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by Jan Morris
ISBN 0192820656 / 9780192820655 / 0-19-282065-6
Publisher Oxford Univ Pr
List price $13.95
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King James I once said that if he were not a king he would like to be an Oxford man. "I was a modest, good-humoured boy," Max Beerbohm wrote, "it is Oxford that has made me insufferable." "Few cities," Jan Morris observes, "have been more loved, loathed, and celebrated."
This classic volume--now in its third edition--recounts the character, history, mores, buildings, climate, and people of an uncategorizable city. Exploring this ancient British crossroads beside the Thames, Jan Morris--a distinguished travel writer and novelist--focuses on the richly-mixed heritage of city and University, replete with ongoing battles between "Town and Gown." She investigates the spirit and pride of each individual Oxford college; offers detailed descriptions of the flora and fauna, especially in the Oxford Botanical Garden, the oldest of its kind in Great Britain; depicts the pleasures and recreations, as well as the education and scholarship, of the students; and traces the city and the University's Christian roots. Her witty prose reveals the Oxford which gave the world the MG sports car and educated twenty-two British Prime Ministers.
This newly revised edition brings up to date a portrait of a small city which has given its name to a marmalade, bags, a gray, shoes, a Group, a Movement, a dictionary, and an accent. [via]