When Shakespeare was only 28

I am staying at Trinity College at the moment. My gracious hosts have put me in a lovely little room that is all old-fashioned old world charm. Looking out my window at the beautiful and ancient campus, I am wondering what academic visitors from an earlier era may have been offered this very room — perhaps using some of this very furniture.

I can picture Charles Dodgson, hard at work on his sequel to “Alice in Wonderland”. Or C.S. Lewis, sitting at this very desk while writing of the adventures of gallant Reepicheep on the Dawn Treader. Or maybe Tolkien, up from Oxford for a seminar, working out Tom Bombadil’s casually metrical banter.

Of course this place goes much farther back than even those esteemed worthies. The University was founded in 1592, an event officially presided over by the first Queen Elizabeth. One of the famed Darnley portraits of Her Royal Majesty hangs in the faculty sitting room where this afternoon I had a spot of tea.

It would be wonderful to be transported back to that time, if only for a day, when this august university was new, when the world was younger, when Shakespeare was only 28.

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