I just returned from a delightful tour of Exeter College conducted by Frances Carincross, the college's Rector. She was a most enthusiastic and gracious hostess, providing interesting background and context for the college, which was founded in 1314.
Most of the heavy historical lifting was left to John Maddicott, Head of Medieval History Studies at Exeter. I can't begin to recount all the details he spoke of. He is soon to retire, a fact which, understandably, causes Ms. Cairncross no end of anxiety.
We were accompanied on the tour by the Priscilla Tolkien. Ms. Tolkien is the only daughter and youngest of J.R.R. Tolkien's four children. It was delightful to hear her speak of her recollections of her father and of his experiences as a student at Exeter. Amazingly, she personally typed several of the early chapters of Lord of the Rings from her father's longhand; the ones, she says, she always remembers best. No wonder!
Great start to what promises to be an extraodinary few days.