Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford’s World Book Capital Bid

The World Book Capital is an annual award granted by UNESCO which acknowledges the best year-long programme proposed by a city to promote books and foster reading. Oxford’s bid is for the year from April 2014 to April 2015, but the winner of this bid will be announced in 2012. Oxford has unparalleled resources and a world … Continue reading

A treasure shared

If you walk along Broad Street in Oxford at present you’ll come across an A-to-Z of the Bodleian’s treasures on the hoardings shrouding the New Bodleian while it undergoes its transformation. L is for Le Carré, whose characters deal in secret knowledge. (Artwork Sophie Durand) But knowledge is a funny thing. If I share my … Continue reading

Oxford fiction

Following on from the previous post about fiction set in Oxford, how about reading The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez? Here is an example of where the book is better than the film. This is from a review by Marcus du Sautoy in the Guardian at the time of publication: In The Oxford Murders, mathematical symbols … Continue reading

What price information?

We live in interesting times. In the purportedly Chinese wish this is more a curse than a blessing. Everyone who joins the Bodleian has to affirm that they won’t ‘kindle a fire in the Library’. That still holds, but now you can fire up your Kindle in it. If you can carry them all on … Continue reading

Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford Fiction – A Round Up!

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

Brideshead Revisited

Another Oxfordian classic which deals with class from a completely different perspective to Hardy’s ‘Jude the Obscure’ is Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Brideshead Revisited,’ whose upper-class protagonist, unlike Jude, did indeed have the opportunity to study at Oxford. Again weaving issues of class, marriage and religion, ‘Brideshead Revisited’ shares a further similarity with ‘Jude’ in its somewhat … Continue reading

Bringing reading to life

It’s brilliant to see children meet their favourite author or illustrator: it creates such a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and of course they come up with some great questions!   You can immediately tell that it helps reading come alive for them. OUP children’s authors and illustrators are taking part in a series of events as part of the … Continue reading

Jude the Obscure

Set in Christminster, a fictional town modelled on Oxford, Thomas Hardy’s ‘Jude the Obscure’ is yet another classic that takes the city of dreaming spires as its inspiration. Widely considered one of the most depressing, the novel intertwines suicide, murder and the severe consequences of religious constrictions and was publicly burned in its time for … Continue reading

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