Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Oxford - Part One

From one literary place to the next, I am now in Oxford - home to influential figures such as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Philip Pullman and Richard Dawkins. The city is a sandstone jungle, its streets alive with crowds of young (presumably) students. At its centre is the University of Oxford - the oldest university in the English-speaking world at 920 years old. I'll be venturing onto its hallowed halls tomorrow, but first...

To the pub!
Not just any pub, the Eagle and Child was, from the early 1930s to 1949, the home of the Inklings - a group of literary enthusiasts and writers who would meet every Tuesday. At their meetings, they would discuss, in particular, the writing of fantasy fiction, and amongst its members were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Indeed, it would have been in this space that people were first exposed to the world of Middle Earth, in early drafts of The Lord of the Rings.
I then jumped on a bus to the nearby cemetary in Wolvercote, to pay my respects to Tolkien's final resting place.

It's quite a nice cemetary - there were bunnies bounding around the grounds, which I thought was cute - until I saw one disappear into a grave. So, if the zombie apocalypse starts in Oxford, I'm pretty sure the bunnies will be the ones to blame...