Celebrated by Matthew Arnold as the 'city of dreaming spires', Oxford has a long and illustrious history as one of Europe's oldest university towns. Its colleges, libraries and museums, ranging from the medieval to the modern, testify to the city's academic traditions and the dominant influence of 'gown' over 'town'. But there is another Oxford, the city of car factories and housing estates, high-tech research and alternative culture.
Following in the footsteps of historic figures and writers who have lived in Oxford, David Horan reveals the many dimensions, social and cultural, of a city where tradition and modernity interconnect. From the quadrangles and chapels of the university centre to the multicultural bustle of Cowley Road, he explores both the historic and contemporary faces of Oxford.
THE UNIVERSITY CITY: the seat of learning, inside the colleges, river and gardens, dons and students, town
and gown conflict.
THE WRITER'S CITY: Oxford loved and hated by Dr Johnson, Oscar Wilde and C.S. Lewis; the setting for Alice in Wonderland, Zuleika Dobson and the Inspector Morse novels.
THE OTHER OXFORD: cars and marmalade; museums and mausoleums, saints and sinners, tramps and tourists.
David Horan is an Oxford-based writer and was for 10 years literary editor of The Oxford Times.