Charles Astor Bristed (1820-1874) was the favourite grandson of John Jacob Astor (the first American multi-millionaire, and the Astor of the Waldorf-Astoria). After gaining a degree at Yale, Bristed entered Trinity College, Cambridge in 1840, graduating in 1845. "An American in Victorian Cambridge" is a richly detailed account of student life in the Cambridge of the 1840s. The rationale for the book, which is as appealing today as it was then, is that this is pre-eminently a book about an American student at an English university. The book belongs to a fascinating C19th trans-Atlantic publishing genre: travel accounts designed to describe British culture to Americans and vice-versa. In this new edition, some substantial additions have been made: the Foreword and Introduction both help to contextualise the work, and point to its significance as an important historical source and as a fascinating memoir of life in Victorian Cambridge; annotation helps to identify the individuals who appear in Bristed's text; and an index allows full use to be made of the text for the first time.
Christopher Stray, Department of Classics, Swansea University, is the author of Classics Transformed: Universities and Societies in England 1830-1960 (OUP 1998); The Living Word: WHD Rouse and the Crisis of Classics in Edwardian England (BCP 1992); Gilbert Murray Reassessed: Hellenism, Theatre and International Politics (OUP 2007). He has been described by Professor Amy Richlin (UCLA) as 'the God-Emperor of Victorian Classics'. Patrick Leary is a historian based in Evanston, Illinois who has published widely on Victorian authorship and is currently in the last stage of completing a book on Punch for the University of Toronto Press; he is founder and manager of VICTORIA, the listserv for Victorian Studies.
Illustrations Photograph of Charles Astor Bristed Foreword by Patrick Leary Introduction by Christopher Stray Bibliography Original dedication Original preface 1. First Impressions of Cambridge  2. Some Preliminaries, Rather Egotistical but Very Necessary [1835-9] 3. Introduction to College Life 4. The Cantab Language 5. An American Student's First Impressions at Cambridge and on Cambridge 6. Freshman Temptations and Experiences 7. The Boat Race  8. A Trinity Supper Party  9. The May Examination  10. The First Long Vacation  11. The Second Year [1841-2] 12. Third Year [1842-3] 13. Private Tuition 14. Long Vacation Amusements  15. A Second Edition of Third Year [1843-4] 16. The Scholarship Examination  17. The Reading Party  18. Sawdust Pudding with Ballad Sauce  19. On the Razor's Edge [1844-5] 20. How I Came To Take a Degree  21. The Polloi and the Civil Law Classes 22. The Classical Tripos  23. A visit to Eton. English Public Schools 24. Being Extinguished  25. Reading for a Trinity Fellowship  26. The study of Theology at Cambridge 27. Recent Changes at Cambridge 28. The Cambridge System of Education in its Intellectual Results 29. Physical and Social Habits of Cambridge Men. Their Amusements, &c. 30. On the State of Morals and Religion in Cambridge 31. The Puseyite Disputes in Cambridge, and the Cambridge Camden Society 32. Inferiority of our Colleges and Universities in Scholarship 33. Supposed Counterbalancing Advantages of American Colleges 34. The Advantages of Classical Studies, Particularly in Reference to the Youth of our Country 35. What Can and Ought We To Do for our Colleges? Charles Astor Bristed 1820-1874: An annotated bibliography Index
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