Bushy eyebrows, a gorilla suit and a busty student

September 8, 2006

A Campus Conspiracy' s publisher makes explicit that St Sebastian University does not exist. Any resemblance of characters (including the busty daughter of the bra manufacturer) to real people is entirely coincidental. But some of the university's characteristics may seem familiarn

It is located "very near" London in a Cathedral city. It has ten departments but no faculties, which were recently abolished by the vice-chancellor, a "ruthless cost-cutter"

  • St Sebastian's vice-chancellor, Oliver Barraclough, drives "a black Jaguar saloon" and makes an "imposing, balding figure with bushy eyebrows".
    His office, overlooking the cathedral, is "freshly painted a sickly pale green" and has "acres of emerald green carpet"
  • About 10 miles from campus is the Goat and Goose Hotel, which is found in "a small, picturesque village that was frequently used by the BBC for historical dramas" and has "astronomic" prices. The village green is surrounded by timber-frame houses
  • The campus features the ubiquitous "great hall" with "oak-panelled" walls and portraits of past vice-chancellors
  • The dean of hero Harry Gilbert's department sees her professorial inaugural lecture sabotaged by a colleague who hires "a huge man wearing a hairy brown gorilla costume" to interrupt proceedings. The author assures The Times Higher this may offer a clue about St Sebastian's real-life inspiration.

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