Doomsday Book Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the policy about sending historians to the medieval period and how is the department getting around the policy?

The policy has been not to send historians to the medieval period because of the danger to the historian, but the head of the department, Mr. Basingame, is out of town and has left a faculty member named Gilchrist in charge. Gilchrist summarily reduces the ranking of the time period and schedules Kivrin's trip.

2. Describe James Dunworthy.

A historian and teacher at Oxford, Dunworthy is Kivrin's unofficial tutor and worries greatly over her decision to travel into the 1300s and of Gilchrist's decision to allow it. Dunworthy tries in vain to reach the head of the college to prevent the trip, but is unsuccessful and so goes to see Kivrin off. While he tries to convince himself that nothing will happen to Kivin, problems begin in his own time, and Dunworthy spends hours dealing with an array of issues, ranging from angry American bell ringers to purchasing gifts for the great-nephew of his good friend, Mary Ahrens.

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