By Julie Hankey
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Additional info for A Passion for Egypt: Arthur Weigall, Tutankhamun and the 'Curse of the Pharaohs'
A chain of cheap cafeterias, in order to buy books on ancient history or archaeology. He became a member of the London Library, his subscription paid for by Hubert Greenwood of the London County Council, presumably a friend of Mimi’s. He read furiously and without method, and he began to suffer agonies of frustration. His days became hateful, and with them the whole straitjacket of social expectation. For the first time in his life, he suffered a revulsion against all the certainties he had been brought up with.
New College 23 A PASSION FOR EGYPT had been decided on, and very considerately the College decided to wink at his Greek ‘unseen’, and to give him a special paper on Egyptian hieroglyphs instead. 9 Luckily too, the Greek viva voce turned out to be a passage from St. Luke, which he knew practically by heart in the English anyway. The result was that he passed into New College with honours. Much to his dismay, however, he failed his Smalls, owing to a bad Greek paper. There was a second chance to take the Smalls in the Christmas holidays, and meanwhile the College authorities told him that he could come up as an unattached or non-Collegiate undergraduate.
Luckily the master was to join the ship at Marseilles, so there were a few days of freedom. Grey England was behind him, golden Egypt ahead of him at last, and the sky was getting bluer by the day: One evening there was a dance … I indulged in a slight but sentimental ‘affair’ with a girl who was going out to Egypt for the winter; and I remember leaning over the rail with her in the moonlight, and talking about life in a sort of ecstasy of youth. She read me her diary … I showed her some … poems, and she said they were ‘lovely’.
A Passion for Egypt: Arthur Weigall, Tutankhamun and the 'Curse of the Pharaohs' by Julie Hankey