Exploring the literary corridors

By | Travel
Celebrate all things literary at Oxford during the Oxford Literary Festival. Pic credit: spigoo via flickr

The famous University City, Oxford, will soon be hosting its annual Oxford Literary Festival from 22-30 March 2014, when over 350 writers will flock to this illustrious venue to celebrate all things literary.

With an exciting and intriguing programme of events lined up to suit all ages and interests, this is the perfect time to enjoy a great value vacation in the city.

Visitors to this nine-day event can enjoy guided literary walks, lunches and dinner parties with prominent authors. There will also be a festival bookshop, cafe, specialist pop up shops and various creative writing courses available for book buffs to enjoy. Also lined up is a fantastic list of speakers including thriller writer Robert Harris, previous Man Booker winner Ian McEwan and broadcast journalists Peter Snow and Jeremy Paxman.

Keeping in mind the growing popularity of children’s literature, the festival has also organized an exciting children’s program that will have Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, famed author Michael Morpurgo and everything from honey sandwich tea parties with Winnie the Pooh stories to a special birthday party for famed bunny ‘Miffy’ with plenty more stories, songs and games.

However, this literary fest is just one dimension of this famed University City that has over the past several years retained the position of one of the most attractive tourist places in England. For the older generation, Oxford is the third most honourable place among the oldest universities in the world (University of Bologna and University of Paris taking thefirst and second spot respectively), whereas for the youngsters, Oxford is the place that inhabits JK Rowling’s fictional wizards. Yet, beside its beautiful colleges with their ancient traditions and numerous references in popular films, there are also some curious and lesser known facts about this prestigious centre for learning. Read on and be enlightened…

Writers galore

If you are a fan of the Lion and the Witch from Chronicles of Narnia or the queer little hobbits from The Lord of the Rings or the adorable Alice from Alice in Wonderland, then you would be delighted to know that all these novel masterpieces were produced right here at Oxford. The city has more published writers per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Writers like CS Lewis, JRR Tolkein, Lewis Carroll and Colin Dexter are all best-selling authors having a link with Oxford.

Yes Prime Minister

Throughout its history, Oxford has produced gifted men and women in every sphere of human endeavour. The place has educated as many as 26 British Prime Ministers such as Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, including the current one, Honourable David Cameron.

Males only!

The first colleges of Oxford were built in the 13th century, yet due to the unceasing wrangle between the genders for their rights and duties, it was only in 1878 that women were admitted to the university to attend lectures and give examinations. Starting 1920 they were awarded degrees, and in the year 1974, the last of the all-male colleges opened their doors to women.

Inspiration behind the ‘Precious’

Apart from being the proud owner of a huge collection of stunning pieces of art such as Stradivari’s violin, Guy Fawkes’ lantern as well as ancient rings with inside engravings that reportedly inspired Tolkien for writing The Lord of the Rings, Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum was the first museum in the world to be opened to the public when it was officially opened in 1683.

Hitler’s connection

During the World War II, Hitler intended to use Oxford as his capital if he conquered England and this was one of the reasons he decided on sparing Oxford from being bombed.

Do you know more such lesser known interesting facts about Oxford? 


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