College (ETW building)
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A college offers an academic education – a veneer of civilized sophistication – to the sons of the aristocracy and gentry.
A college education is expensive, and there are few charity-funded places or scholarships for the less socially fortunate. It is a privileged man who goes to college: money or patronage are needed more than intellect. Although there is discussion and teaching of the radical ideas of science and philosophy to the students, the college masters are likely to have a conservative outlook. Most of the students are the same: they are from the top rungs of society’s ladder, and they have little interest in seeing the natural “status quo” altered.
Historically, attending college was probably the most boring element in the education of “young gentlemen”, although the actual work required was not that arduous. The “Grand Tour” became fashionable during the 18th Century, when the rich would wander Italy (Greece being an Ottoman possession), taking in the sites of Antiquity and the great works of the Renaissance. In the process they would spend a fortune on Classic-period statuary and relics, paintings by the great masters, and anything else that took their fancy. Quite reasonably, the less aesthetically refined, but well funded, would seek an exotic “education” in local taverns and bawdyhouses!