[Written over the Atlantic on Saturday 10/20]
Cambridge and Oxford are both formed of a group of colleges with powerful historical identities and constituencies, all working together to make a larger university. (American universities are often modeled on a similar structure, but with much stronger central administration, the divisions being set up for administration reasons, the reverse of the Oxbridge tradition.)
One of the few places one can see a Cambridge college without paying several pounds to enter is Trinity College, the college that schooled Isaac Newton, Ralph Vaughan Williams, A. E. Housman, and the Prince of Wales, to name a few illustrious alumni. I spent about 30 minutes in the antechapel on Thursday, looking at the tributes and plaques. Truth be told, I was really looking for William Wilberforce’s grave, one that I did not find. (Wilberforce, an early 19th-century British prime minister, is known for abolishing slavery in the British Isles.)
Had I not been returning to London for the LSO concert, I would have stayed in Cambridge much later and attended Evensong at King’s, then dashed down Trinity Street to St. John’s for a Eucharist for the Feast of St. Luke. I could also have attended Eucharist at Trinity, Evensong at Clare College, and at least three other services that day in Cambridge.