Tag Archives: Oxford

Tolkien at Exeter College: Birth of a legend

In which I blow my own trumpet… When you picture J.R.R. Tolkien, it’s probably as a member of Oxford’s Inklings, writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in the 1930s and ’40s, or in old age when fame … Continue reading

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Teaching Tolkien in Las Vegas

Vegas brought out my worst vices. Handed carte blanche to indulge recklessly and obscenely for twelve months, I borrowed books from the university library in such numbers that when it came to returning them, I had to use a suitcase. I even … Continue reading

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Fanfare for the common prof

Review: John Carey, The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books (Faber. ISBN 9780571310920) My first encounter with John Carey was hearing him on Dickens at the St Cross Building – the English Faculty at Oxford University. His Violent Effigy … Continue reading

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Assuming Character: Oxford’s new Story Museum

Facing a big throne nestled among an array of trumpety horns, the boy holds up a slotted board filled with words from a fantastical pick’n’mix. He steps up and perches on the cushioned seat. Trumpets blare. A voice announces: ‘Presenting … Continue reading

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A celebration of words: The Oxford Literary Festival 2014

Christ Church dining hall, a model for the one at Hogwarts, rings out with the chants of children chanting ‘Set him free!’ Enter a hooded, robed figure — not Dumbledore, but an even more senior wizard, released briefly from enchanted … Continue reading

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