‘Classics today has become unhelpfully tangled up in a mess of class issues. It is associated on the one hand with a lost “traditional” education falsely supposed to be more rigorous and testing than that normally offered today.
‘On the other extreme, it’s viewed as a pointless study of dead civilisations offering no practical skills and fit only for toffs.
‘Classics, of course, is neither of these things. Rather, it’s a subject that opens up an astonishing imaginative and intellectual realm.
‘I can’t imagine life without the classical education I was lucky enough to receive, in which my interior world was richly stimulated by Homer and Sappho and Catullus and Virgil and Ovid. I want to see as many schoolchildren as possible also given the keys to that great treasury.’