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CAMBRIDGE
A CULTURAL AND LITERARY HISTORY

Martin Garrett
  Foreword by Jill Paton Walsh

 

"...an extravaganza of literary erudition. The book is also remarkable for enticing bits of information - that a secret tunnel connects the wine cellars of the two St John's Colleges in Cambridge and Oxford, and that the dons meet annually for a glass of madeira underneath Stansted airport."
History Today

From its origins in the thirteenth century the University of Cambridge has attracted notable students and teachers, both brilliant and eccentric. From Erasmus to Bertrand Russell, the university has been at the forefront of philosophical inquiry. Actors and directors like Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Peter Hall have earned Cambridge a reputation for theatrical excellence, while the colleges have welcomed many poets, including Milton and Wordsworth, Byron and Tennyson, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.

During the twentieth century the city surrounding the university grew rapidly as a once small fenland town became a magnet for high-tech industries. But there are still quiet courts and green spaces-Parker's Piece, Midsummer Common, Jesus Green, and the Backs. Here is to be found Henry James' "confusion of Gothic windows and ancient trees, of grassy banks and mossy balustrades, of sun-chequered avenues and groves, of lawns and gardens and terraces."

Martin Garrett explores the buildings and streets of Cambridge, revealing the literature, history and personalities of this culturally rich city.

  • THE UNIVERSITY CITY: courts and gardens, dons and students; Cambridge poets and spies; the struggle for women's colleges and degrees


  • THE CITY OF SCIENCE AND DISCOVERY: Newton, Darwin, the Cambridge physicists, the double helix, Stephen Hawking and the secrets of the universe


  • THE CITY OF DRAMA AND COMEDY: from Latin entertainments for Elizabeth I to the Footlights and Monty Python

MARTIN GARRETT has written widely on Renaissance and nineteenth-century literature. He is the author of Venice: A Cultural and Literary Companion (Signal, 2000). He has lived and worked in Cambridge since 1994.

ISBN: 1-902669-79-7
Price: £12.00 (paperback)
Pages: May 2004, 256 pages, 203x133mm, illustrations, index