Singing professor

May 26, 1995

Given the bout of war nostalgia there is an understandable tendency to look back on a period of apparent social solidarity, self-sacrifice and other desirable communal values. But whether regard for higher education was also a characteristic of this period is placed in some doubt by singer Anne Shelton's memories of the way her BBC career started, reported in Mavis Nicholson's What Did you Do In the War, Mummy? Women in World War II (1995):

"My mummy took me (to an audition at the BBC) because she really wanted me to sing. She thought it was a wicked waste, since God had given me a gift, not to use it. I mean if I hadn't - what was I going to be . . . a professor of history at Oxford or Cambridge because I was very interested in history, and always got full marks? I don't think I would have been much good to the world, though. There's enough of those."

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