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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  66 ratings  ·  7 reviews
An account of the character, history, mores, buildings, climate, and people of one of Britain's most fascinating cities. This book is intended for all those interested in the local history, culture, and architecture of Oxford, especially visitors to Oxford.
Paperback, 282 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1965)
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Having enjoyed Morris's charm and wit at a roundtable discussion I attended at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival a few years ago, I was delighted to receive this as a Christmas present having only comparatively recently arrived to live in Oxford.

It's a marvellous overview of the famous city with rich historical research entertainingly interwoven with juicy anecdotes. It's staggering that this relatively small town of 150,000 has come to have had such influence - not that this is always a good thi
When is a guidebook like a historical novel, rich in texture and human nature? When it's by Jan Morris--this time of Oxford, and as much memoir as guide.
Jul 02, 2009 H added it
Shelves: nonfiction
Just a big dump of research, with some pretty prose about the locale. Took two weeks to finish the book.

I'll take a leap and say that it's also uncompelling because the place itself has seen no wars; even Hitler resisted bombing Oxford because he cherished it so much. That means it's a mostly preserved historic site of culture without much change or conflict. That's great for the city, but maybe not so much for a book about it. Where's history without the story arc?
Daisy Watt
Jan Morris' book on Oxford is informative and a pleasure to read. After living in Oxford for three years I still had a lot to learn about the city, and for me her account of the history (and particularly the religious past) of both Town and Gown was especially eye opening.

Besides facts and figures, though, I have appreciated Morris more in Oxford and Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere for her extraordinary gift for depicting places. There are moments in Oxford when she captures the feel of the c
Andrew Darling
If only I could live my life over again; not arse about at school doing no work; get enough exam passes and self-confidence to study at Oxford; there to enjoy exchanges like the one Jan Morris describes in this gorgeous book. Dining one day with a distinguished botanist at an Oxford college, she offered to pass him the dish of parsnips; he politely declined, explaining that 'he seldom ate umbelliferae'.
Andrea Fuller
Very well written. I was a history major so I read a lot of dry history books, this was the exact opposite. The author's writing style is so wonderful I could see what she was writing about and learning at the same time. I highly recommend!
Pat Smith
Jan Morris is a fine travel writer who lives in Oxford, England. In this book she gives a description of Oxford and its environs as well information about its history and comments about the university and some of its excentrics.
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Jan Morris previously wrote under the name "James Morris".

Jan Morris is a British historian, author and travel writer. Morris was educated at Lancing College, West Sussex, and Christ Church, Oxford, but is Welsh by heritage and adoption. Before 1970 Morris published under her former name, "James Morris", and is known particularly for the Pax Britannica trilogy, a history of the British Empire, and
More about Jan Morris...
Venice Trieste and The Meaning of Nowhere Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress (The Pax Britannica Trilogy, #1) Conundrum Pax Britannica: Climax of an Empire

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