Given that World Book Day has just passed, the Oxford Scholastica Academy team thought we’d share our favourite Oxford books with you over the coming weeks.

Oxford is a literary haven, with countless famous authors having lived in the city, and many other writers taking inspiration from the dreaming spires of Oxford.

Gargoyle weeps

Sophie is currently re-reading Zuleika Dobson, a classic story written in 1911 about a beautiful young lady called Zuleika. Subtitled ‘An Oxford Love Story’, the book starts off with Zuleika arriving in Oxford by train to meet her grandfather, who is the Warden of Judas College (a fictional Oxford University college). Her reputation precedes her as she is a conjuror who is known around the world.

Zuleika’s beauty leaves the gargoyles weeping and every Oxford undergraduate man spellbound – every man EXCEPT for the Duke of Dorset, who originally tries to ignore her but can’t. He ends up offering to lay down his life for her, leaving unpredictable consequences for the rest of the story…

Written by Max Beerbohm, the Guardian have called the book ‘a mad fantasy’, and ‘a satire on the sheltered world of Oxford colleges a century ago’. We love the book and highly recommend it! Check it out on Amazon here.

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