Letter: 'Lady Chatterley' in the courtroom

Click to follow
From Mr Geoffrey Stuttard

Sir: A positive side of F. R. Leavis's judgement was in his encouragement to his students not to make a career in English studies, but to use the studies as a base from which to leap in interesting directions - by taking the Part II of their degree in another discipline. Hence, for example, Godfrey Lienhardt leapt into anthropology and an eventual chair in the subject at Oxford, and I changed to history and a career in industrial relations.

Would I have been taking Ford shop stewards, at their request, through Plato's Republic without my Leavisean background, or have been able to oversee a discussion of Dr Zhivago between London dockers and the Russian Labour attache?

A survey of what happened to Leavis's students might provide fascinating results.

Yours etc,

Geoffrey Stuttard

Chigwell, Essex

The writer is sometime senior lecturer in industrial relations, University of London, and arbitrator for Acas.