The Way Things Were

The Education of Evelyn Waugh

01.09.13 1:02 PM ET

As the American elite drives its children to perform in earliest life, this interview of Evelyn Waugh - forwarded by my Prince Edward County winemaker friend Geoff Heinricks - reminds of a different approach to education and career advance

Why did you choose to go to Hertford College at Oxford?

They paid me.

You had an Open Scholarship –


- in History.


Did you subsequently remain a keen historian?


You didn’t in fact get a very distinguished degree, that’s why I asked the question.

I got a bad third, yes.

Why did this happen?


What did you do at Oxford?

Enjoyed myself. Grew up, you know.

Yes, how?

Well, as one did in those days.

People have forgotten, you tell me.

Getting tight a lot of the time, entertaining, making new friends, writing silly little articles for undergraduate magazines, all that kind of thing.