In her garden, close next to the house that Albert Einstein had once called home, Solveig Lucia Gold was preparing the place settings for dinner. Her property is comprised of a sprawling meadow of emerald green grass that slopes gently down to a stone-floored blacksmith’s cottage dating back to the 18th century that serves as her home office.
The majority of the attendees were far older than Ms. Gold. This included the 52-year-old Dr. Katz, who had been her lecturer in the past. They tied the knot in July of last year, which was four years after she graduated from Princeton with a summa cum laude degree in classics and one year after Dr. Katz started his public struggle with the campus left.
The pair dove headfirst into the cultural wars, which Ms. Gold claims was typical of her but not of him since he was a low-key professor whom everyone loved and who had never caused a stir at the institution where he had worked since 1998.
The conflict started on July 4, 2020, when a group of Princeton professors sent a letter to the president of the university. In the letter, they demanded that the university take action against its long-standing racism. It said, “Anti-Blackness is essential to America.” [Citation needed]
After those four days had passed, Dr. Katz gave his response in the form of a manifesto titled “A Declaration of Independence by a Princeton Professor.” It was published in Quillette, which is a kind of house organ for the so-called Intellectual Dark Web. He objected to the planned alterations, stating that they would “cause civil war on campus and further weaken public faith in how top institutions of higher education function.”
It just so happens that when Ms. Gold was a student at Princeton, she was involved in the formation of a group known as the Princeton Open Campus Coalition. This organization’s mission was to work specifically against the demands of the Black Justice League.
When it was revealed that the Princeton professor who had lost his job due to having a connection with one former student was now married to another former student, there was a certain level of prurient intrigue that accompanied the news. Ms. Gold does not avoid the subject at all. On her Twitter account, her avatar is a photograph of her in a wedding dress, and the background image is of her posing with a group of academics from Princeton, one of whom is her husband.
She did a meticulous job of setting the large rectangular table on the grass with a tablecloth in the colour scheme of Wedgewood blue and white, linen napkins tied with yellow ribbons, place cards written in elegant cursive handwriting, and melamine dishes decorated with a Provencal motif. She was raised by her mother, an actress, and her father, a soap opera writer, thus she was an only child, and according to her, she had a very traditional education from an early age. Ms. Gold shared her story, “My mom had a lot of dinner parties, and as a result, I ended myself chatting to grownups.”
She had Dr. Katz as a professor in two different subjects, Egyptology and Hesiod, and he was also her freshman advisor, but she said that there was no possibility of a romantic relationship between them until the summer of her senior year of high school (2017), and even then, it was a slow burn. He wasn’t her type, what with his being a Democrat and all, not to mention the fact that he was a pleasantly paunchy middle-aged guy.
According to what he claimed, the coal miners of Professor George’s family in West Virginia believed in Jesus, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Democratic Party, and the United Mine Workers of America. He presented himself to the party sporting a dapper off-white three-piece suit and with a bottle of 1997 Meursault.
Throughout the pandemic, Professor George has been serving as the moderator of a Zoom meeting that is held nearly every week and is referred to as “the Friday Group.” This is a gathering of approximately thirty people, the majority of whom are professors but also alumni, such as Ms. Gold, and some students, who get together to socialise and discuss potential restrictions on academic freedom.
Ms. Gold said that despite the fact that she had previously expressed unpopular views without suffering the consequences of doing so, she was not prepared for the magnitude of the criticism that her husband received. For example, while she was an undergraduate, she penned an article in which she criticised the Women’s March for only allowing those who supported abortion rights to speak at its events. She explains this newfound attitude of hatred to a culture of lock-step thinking that was introduced by Gen Z, the group that followed her generation straight after her.
Ms. Gold said that she had previously had the ambition to be a hybrid of Professor George and Mary Beard, an iconoclastic popularizer of classics who taught at Cambridge University. Now that she has more experience, she is less certain that she will have a successful career in academia, but she would still want to write on important societal problems.
They are going to begin their search for a new home in Washington, District of Columbia, which is the location of Dr. Katz’s fellowship at the American Enterprise Institute. His wife said that “somehow one thing led to another,” and he eventually found himself in the situation that she had envisioned for herself.