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Oxford (Oxford Paperbacks) de Jan Morris

Oxford (Oxford Paperbacks) (edição: 1988)

de Jan Morris (Autor)

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278574,680 (4.04)15
'Surely no one has ever celebrated any city with such fluent, persuasive and utterly charming prose as Jan Morris celebrates Oxford here.' -Scotsman
Título:Oxford (Oxford Paperbacks)
Autores:Jan Morris (Autor)
Informação:Oxford University Press (1988), Edition: Updated, 304 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:travel, essay

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Oxford de Jan Morris


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Exibindo 5 de 5
My visit to Oxford this week inspired me to read this book by journalist Jan Morris. The style is very similar to that of her book on Venice I read a few years ago - richly and evocatively written, almost dreamily stream of consciousness in places, a mixture of history, culture and travel guide. Originally written in the 1960s and revised in the 70s and 80s, and combined with her occasional vagueness on dates, I was unsure in places just when an event or anecdote described as recent actually happened. She focuses, inevitably, on the history of the University and its long and complicated relationship with the city (including being on opposing sides in the English Civil War, the university royalist, the city parliamentarian). At least when this book was written, almost a quarter of the city area was owned by the university and its colleges. The individual colleges have their own ethoses and traditions that have shaped their own history and that of the whole country and indeed the whole world, as, despite great differences in size and wealth, they have collectively produced such a huge proportion of the world's political, social and cultural elites for many centuries. Oxford is a city that has a timeless feel to it; while it is by no means the oldest city in England (early Medieval rather than Roman) it has never been burned down or bombed, so its records are particularly complete.

The book does in places start to read like a somewhat repetitive list of cultural artifacts and Oxonian connections from different walks of life. However, there are some contrasting and slightly refreshing non-academic links as well, such as those relating to the car industry and Cowley, trying to give a more rounded picture of the city. The text is spiced with many anecdotes, some of which I suspect are at least embellished. But the overall feel makes this a very enjoyable, albeit occasionally slightly irritating, accompaniment to a visit to this most English, but also internationally connected, of cities. ( )
  john257hopper | Oct 24, 2020 |
I rarely read travel books, but Jan Morris is a stellar writer. This book on the city of Oxford is beautifully written and captures its indefatigable character as well as its rich history. Early on, Morris gives us a nifty snapshot of its multicultural world as she sips her coffee in one of the market's coffee shops, describing the foppish students, cerebral dons, friendly immigrants, and the engineers from Cowley's motor factories. What marks Morris out is her competency in writing thoroughly comical passages alongside sentences of panoramic majesty, as well as her ability to fairly judge the city's character. Having watched a YouTube interview with Morris, I was particularly taken with the way in which she gauges a city's friendliness: by simply smiling at those around her and gauging the response. I had never heard of Morris before, but clearly she is a master of the craft. Thoroughly recommended. [NB I note that other reviewers seem to be confused by Morris' name. She is a trans woman, and was published under her birth name, James Morris, until 1964. I'd be interested to read her account of her transition: Conundrum (1974).] ( )
  m-andrews | Nov 3, 2015 |
The copy of the book I read said it was authored by James Morris not Jan. Oh well, mysteries of life and all that.

The book presents Oxford warts and all but obviously the author loves the place. The book is well out of date and the surroundings of Oxford are probably much changed in 55 years. I wish I could go and see what it is like now.

But if you want a brief history of Oxford then this will do. The writing is a little journalistic but not bad. I can recommend it. ( )
  xenchu | Mar 27, 2010 |
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. ( )
  LaurieRKing | Mar 10, 2010 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Morris, Janautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Morris, MarkEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The Oxford Book of Oxford and Oxford are entirely different works, though the latter is indeed published by the Oxford University Press.
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'Surely no one has ever celebrated any city with such fluent, persuasive and utterly charming prose as Jan Morris celebrates Oxford here.' -Scotsman

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