This is the autobiography of a working-class boy who became an Oxford professor. A.H. Halsey was born in Kentish Town, London, in 1923 - a railway child in a large clan. The family moved in 1926 to Rutland and then to Northamptonshire because the father had been wounded in the Great War. Halsey 'won the scholarship' to Kettering Grammar School in 1933, left school at 16, went into the RAF as a pilot cadet. The metaphor of travel through time and space is maintained throughout this autobiography. The story begins with daily walks past canal boats in Oxford, flashes to the Pacific to Hong Kong and China, and then to a glimpse of death in the John Radcliffe Hospital, promising to explain the whole journey from a council housing estate to a professorial chair at Oxford.