This is the third novel in the Oxford quintet entitled ‘Staircase in Surrey’. Duncan Pattullo returns in middle age to his old college. The Provost is heavily engaged in trying to secure a benefaction from a charitable trust which the old and outrageous Cedric Mumford influences. One significant complication is the presence in college of Ivo Mumford, Cedric’s grandson. He is badly behaved and far from a credit to the college. His magazine, ‘Priapus’ proves to be wholly objectionable. Stewart explores the nature of the complicated relationships between the characters with his usual wit, literary style and intellectual precision and turns what might otherwise be a very common and ordinary situation into something that will grip the reader from cover to cover.