A Cup of Tea for Mr. Thorgill

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First published in 1957, this astonishing novel describes a seductive world in which the action of the story unfolds: cultivated, privileged, secure, the close-knit world of an Oxford college, epitomized by the Master and the Master's house, a haven of good taste, intelligence and aristocratic nonconformity. With one or two exceptions, its inhabitants would - if they were to thank God for anything - thank Him that they are not as other men. Yet these are not stonyhearted snobs; they have accepted an outsider - Nevil Rigden, product of a city slum. He is a friend to the great Thomas Paget, husband to Paget's sister, and he stands high in the Master's favour. Bemused by elegance, urbanity and intellect, we discover with shock and then with horror the web of abomination being spun, inexorably, fatally, within this charmed - and charming - circle. No one can read this story unshaken.