Europe

Oxford – Radcliffe Camera

Built in the mid-18th century, the Radcliffe Camera was originally a science library. Now it is a reading room and part of the Bodleian Library.

Radcliffe Camera Oxford

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Oxford – Lewis Carroll 2

Opposite Alice’s Shop (see previous post) is Christ Church College with its impressive main gateway topped by the Tom Tower. Designed by Christopher Wren and built in 1681, the tower houses Great Tom, a huge bell weighing more than six ton, which is rung every night.
Charles Dodgson lived in sight of the Tom Tower when he was a mathematics lecturer at Christ Church. Using the pseudonym, Lewis Carroll, he published Alice in Wonderland, after first telling the stories to Alice Liddell, the 10 year old daughter of the dean of the college.Christ Church Oxford

Oxford – Lewis Carroll

Just about everything in the English city of Oxford has a literary connection, but one of the most obvious is Alice’s Shop in St Aldates, which claims to be the original of the Old Sheep Shop which Alice visits in “Through the Looking Glass”. In the book it is a sweets shop, but it is now selling all sorts of Alice in Wonderland stuff.

Alice Shop Oxford

England – Weatherland

Author, Alexandra Harris, has taken the everyday subject of the weather and turned it into entertaining literature. Her book, “Weatherland”, published in 2016, explores how the English weather has affected the country’s art and literature over the centuries.
On our 2016 visit to England we enjoyed a sunny day in Oxford and captured this view of Merton College framed by beautiful clouds. The ever changing English weather and clouds in particular, are discussed at great length in Weatherland, from the viewpoint of various writers and poets such as Swift, Wordsworth, Shelley and Dickens.

Oxford College n Clouds

Perth – Corsini Collection

The Art Gallery of Western Australia in central Perth is holding an exhibition of paintings from the Palazzo Corsini in Florence, Italy. Along with some masterpieces by Caravaggio, Tintoretto and Botticelli, the exhibition also has some more personal items that belong to the Corsini family, including this late 19th century book with recipes that have been hand written by Antonietta Corsini.

Corsini Collection Recipe Book

London – Bunhill Fields – Defoe

Another great 17th century and into the 18th century writer is laid to rest in Bunhill Fields Burial Ground. Daniel Defoe, the author of “Robinson Crusoe”, like Bunyan, was sometimes in prison although for an entirely different reason. He was often in debtors’ prison and was possibly in hiding from creditors at the time of his death in 1731.

Defoe Grave Bunhill Cemetery

Bedford – Bunyan 6

The village of Elstow, south of Bedford, has many connections with John Bunyan. He was born at Harrowden in the parish of Elstow and christened in the parish church on 30 November 1628. The church has a stained glass window depicting a scene from the Pilgrim’s Progress. The village’s other claim to fame is its medieval Moot Hall which houses a museum of 17th century life.
Getting to Elstow is not easy – ask at the visitor information at Bedford bus station for the bus number and timetable.

Bunyan Bedford 6