30.05.02 – Thursday
At Oxford his personality expanded and developed in a remarkable way. Never in the strict sense of the word a clever man—even by the academic standard (he took only a third in Mods. and a second in Greats, and worked hard for them, too)—he became an extraordinarily well-educated one. His passion for literature was intense. He was one of those rare individuals who actually liked reading the really great men. It is always something of a shock to find a man reading Milton and Spenser, Homer and Lucretius, Shakespeare and Chaucer for fun, but West read them all and liked them. It was all of a piece with his discriminating literary judgment that he disliked Virgil intensely.
— C.[E.M.] J[oad] — p. x from the intro. to A. G. West’s The Diary of a Dead Officer