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The oldest of all Oxford and Cambridge colleges, Merton College enjoys a distinguished past that reflects many of the most significant moments in British history, including the Black Death and the Civil War. These and other crucial events are explored with wit and insight in White's chronicle of the college, first published in 1906. A biblical scholar, White was made a fellow and lecturer in theology at Merton in 1895, where he stayed until his promotion to Dean of Christ Church in 1905. Even after his departure, he remained intrigued by the history and customs of his old college and was eager to share his knowledge outside the academic community. Worldly as well as scholarly, White always intended his volume to be accessible to a wide audience, describing it in his preface as a 'popular handbook' rather than a scholarly tome; a function it continues to fulfil today.