Up to Islip

Rosalind Mitchison

  • An Old Man’s Diary by A.J.P. Taylor
    Hamish Hamilton, 155 pp, £8.95, April 1984, ISBN 0 241 11247 8

The examining in my university is over for the year. After the usual haggling – ‘is this worth 69 or 70?’ – with nasty points of principle raised and evaded, the lists have been signed, and that is the end of what a colleague once described as ‘the annual session of egg grading’. We are free to go to the hills, equipped with walking boots, a hotel booking, a Highland bus time-table and the literature for the West Highland Way. So we drive to Kinlochleven, eat a hurried sandwich and set off in sunlight up through the mixed woodland on a track created by an occupying army. Soon we are on the open hillside watching the blue shadows of the clouds on the mountains. Later in luxury in an Appin hotel I can settle to a collection of diary pieces from our most distinguished modern historian, A.J.P. Taylor.

The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.

You are not logged in