Book at Lunchtime: Real Oxford

Professor Patrick McGuinness
Event date
Event time
13:00 - 14:00
The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities - Lunchtime Online Webinar
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

Join us for a TORCH Book at Lunchtime online webinar on Real Oxford by Professor Patrick McGuinness.

Book at Lunchtime is a series of bite-sized book discussions held during term-time, with commentators from a range of disciplines. The events are free to attend and open to all.

About the book:

Oxford is a place of fantasy and myth, home to the prestigious University and some of the world’s most iconic buildings. There has been teaching and learning in Oxford since 1096, and its colleges have produced generations of great scientists, writers and thinkers. One of the world’s most photographed cities, it is a tourist-magnet, an architectural jewel, and the location of films and television series.

But the real Oxford is rarely seen, even by those who live here. There’s industrial Oxford, the huge gasworks that once stood a few minutes’ walk from Christ Church’s Tom Tower, and Oxford the car city, home to Morris motors, once the biggest car plant in the world. There’s Oxford the Midlands city of factories and breweries, wharves and stations. There’s Oxford's venerable football history and its unexpectedly radical politics. There’s high-rise Oxford as well as honeyed stone Oxford. There’s the Oxford of OX2, where life expectancy is among the highest in the UK, and the Oxford of OX4, where it’s among the lowest. There is the Oxford whose libraries, buildings and bequests come from slavery and colonial exploitation – an Oxford whose bright statues mask darker histories. There’s the Oxford that broadcasts its achievements, and the Oxford that covers its tracks...

The novelist, poet and Oxford academic Patrick McGuinness guides us through the past, but also the present, of all of these interlinked Oxfords. He walks the city’s streets from the station to the ring road, tracks its canals and towpaths, its footbridges and tunnels, to evoke the continued presence of the Oxford behind the postcard views.

Patrick McGuinness has lived and worked in Oxford for 30 years and brings an intimate knowledge to this new exploration of the city. In this book he reflects on the familiar and introduces us to the unnoticed, to create a new way of looking at Oxford.

Further speakers to be announced.