well read - The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival

The Great Quadrangle of Christ Church
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The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival returns from March 24 to April 1, with an exceptional line-up of writers, authors, and scholars bringing some of the world’s best speakers to Oxford’s historic venues.


Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival

Festival highlights include double-Booker winner Peter Carey on the eve of the publication of his latest novel The Chemistry Years delivering the first Bodleian Library Lecture; A. N. Wilson on Dante and Tolstoy; and Joan Bakewell and Diana Athill on living life to the full.

The Sheldonian Theatre will play host to a selection of world-class speakers including Michael Morpurgo, fresh from the successful translation of War Horse to the big screen; Sir David Hare on his life in the theatre; and Sir Alan Parker on his long career in film. Celebrated American novelist Anne Tyler makes her first UK visit to receive the Sunday Times Award for Excellence.

There are a series of events looking at the Middle East; another focus is on celebrating the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth with events featuring Philip Pullman, Claire Tomalin, and Will Gompertz.

The Festival also returns with a range of children’s events including Frank Cottrell Boyce and Young Bond author Charlie Higson celebrating Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, James Bond, and Ian Fleming. www.oxfordliteraryfestival.org.

Book reviews

The Concise Oxford Dictionary: The Classic First Edition
Contributors: H. W. Fowler, F. G. Fowler, David Crystal

From the beautiful art deco detailing to the faithfully reproduced pages, this edition of The Concise Oxford Dictionary authentically replicates the original 1911 publication. Explore the early 20th century directly through its language – a language including words such as cockyolly bird, growlery, and impaludism; but not words like computer, television, or cinema – setting the book in the context of its time.
Oxford University Press


The Lord of the Rings (First Edition)
By J. R. R. Tolkien

A first edition set in mint condition of this legendary work by former Oxford student and professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The three volumes comprise: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. The Lord of the Rings began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier novel The Hobbit (1937), but eventually developed into a much larger work. It has since become one of the most popular and influential works in 20th century literature.


The Chronicles of Narnia (Barnes & Noble leatherbound edition)
By C. S. Lewis

Also a former Oxford student and professor, C. S. Lewis’ best-known work, The Chronicles of Narnia has enchanted millions of readers over the last 50 years. In a world where a witch decrees eternal winter, where there are more talking animals than people, and where children can become royalty, all of its magic and wonder is presented in this elegant leather-bound edition featuring beautiful illustrations and eye-catching end papers.


À Outrance (Ruscombe letterpress art edition)
By Philip Pullman

This new illustrated letterpress book features text extracted from Philip Pullman’s novel, Northern Lights. Some of the world’s finest designer bookbinders were commissioned to produce 15 individual hand-bound copies. In addition to signing each book, the author has inscribed in longhand a piece of text taken from the original novel. Each volume is accompanied by a separate set of the six signed woodcut images used within the book.


The Inklings of Oxford
By Harry Lee Poe; Photography by James Ray Veneman

Oxford’s streets echo with the names of key figures in English literature, including C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the other members of the renowned literary circle to which they belonged, the Inklings. Discover Magdalen College, where Lewis and Tolkien read aloud their works-in-progress to their friends, and the Eagle and Child pub, the Inklings’ favourite gathering place. The book also features a map section for taking walking tours of Oxford.


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