This richly illustrated book tells the story of Oxford University from its origins in the Middle Ages to the present day. Written by a team of scholars, all authorities in their fields, it spans 800 years of colourful incident to give a uniquely authoritative history of the University for the general reader.
For hundreds of years the future leaders of the nation have been educated at Oxford. The architecture of the University and colleges has become one of the glories of Europe. Gifts to the University's libraries and museums have formed the basis of major collections. But most importantly, a university must be judged by its attachment to scholarship - a theme which runs throughout this book. Separate chapters are devoted to Oxford's contribution to Religion, to Classical Studies, to the Arts, to Life Sciences, and to the Physical Sciences.
After a brilliant intellectual beginning in the Middle Ages, the University's part in learning has always been significant and eventful. In the late nineteenth century, when British influence was at its peak, the high quality and the personal nature of the tuition attracted students from all over the English-speaking world. Then, in the twentieth century, Oxford began to learn from American and European examples and to place more emphasis on research. Today the University is internationally recognized for its contribution to research, both in the sciences and in the liberal arts.
There are over 200 illustrations, including 24 full-colour plates, specifically chosen to complement the wide-ranging text. The book also includes five maps, a chronology, guides to further reading, and a full index. Scholarly and informative, this book captures the richness and diversity of Oxford University, and its contribution to the nation and to the world.
`it offers a wide and unhackneyed choice of over 200 well-captioned illustrations packed into some 400 pages ... John Prest, and his nine contributors have made this far more than another Oxford picture book ... If appeal subscribers want to know what Oxford has given to the world, this book should help to tell them.'
The Oxford Times
'lavish book ... It's essential reading for anyone who wants to know more about the fascinating and colourful background of our unique university city and the sometimes bloody rivalry between town and gown.'
'well produced book, essential reference for anyone wanting to learn more about the quirky story that produced this beautiful city'
Christopher Koenig, Oxford Star
'Oxford University Press's gorgeous new £25 Illustrated History of Oxford University ... the first full-blown history of the university'
Don Chapman, Oxford Mail
'the illustrations are excellent, time and again finding some unfamiliar building, or unfamiliar aspect of a familiar building to show'
Auberon Waugh, Daily Telegraph
'This handsome book is indeed illustrated splendidly, and about Oxford University.'
Anthony Quinton, London Evening Standard
'it has smooth, acid-free, quarto pages, beautifully printed, sturdily bound and profusely illustrated ... Scholars will still want the much more expensive eight-volume History, which has been slowly appearing since 1984; but many, including tourists and the economical, will settle for this resplendent account in one book.'
Times Literary Supplement
'solidly informative ... much which will interest the specialist as well as the general reader'
R.D. Anderson, University of Edinburgh, History, No. 255, February 1994
JOHN PREST: City and University; REVD V. GREEN: The University and the Nation; G. TYACK: The Architecture of the University and the Colleges; REVD GEOFFREY ROWELL: The University's Contribution to Religion; H. D. JOCELYN: The University's Contribution to Classical Studies; ALAN BELL: The University's Contribution to Modern Studies in the Arts; O. IMPEY: The Collections of the University; PAUL WEINDLING: The University's Contribution to the Life Sciences and
Medicine; PAUL HOCH: The University's Contribution to the Modern Physical Sciences; JOHN DARWIN: The Growth of an International University.