Angus Wilson: Anglo-Saxon Attitudes

(501 words)
  • Marina MacKay (University of Durham)

Approaching his late middle age, Gerald Middleton, a Professor of Medieval History, is forced to confront the fact that his professional and personal lives have been a failure and a sham. Wherever he goes, he is reminded of the Melpham excavation of 1912. He suspects that the phallic figure found in the tomb of an Anglo-Saxon bishop has been the result of a hoax perpetrated by Middleton's then friend, Gilbert, a probably insane modernist poet, in an attempt to humiliate his father, Professor Stokesay, Middleton's mentor. The day of the Melpham excavation has also been significant for Gerald because it is on the same day that he has met and fallen in love with Dollie, Gilbert's fiancée. When the Great War breaks out, Gerald commences an …

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MacKay, Marina. "Anglo-Saxon Attitudes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]