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At Large

by Arthur Christopher Benson

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Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925) was a British essayist, poet and author. He was one of six children of Edward White Benson, a late nineteenth-century Archbishop of Canterbury. The Benson family were exceptionally literate and accomplished, but their history was somewhat tragic. A son and daughter died young, and another daughter, as well as Benson himself, suffered badly from a mental condition that was probably manic-depressive psychosis. Despite his illness, Benson was a distinguished academic and a most prolific author. He was associated with Eton College, and was Master of Magdalene College of Cambridge University. His poems and volumes of essays, such as From a College Window (1906), were famous in his day, and he left one of the longest diaries ever written, some four million words.

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"Yes, of course it is an experiment! But it is made in corpore vili. It is not irreparable, and there is no reason, more's the pity, why I should not please myself. I will ask - it is a rhetorical question which needs no answer - what is a hapless bachelor to do, who is professionally occupied and tied down in a certain place for just half the year? What is he to do with the other half? I cannot live on in my college rooms, and I am not compelled to do so for economy."



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