I’ll be honest, this is probably one of the easiest pairings to do. Oxford University was home to so many great British writers, either as students or professors, that it’s not hard to find books that come from this great town. Chances are you’ve already read at least one. And while it’s tempting to find some more obscure ones, the classics are just too good to pass over, so maybe next trip I’ll find some new reads. But this time around, here are some of my favourites, in case you didn’t know of their origins in Oxford.
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – One of the Inklings, Tolkien would meet with fellow writers in Oxford at The Eagle and Child pub and discuss what they were working on. And if you travel around the town you can see where all that talk of nature and hiking likely comes from, perhaps even the Shire itself. A definite classic that I love, as a huge fantasy nerd.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – Another Inkling! Though quite different in styles and themes, Lewis and Tolkien were known to soundboard with each other. And though it’s been a while since I read these books, you can probably get a good sense of English heritage and culture from the Narnia books, especially the religion that was ingrained in the students of Oxford (and indeed most of the population) once upon a time.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – Carroll was a teacher of math and logic at Oxford and wrote the story for young Alice Liddell who resided in Oxford as well. This story may not draw so much on the town as Carroll’s own experiences creating stories for Alice as well as his own experiences with logic, perhaps exercising his illogical side in this very unique story.