Welcome to the insane and rarified world of Professor Dr Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology. Von Igelfeld is engaged in a never-ending quest to win the respect he feels certain he is due—a quest that has a tendency to go hilariously astray.
This time Professor Dr Dr von Igelfeld will have to take on a dangerous newcomer—Deputy Librarian Dr Hilda Schreiber-Ziegler. Swept in on a wave of progressive enthusiasm, she seems determined to drag the department into the modern age. At first this is a minor nuisance, but when Dr Schreiber-Ziegler attempts to remove twenty-one of the twenty-two copies of Professor Dr Dr von Igelfeld’s seminal work, the thousand-page Portuguese Irregular Verbs . . . Well, things have gone a bit too far. As a result, von Igelfeld mounts a campaign for the exalted position of director of the Institute against none other than the upstart Dr Schreiber-Ziegler herself. But the politicking will have to wait; von Igelfeld has been offered a visiting fellowship among the ivory towers of Oxford, where he will have to stave off an MI6 recruitment attempt and the effusive attention of a young American scholar. Still, von Igelfeld has always heeded the clarion call of duty, especially when it comes with a larger office.