Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yesterday Evening

We marked William Trevor's 80th birthday yesterday evening (the actual birthday is later in the week), with a gathering of friends, parents, visitors and pupils. After a reception in Whitehall, Ninian Falkiner (former Head of History) gave a brief talk on the history of the College, visiting the Dining Hall, Cloisters and Chapel (pictured left) on the way.

Then we met in the upper room of the Cadogan Music Building, and listened to a thoroughly absorbing talk by Ian Steepe on Trevor's connection with St Columba's as seen through his writing. He began by reading from and discussing the essay 'Leaving School' which was first published in the London Magazine in 1964, and also examined the short stories 'A School Story' (from The Day We Got Drunk on Cake), 'Going Home' (from The Ballroom of Romance) and two versions of headmasters' wives - 'The Warden's Wife' from the 1993 biographical sketch collection Excursions in the Real World, and the wife in the short story 'O Fat White Woman'.

After the talk there was a good deal of discussion about Trevor's writing, and then plenty of time spent chatting in the exhibition of first editions, other books, and extracts set up by our Librarian, Tom McConville.

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