Saturday, December 11, 2021

An Oxford Fantasy Writers Walking Tour

So, a few days ago I noticed on the Bodleian's site this notice about tours they host focused on famous fantasy writers associated with Oxford: Tolkien, Lewis, Pullman, and Carroll. An interesting selection, and one that made me wonder if, just as at one point we got books on the 'Oxford Christians' (JRRT, CSL, & CW), we might at some point get these four linked together thematically in some way.* They'd have to come up with a new name for such a group, though, since with Philip P it cd hardly be called Xian.  Simply 'Oxford Fantasists' perhaps?

*I wdn't be surprised if someone has done a dissertation on the topic already


Oxford’s Fantasy Worlds

From Middle Earth to Narnia, Wonderland to Lyra’s world (and beyond!), join our qualified tour guides on an entertaining family walk around the streets of Oxford.

Explore the city that helped shape some of the most unforgettable worlds in literature and the incredible literary minds behind them.

This walking tour around Oxford will take approximately 90 minutes.

Here's the link

--John R.

--current reading: TWILIGHT OF THE GODS by Richard Garnett (1888; 1940 reduced edition)


David Bratman said...

In 2005, I took a Tolkien walking tour of Oxford that was, as I recall, run out of the Bodleian. I didn't expect to learn anything from it (and I had in any case sought out all the sites before, on my own), but I was curious as to what it would include and say.
It turned out to be full of inaccuracies. One I recall in particular was pointing to the house Tolkien lived in in 1950-53 and saying he wrote The Lord of the Rings there. I guess on the theory that it was published in 1954-5 so he must have written it just before. Actually he finished it in 1949 and the intervening time was spent on revisions, appendices, and extensive publishing negotiations.

Marcel R. Bülles said...

Well, we are quite lucky to have the new Oxford Fantasy Centre as they are going to improve on the guided tours substantially, I am sure (/sarcasm off.)

None of the guided tours I ever participated in when visiting Oxford - and I did a few - was less than catastrophic on all things Tolkien; only when a college itself did something on it (Exeter, Merton, for example) did they have correct and relevant information. They are fun to participate in and it's the anecdotes on the stories that happened inbetween these walls that make them fun but they sure don't stick with the facts.

And although I know I should really drop it and never, never worry about it - why do the Bodleian Libraries misspell Middle-earth? :)

David Bratman said...

My mind slipped. The 2005 tour was not from the Bodleian. It was from Blackwell's.