Literary Oxford #1

Posted 26 May, 2016 by Rinn in Misc. / 10 Comments


One of my plans when I moved to Oxford at the end of July last year was to start a new feature on Literary Oxford. Being the inspiration for so many novels, whether it is represented as itself or disguised as a fictional city, Oxford has a rich history in the literary world.

But alas, my job got in the way. As some of you may know from the personal post I shared a couple of months ago, I was not in a good place there. But now I have a new job, I’m a lot happier, I get weekends off and my feet don’t hurt ALL the time, so I actually want to go out on my days off! Plus, we’re heading into summer so hopefully the weather will be getting better.

Anyway, my idea for this feature was to visit a literary location in Oxford, take some snaps and chat about it a bit. Here’s my list of possible places to visit, and I’d love to hear some suggestions if you have any!

  • J.R.R. Tolkien: his house on Northmoor Road, The Eagle and Child pub where he used to meet C.S. Lewis, Exeter College where he used to teach, Wolvercote Cemetery where Tolkien and his wife are buried
  • Evelyn Waugh: Hertford College where he used to teach, Christ Church College which is featured in Brideshead Revisited
  • Lewis Carroll: Magdalen College where he used to teach, Christ Church College and Meadow
  • Philip Pullman: Exeter College, the inspiration for Jordan College from his His Dark Materials series, Will & Lyra’s bench in the Botanical Gardens
  • Colin Dexter: so many locations to do with the Inspector Morse series, including the Pitt Rivers Museum, Jericho and Park Town
  • J.K. Rowling: more so to do with the films than Rowling’s own work, but Christ Church dining hall, the Divinity School, Duke Humphrey’s Library at the Bodleian
  • Aldous Huxley: Balliol College
  • Oscar Wilde: Magdalen College

Do you have any suggestions for literary figures or locations I can visit?

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10 responses to “Literary Oxford #1

  1. I’m planning to visit Tolkien’s home, grave and Eagle and Child Pub. Great itinerary and I’m looking forward to your post about the visit.

    • Sadly the Eagle and Child isn’t great – it has been taken over by a chain so doesn’t have that cosy pub feel any more. šŸ™

    • Thanks Aloi! I still need to actually read Northern Lights… I tried 2 or 3 times when I was younger but it just didn’t work for me. I’m sure I’d enjoy it now though.

  2. cristal punnett

    Ian Pears who wrote Arcadia (which is a wonderful fantasy novel, one of this year’s Clarke finalists) lives in Oxford, and several places are mentioned in his book.

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