of Oxford in 1934, and Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Lahore from 1959 to 1962.
• Evelyn Irons (1900-2000) graduated from Somerville College.
• Robert King, 4th Earl of Kingston (1796-1867) was the second but eldest surviving son of George King, 3rd Earl of Kingston, and Lady Helena, daughter of Stephen Morre, 1st Earl of Mount Cashell. He was educated at Exeter College.
• C. H. B. Kitchin (1895-1967) was a British novelist of the early XX century. He was one of Francis King's two mentors, the other being J. R. Ackerley. Kitchin attended Exeter College and became a barrister. Kitchin led a varied and colourful life. He was born into wealth and increased his wealth through investment in the stock market. He used his wealth to take part in many different fields, including the breeding and racing of greyhounds, in which he was briefly an important figure. He was homosexual, and was living with his lover Clive Preen until Preen's death in 1944. 1886: Clive Bertram Preen (1886-1944) was born at George St, Kidderminster. He was the son of Harvey Edwin Preen, a chartered accountant, and his wife Ann (formerly Harper). In 1891 he was visiting Hastings with his parents and in 1901 he was at school in Marlborough. In 1911 he was living in Belsize Park, Hampstead with his parents and working as a chartered accountant. In April 1914 he and his father Harvey sailed to New York and he went by himself in both July 1914 and January 1836. He never married and since 1930 was living with Kitchin. He died in 1944.
• (Edward) Eardley Knollys (1902-1991) was an English artist of the Bloomsbury School of artists, art critic, art dealer and collector, active from the 1920s to 1950s. He was educated at Winchester and Christ Church.
• T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935) studied History at Jesus College from 1907 to 1910. In 1910 Lawrence was offered the opportunity to become a practising archaeologist in the Middle East, at Carchemish, in the expedition that D. G. Hogarth was setting up on behalf of the British Museum. Hogarth arranged a "Senior Demyship", a form of scholarship, for Lawrence at Magdalen College in order to fund Lawrence's work at £100/year. In 1919, he was elected to a seven-year research fellowship at All Souls College, providing him with support while he worked on “Seven Pillars of Wisdom.”
• James Lees-Milne (1908-1997) attended Lockers Park School in Hertfordshire, Eton, and Oxford University from which he graduated with a Third Class in History in 1931.
• Alan Lennox-Boyd, 1st Viscount Boyd of Merton (1904-1983) was educated at Sherborne School, Dorset, and graduated from Christ Church, with a Master of Arts.
• Matthew Lewis (1775-1818), like his father, entered Christ Church, on 27 April 1790 at the age of fifteen. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1794 and earned a master's degree from the same college in 1797.
• Alain LeRoy Locke (1885-1954) was denied admission to several colleges, and several Rhodes Scholars from the American South refused to live in the same college or attend events with Locke. He was finally admitted to Hertford College, where he studied literature, philosophy, Greek, and Latin, from 1907–1910. In 1910, he attended the University of Berlin, where he studied philosophy. Locke wrote from Oxford in 1910 that the "primary aim and obligation" of a Rhodes Scholar "is to acquire at Oxford and abroad generally a liberal education, and to continue subsequently the Rhodes mission [of international understanding] throughout life and in his own country. If once more it should prove impossible for nations to understand one another as nations, then, as Goethe said, they must learn to tolerate each other as individuals".
• Hugh Patrick Lygon (1904-1936) was educated at Eton and Pembroke College. He was a friend of Evelyn Waugh's at Oxford (A. L. Rowse believed the two to be lovers), where both were members of the Hypocrites' Club, along with their contemporary Murray Andrew McLean.
• William Lygon (1872-1938) was educated at Eton and Christ Church, where he showed an interest in evangelism, joining the Christian Social Union.
• Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972) was educated at St Paul's School, London, and Magdalen College, where he graduated with a degree in modern history.
• Christabel Marshall (1871-1960) took a BA in Modern History at Somerville College.
• F. O. Matthiessen (1902-1950) studied at Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar earning a B.Litt. in 1925.
• Evan Morgan, 2nd Viscount Tredegar (1893-1949), was educated at Eton College and Christ Church.
• Raymond Mortimer (1895–1980) was educated at Malvern College, and Balliol College, which he entered in 1913 to read history. His studies were interrupted by service in a hospital in France from 1915; and then work in the Foreign Office. He did not complete his degree.
• John Henry Newman (1801-1890), originally an evangelical Oxford University academic and priest in the Church of England, then became drawn to the high-church tradition of Anglicanism. He became known as a leader of, and an able polemicist for, the Oxford Movement, an influential and controversial grouping of Anglicans who wished to return to the Church of England many Catholic beliefs and liturgical rituals from before the English Reformation. However, in 1845 Newman, joined by some but not all of his followers, left the Church of England and his teaching post at Oxford University and was received into the Catholic Church. He was quickly ordained as a priest and continued as an influential religious leader, based in Birmingham. In 1879, he was created a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in recognition of his services to the cause of the Catholic Church in England. He was instrumental in the founding of the Catholic University of Ireland, which evolved into University College Dublin, today the largest university in Ireland.
• Beverley Nichols (1898–1983) went to school at Marlborough College then Balliol College, and was President of the Oxford Union and editor of Isis.
• Harold Nicolson (1886–1968) was educated at Wellington College and Balliol College.
• Ivor Novello (1893-1951) won a scholarship to Magdalen College School, where he was a solo treble in the college choir.
• Richard Pares (1902–1958) won scholarships at Winchester College and at Balliol College, where he took a first-class degree in literae humaniores in 1924. On obtaining his Oxford degree, he was elected to a fellowship of All Souls College, which he retained until 1945.
• Hon. Desmond Edward Parsons (1910-1937) was the son of William Edward Parsons, 5th Earl of Rosse and Frances Lois Lister-Kaye. He died on 4 July 1937 at age 26. He was the unrequited love of both Robert Byron and Harold Acton.
• Ralph Partridge (1894-1960) rowed with Noel Carrington while at the University of Oxford. In 1918 Noel introduced him to his sister, Dora Carrington, who was on holiday in Scotland. After surviving the WWI, Partridge returned to Oxford, and became a regular visitor to Tidmarsh. He soon fell in love with Carrington - whilst Strachey fell in love with him, rechristening him “Ralph,” as he would thereafter be known.
• Walter Pater (1839-1894) went to Queen's College in 1858. After graduating, Pater remained in Oxford and taught Classics and Philosophy to private students. His years of study and reading now paid dividends: he was offered a classical fellowship in 1864 at Brasenose on the strength of his ability to teach modern German philosophy, and he settled down to a university career. Pater was at the centre of a small but gifted circle in Oxford – he had tutored Gerard Manley Hopkins in 1866 and the two remained friends till September 1879 when Hopkins left Oxford – and he gained respect in the London literary world and beyond, numbering some of the Pre-Raphaelites among his friends. He is buried at Holywell Cemetery (St Cross Church, St.Cross Rd, City Centre, Oxford OX1 3TP).
• Peter Pears (1910–1986) went to Keble College in 1928, to study music. He was not at this stage sure whether his musical future was as a singer or as player; during his brief time at the university he was appointed temporary assistant organist at Hertford College, which was useful practical experience. Headington comments that a musical conservatoire such as the Royal College of Music would have suited Pears better than the Oxford course, but at the time it was seen as a natural progression for an English public school boy to continue his education at Oxford or Cambridge. In the event Pears did not take to Oxford's academic regime, which required him to study a range of subjects before specialising in music. He failed the first-year examinations (Moderations) and though he was entitled to resit them he decided against doing so, and went down from Oxford.
• John Pope-Hennessy (1913-1994) was educated at Downside School, a Roman Catholic boarding independent school for boys, in the village of Stratton-on-the-Fosse in Somerset, followed by Balliol College, where he read modern history. At Oxford, he was introduced by Logan Pearsall Smith (a family friend from the United States) to Kenneth Clark, who became a mentor to the young Pope-Hennessy.
• Terence Rattigan (1911-1977) was educated at Sandroyd School from 1920 to 1925, at the time based in Cobham, Surrey (and now the home of Reed's School), and Harrow School. Rattigan played cricket for the Harrow First XI and scored 29 in the Eton–Harrow match in 1929. He was a member of the Officer Training Corps and organised a mutiny, informing the Daily Express. Even more annoying to his headmaster, Cyril Norwood, was the telegram from the Eton OTC, "offering to march to his assistance". He then went to Trinity College. A troubled homosexual, who saw himself as an outsider, his plays "confronted issues of sexual frustration, failed relationships and adultery", and a world of repression and reticence. Rattigan had numerous lovers but no long-term partners, a possible exception being his "congenial companion ... and occasional friend" Michael Franklin.
• Mary Renault (1905-1983) was educated at St Hugh's College, then an all-women's college, receiving an undergraduate degree in English in 1928. In 1933 she began training as a nurse at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford. During her training she met Julie Mullard, a fellow nurse with whom she established a lifelong romantic relationship.
• Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) was admitted to Oriel College, but stayed for only one term in 1873. He returned to South Africa and did not return for his second term at Oxford until 1876. He was greatly influenced by John Ruskin's inaugural lecture at Oxford, which reinforced his own attachment to the cause of British imperialism. Among his Oxford associates were James Rochfort Maguire, later a fellow of All Souls College and a director of the British South Africa Company, and Charles Metcalfe. Due to his university career, Rhodes admired the Oxford "system". Eventually he was inspired to develop his scholarship scheme: "Wherever you turn your eye—except in science—an Oxford man is at the top of the tree".
• Adrienne Rich (1929-2012), following her graduation at Radcliffe College, received a Guggenheim Fellowship to study at Oxford for a year. Following a visit to Florence, she chose not to return to Oxford, and spent her remaining time in Europe writing and exploring Italy.
• Philip Sassoon (1888-1939) was educated at Farnborough Prep school, Eton before going up to Oxford. Old Etonian Arthur Balfour recommended the Debating Society to him. His father was also friendly with Frances Horner, wife of Sir John Horner, a longtime friend of Gladstone who lived at Mells Manor in Somerset. His house master was a member of the secret society of liberals the Young Apostles. And a near contemporary was Osbert Sitwell, the Yorkshireman and author (Sitwell’s long-time companion was David Horner, from the Horner’s family at Mells Manor). A French scholar, he learnt the language doing classes at Windsor Castle. Sassoon was taught aesthetics by Henry Luxmoore giving an insight into philosophy and social realism. However he chose to read Modern History at Christ Church. He was one of only 25 Jewish undergraduates, but was invited to join the Bullingdon Club. He joined the East Kent Yeomanry while still at Oxford and commissioned a second lieutenant.
• John Schlesinger (1926-2003), after St Edmund's School, Hindhead, Uppingham School and Balliol College, where he was involved in the Oxford University Dramatic Society, he worked as an actor.
• Vida Dutton Scudder (1861-1954) and Clara French (1863-1888) were the first American women admitted to the graduate program at Oxford in 1885, where Scudder was influenced by York Powell and John Ruskin.
• Desmond Shawe-Taylor (1907-1995) was sent to be educated in England, at Shrewsbury School and Oriel College, where he graduated in 1930 with a first class degree in English
• Philip Sidney (1554-1586) was educated at Shrewsbury School and Christ Church.
• Sacheverell Sitwell (1897-1988) was educated at Eton College and Balliol College.
• Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was awarded an American Association of University Women's fellowship for the 1957–1958 academic year to St Anne's College, where she traveled without her husband, Philip Rieff, and son. There, she had classes with Iris Murdoch, Stuart Hampshire, A. J. Ayer and H. L. A. Hart while also attending the B. Phil seminars of J. L. Austin and the lectures of Isaiah Berlin. Oxford did not appeal to her, however, and she transferred after Michaelmas term of 1957 to the University of Paris.
• Stephen Spender (1909-1995) came up to University College in 1927. His autobiography "World within World" (1951) suggests that he did not have a very happy time at Oxford, and he never took a degree, but in 1973 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the College, and stayed in contact with it until his death.
• Major Honorable James “Hamish” Alexander Wedderburn St. Clair-Erskine (1909-1973), second son of James Francis Harry St. Clair-Erskine, 5th Earl of Rosslyn and Vera Mary Bayley. He was educated at Eton College, and New College. He gained the rank of Major in the service of the Coldstream Guards. He fought in the WWII between 1939 and 1942, where he was wounded, mentioned in despatches twice and became a POW. He was decorated with the award of the Military Cross (M.C.) in 1943. Nancy Mitford fell in love with him. He was the least suitable partner of all, "the most shimmering and narcissistic of all the beautiful butterflies". The pair met in 1928 and became unofficially engaged, despite his homosexuality (of which Nancy may not have been aware). Against a backdrop of negativity from family and friends—Waugh advised her to "dress better and catch a better man"— the affair endured sporadically for about 5 years. He eventually converted to homosexuality and called the wedding off. He died unmarried in December 1973
• Ambrose St. John (1815-1875) was educated at Westminster School, and Christ Church, where he graduated M.A., forming a lifelong friendship with Cardinal Newman.
• Eric Stenbock (1860-1895) attended Balliol College but never completed his studies. While at Oxford, Eric was deeply influenced by the homosexual Pre-Raphaelite artist and illustrator Simeon Solomon. He is also said to have had a relationship with the composer and conductor Norman O'Neill and with other "young men". In Oxford, Stenbock also converted to Roman Catholicism taking for himself the name Stanislaus. Some years later Eric also admitted to having tried a different religion every week in Oxford. At the end of his life, he seemed to have developed a syncretist religion containing elements of Catholicism, Buddhism and idolatry.
• Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) attended Balliol College (1856–60) with a brief hiatus when he was rusticated from the university in 1859 for having publicly supported the attempted assassination of Napoleon III by Felice Orsini. He returned in May 1860, though he never received a degree.
• John Addington Symonds (1840-1893) studied classics under Benjamin Jowett at Balliol College, and later worked with Jowett on an English translation of Plato's Symposium. Jowett was critical of Symonds' opinions on sexuality, but when Symonds was falsely accused of corrupting choirboys, Jowett supported him, despite his own equivocal views of the relation of Hellenism to contemporary legal and social issues that affected homosexuals.
• Wilfred Thesiger (1910-2003) was educated at Eton College followed by Magdalen College, where he took a Third in History. Between 1930 and 1933, Thesiger represented Oxford at boxing and later (in 1933) became captain of the Oxford boxing team. He was awarded a boxing Blue for each of the four years that he was at Oxford. Whilst at Oxford, Thesiger was also elected Treasurer of the Oxford University Exploration Club (1931–32).
• Colin Turnbull (1924-1994) was educated at Westminster School and Magdalen College, where he studied politics and philosophy. Joseph Allen Towles moved to New York City in 1957 to pursue a career as an actor and writer. He met Turnbull in 1959 and they exchanged marriage vows the following year. From 1965 to 1967, Turnbull and Towles conducted fieldwork among the Ik of Northern Uganda in Africa. Towles' health declined slowly from 1983. He died from complications of AIDS in 1988. Colin Turnbull asked his name to be added to Joe's gravestone since, basically, his soul died when his partner died too. He died in Virginia in 1994, aged 69.
• Edward Perry Warren (1860-1928) received his B.A. from Harvard College in 1883 and later studied at New College, earning his M.S. in Classics. His academic interest was classical archeology. At Oxford he met archeologist John Marshall (1862–1928), a younger man he called "Puppy," with whom he formed a close and long-lasting relationship, though Marshall married in 1907, much to Warren's dismay.
• Peter Watson (1908-1956), wealthy English art collector and benefactor, was the son of William George Watson, later Sir George Watson. He was educated at Lockers Park School, Eton College and St John's College.
• Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) was educated at Lancing College and then at Hertford College. During his first two terms, he generally followed convention; he smoked a pipe, bought a bicycle, and gave his maiden speech at the Oxford Union, opposing the motion that "This House would welcome Prohibition". The arrival in Oxford in October 1922 of the sophisticated Etonians Harold Acton and Brian Howard changed Waugh's Oxford life. Acton and Howard rapidly became the centre of an avant-garde circle known as the Hypocrites, whose artistic, social and homosexual values Waugh adopted enthusiastically; he later wrote: "It was the stamping ground of half my Oxford life". He began drinking heavily, and embarked on the first of several homosexual relationships, the most lasting of which were with Richard Pares and Alastair Graham.
• Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Dublin, then at Magdalen College. He became known for his involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin.
• Peter Wildeblood (1923–1999) won a scholarship to Radley College and then went up to Trinity College, in 1941, but dropped out after ten days because of ill health.
• Emlyn Willians (1905-1987), aged 11, won a scholarship to Holywell Grammar School. At the end of his time at the grammar school he won a scholarship to Christ Church, where he read French and Italian and joined the Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS). His first full-length play, Full Moon, was premiered at the original Oxford Playhouse in 1927, the year he joined a repertory company and began his stage career.
• Angus Wilson (1913-1991) was educated at Westminster School and Merton College, and in 1937 became a librarian in the British Museum's Department of Printed Books, working on the new General Catalogue.
• Carl Winter (1906-1966) was educated at Xavier College and Newman College, University of Melbourne. He came to England in 1928 and attended Exeter College.
Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228833
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532906315/?
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZ1KZBO/?