5 Jul 2003, Φ Birmingham & Oxford

1.-5.7.03 Birmingham & Oxford

2.7.03 Birmingham: Barber Institute (CL)

2.-3.7.03 Birmingham: Workshop “HIA evaluation”

3.-4.7.03 Oxford, incl

  • Ashmolean (CL: drawings, paintings)
  • Radcliffe Square
  • Carfax Tower
  • Christ Church College (Meadow building; Cloister; Dining Hall; Cathedral (incl. Shrine of St. Frideswide; Becket window); statue of Mercury; Library; Peckwater Quad; Picture Gallery. – Alice’s; Ruskin; Verfilmung der Geschichte vom kleinen Zauberlehrling
  • Covered Market

5.7.03 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Excerpt from:

John Dougill (2002): Oxford. A literary guide. Oxface Publications, Oxford [erworben 4.7.2003]

pp.1-2 ‘That sweet city with her dreaming spires’ [History]:

  • Beginnings: By the early eleventh century, Oxford had become the biggest city outside London… The Prologue of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (c. 1387) includes a Clerke of Oxenforde …
  • The English Athens: The medieval university was religious in essence … With the Elizabethan renaissance, writers celebrated the well-being of the country in expansive terms… Dan Rogers declared that, ‘lf God Himself on earth abode would make / He Oxford, sure, would for his dwelling take’ …
  • Reason to reform: From the late seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century, the English Athens’ sat back on its laurels. The university became insular, elitist … it was only with the reforms of the 1850s and 1870s, forced on the university by parliament, that Oxford emerged from the Middle Ages.
  • The Oxford Novel and the Oxford Myth: Since 1823, over 550 novels have been set or partly set in Oxford … Most are by former students, idealising their student days. Pre-reform Oxford … there had developed a cult Oxford, which championed the city as a citadel of truth and beauty… 1865 … Oxford’s annus mirabilis … Lewis Carroll wrote of a ‘dream-child’ in the transmogrified Oxford of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Oxford became a golden city of the imagination …
  • Modern Oxford: … the city has continued to attract writers, and the fictional worlds of academic figures such as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S.Lewis … captivated the wider world…

pp.3 ff Colleges etc.

  • All Souls College (1438): T.E. Lawrence (1888-1933), Lawrence of Arabia
  • Balliol College (1263): Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) … Graham Greene (1904-91)
  • Broad Street: The Oxford Martyrs
  • Christ Church (1546): Charles Dodgson (“Lewis Carroll”) (1832-98), Christ Church mathematician(Alice: Alice Liddell); John Ruskin (1819-1900), influential art critic
  • Exeter College (1314): William Morris (1834-96)
  • Holywell Cemetery, Graves: Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932) (Wind in the willows); Theophilius carter, the original “Mad Hatter”
  • Magdalen College (1458): Oscar Wilde (1854-1900); C.S.Lewis (1898-1963), convert, “Christian apologist”, 1950: “The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe”; The Inklings … From 1931 a group of writers met Thursday evenings in Lewis’ rooms … It was here that Tolkien first read out The Hobbit (1937) … They shared a love of walks, word games and riddles. … Out of their Beowulf and Beer evenings emerged Middle Earth and Narnia…
  • Merton (1264): J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) … a world expert on Beowulf. … Tolkien: “I am a hobbit in all but size. I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands. I smoke a pipe and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking. I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour… I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much.” – “Hobbits are an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more numerous formerly than they are today; for they love peace and quiet and good tilled earth: a well-ordered and well-farmed countryside was their favourite haunt…” (Lord of the Rings preface).
  • Tolkien trail: 5 houses, 3 colleges, inkling meetings, grave
  • Pembroke College (1624): Samuel Johnson (1709-84)
  • Radcliffe Square / Bodleian Library (1602)
  • Somerville College (1879): (Mrs. Thatcher; Indira Ghandi) Iris Murdoch (1919-1999), novelist
  • University College (1249): P.B.Shelley (1792-1822)
  • Worcester College (1714): Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859)