Match point

Wimbledon is upon us. So what links Andy Murray with Lewis Carroll and George W. Bush? The magic of Oxford as World Book Capital (keep your fingers crossed!) could bring them together. Carroll was a significant Oxford mathematician and he noticed that in a normal tennis tournament the prizes don’t always go to the best. … Continue reading

Publishers in Oxford

It is easy to see why Oxford is the second largest hotspot for publishers after London: only an hour away from the capital, with a literary and academic background that is hard to rival, the city has countless publishers of all kinds, perhaps the most renowned being that of its famous university ‘Oxford University Press’ … Continue reading


One of Oxford’s greatest bookstores is undoubtedly Blackwell’s, whose name has long been synonymous with the city and its unrivalled academia. Whilst the chain now owns flagship shops in Cambridge, London Charing Cross Road and Edinburgh South Bridge, it was Oxford’s Broad Street in which Benjamin Henry Blackwell opened his first ever store in January 1879. In those … Continue reading

Oxford World Book Capital 2014

Hello again Oxford World Bookers, sorry for such a long absence – holidays and work experience following that have meant no time whatsoever to devote to the blog – but I’m pleased to say I’m back again and ready to do some last-minute posts on why Oxford deserves to win before UNESCO’s decision in early … Continue reading


Last week I was privileged to be in the audience when Aung San Suu Kyi received her honorary degree from Oxford in the magnificent setting, full of pomp and ceremony, of the Sheldonian Theatre. Not the least part of the occasion is the celebration of language. The formal proceedings are conducted in Latin, until the Public … Continue reading


Es brillig war. Die schlichte Toven Wirrten und wimmelten in Waben; Und aller-mümsige Burggoven Die mohmen Räth’ ausgraben. Even if you can’t speak German I bet you can tell what that is a translation of. And if you’re still struggling the wonderfully Germanic ‘Banderschnätzchen’ in the next verse should give it away.  It is of … Continue reading

The Hedgehog and the Fox

Over six hundred years ago Oxford University had its first library – in an upper room in the University church of St Mary the Virgin (now, less grandiosely, above the café in the church). Just over sixty years ago a group of people met together in the same room to form the Oxford Committee for … Continue reading

Oxford Fiction – A Round Up!

Oxford English Dictionary

With the bid decision drawing close, I thought a last post to round up some great Oxford fiction would be in order as I go on holiday tomorrow for a fortnight: when I return, there won’t be long left until the verdict so some supporting information about the city in general and why we deserve … Continue reading

Eagle and Child and The Inklings

As a city with such a rich literary history, it is inevitable that there are countless places dotted around Oxford which boast a bookish background, some of which may not be so obvious. One of the best examples of this is the Eagle and Child pub on St Giles, meeting place for the infamous Inklings … Continue reading

Imagination unbound

‘Unbound’ has all sorts of nuances and  can lead the imagination off in all sorts of directions – which is of course partly why we put it into our theme for the year! Our fourth strand looks at taking the book out of its pages and putting it into other media – plays, films, exhibitions, … Continue reading

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