Kathleen Fitzpatrick wanted to be an actress. Instead, she became a famous lecturer and teacher in the History Department at the University of Melbourne, and in one of the frequent revealing asides in her memoir implies that perhaps this fact explained her ability as an inspiring lecturer.
I say ‘implies’ because the author is far too decent and modest to assert that her most profound influence on undergraduates probably lay in ability to enthuse her listener, pens poised, washed ears at the alert. It does not matter that many of her audience would not have understood the patrician lecturer’s origins and background. At that level of education it never does.