Great Britain: Seating a Poet

After centuries as the playing field of England's budding politicians, Oxford University understandably plays its own games of academic politics in mock-heroic earnest. Harold Macmillan twice won the prime-ministership by wider margins than his 1960 squeak into Oxford's chancellorship. "There's nothing most dons [professors] like better than a good bitchy election," observed the Sunday Times. Last week the bitchiest one in years had Oxford—and the nation —twittering as the port was passed.

It was much ado about little. The of fice at stake was Oxford's chair of poetry, which, as one commentator observed, offers "no power, little work and less money."...

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