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The Professor was Rex Warner’s second novel, published in 1938, only a year after his groundbreaking first novel, The Wild Goose Chase. It is one of the most extraordinary and enduring political novels from the 1930s and further confirmed Warner’s status as a major writer.
A Professor of Classics is appointed Chancellor of his (unnamed) country, under threat from both the government of a neighbouring country and its own fascist party. The Professor is a staunch believer in the liberal values his own country espouses but considers himself ‘above politics’, in contrast with his son, a revolutionary. The Professor’s conviction that he must not enter into the political arena means that he finds himself unable to defend his liberal beliefs, even as he and his country are thrown into chaos. The consequences are violent and shocking.
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