OK, I had been planning to keep my fannish activities and my medieval blogging as separate as is humanly possible, but here I am with a question that, really, the medievalist blogosphere stands a much better chance of answering than anyone in fandom.
As a present for a friend who is both a medievalist and a Narnia fan, I’m working on a short piece using Digory/The Professor. Because a) I like to show off my obscure knowledge and b) it’s actually a cool idea, I’m trying to write a scene in which Digory encounters the Old English Bede’s version of the story of Caedmon. The “Sing me Creation” line, and all the resonances between that and the creation of Narnia, is just too good to pass over.
The question is: would he have been learning OE at school or at university? Was Old English taught in (elite) British schools in the early 1900s?
Anyone out there know anything about the history of British education and/or the history of Old English in British schools?