Jonathan Meades

The Pen & the Spade

Time’s Anvil: England, Archaeology and the Imagination


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 466pp £25 order from our bookshop

When Hugh Trevor-Roper, lately ennobled as Lord Dacre of Glanton, was appointed ‘Master of a Cambridge college’ in 1980 – it was Peterhouse, which has a significance Richard Morris ignores – he expressed to a colleague, the sometime television archaeologist Glyn Daniel, what appears to have been a scornful and effete surprise that archaeology should be an honours subject at that university when it was not so at Oxford. No matter that it is rash to take a bitchy ironist such as Trevor-Roper too literally; Morris does so, for he is a member, perhaps the leader, of archaeology’s militant tendency. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter