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Old Member Publications

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Brunel's Hidden Kingdom

Geoffrey Tudor (Modern History, 1945)

For the first time ever this is the story of Brunel – aided by wife Mary and gardener Forsyth – laying out a garden and designing a landscape. Recently Brunel’s ‘Watcombe Garden Book’ has come to light and is now at the University of Bristol. This little notebook of 32 pages provides a summary of Brunel’s scheming: water-supply, shelter-belts, water gardens, Italian Garden, Sea Walk – all are considered in turn. Pride of place, though, goes to the thousands of trees and to the under-planting of shrubs and creepers that make Watcombe such an outstanding creation.

 

The Relationship Advantage

The Relationship Advantage: Information Technologies, Sourcing and Management

Thomas Kern (Management Studies, 1995)

The relationship in information technology (IT) outsourcing determines the difference between a successful, a less successful, and a failing outsourcing deal. Managers will commonly spend seventy per cent of their time on making the client-supplier relationship work, while thirty per cent of their time will focus on the contract, personnel, and problem issues. Longitudinal research into Xerox's global, British Aerospace's total, ESSO's selective, British Petroleum's alliance, and the UK Inland Revenue's public sector outsourcing deals highlights relationship practices and recurring post-contract management issues that demand careful attention and management. By use of a novel client-supplier relationship framework developed from transaction cost, relational contract, and inter-organisational relationship theory, the authors carefully analyse these five longitudinal case studies and identify what the key dimensions of an outsourcing relationship are. Together the framework and the case studies provide a number of management pointers for both practitioners and academics on how to achieve a relationship advantage.

To purchase this book please click here.

 

The Last Enchantments

Simon Watson (English, 1962)

The SONS OF THE MORNING sequence takes its hero, Johnny Clarke, through the adventure of growing up. Set in the 1950s, A Storm of Cherries creates a sometimes bleak, sometimes affectionate and humorous picture of prep school life of the period. Anyone who experienced its peculiar cruelties and consolations will recognize staff and boys, language and lore; anyone who didn’t will enter a strange world.  Volume 2, Dancing Days is set in public school.

In Volume 3, The Last Enchantments (published this month), the dramatic events of 1962-3 – the Cuban missile crisis, the long hard winter, the Profumo scandal and the meteoric rise of the Beatles – culminating in the assassination of President Kennedy provide the turbulent background to the undergraduate adventures of Johnny Clarke at 'Cardinal College': adventures political, amorous, social, literary, sporting and religious. Britain is wriggling out of its post-war chrysalis but at the same time there is the heritage of Oxford and old England to be fought for – and saved.

For more information about the trilogy please visit www.wordwisebooks.co.uk

You Can Live Forever

Julie Maxwell (English, 1995)

You Can Live Forever is set partly in Christ Church and tells the story of Alice. Her father William is a part-time arsonist, rejected husband, ladies’ man, fraudster – and a very devoted father. Meanwhile, mother Oonagh and brother Peter are fervent adherents to the true religion of the Unbelievable Potential of Human Beings. For them, The Plain Truth just is, like marmalade or the Grand Canyon. But Alice is losing the knack of living forever. And then there is the exacting art of fornication. 

Likened to Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, Maxwell’s novel is ‘a boisterous, colourful beginning’ (The Observer), written with ‘a vast, tenacious intellect’ (The Herald), ‘boasts a down-to-earth charm that is relentlessly witty’ (Time Out), ‘much more than a quirky read’ (The Guardian), ‘an excellent debut’ (The Literary Review). It was Book of the Month on BBC Radio Five Live in May, and won a Betty Trask Award in June.

To purchase You Can Live Forever please click here.

Alice in I.D 25

Edward Wakeling (Education Studies, 1981)

Alice in I. D. 25 by Frank Birch and Dilly Knox, with introductions by Mavis Batey MBE and Edward Wakeling, is a fascinating parody of Alice based on a performance given in London at the end of 1918 and then immediately suppressed because it identified cryptographers working for the Admiralty during WWI. At last it has been released and reprinted with Mavis Batey's annotations giving the background to the code-breaking story (she was a code-breaker herself during WWII at Bletchley Park and knew the original writers), with a paper by Edward Wakeling explaining the Carrollian connections.

Prof: The Life of Frederick Lindemann

Adrian Fort (Law, 1966)

The dramatic story of Lord Cherwell, Churchill’s closest friend and adviser for a quarter of a century. He was also a Christ Church don, international tennis star, and scientist of world renown. As a young man in Germany he was admired by the world’s leading physicists, including Einstein, whom he introduced to Oxford, and he then found fame in England by acts of suicidal courage in order to solve the lethal problem of aircraft spin. A very rich man, he moved in pre-war upper-class circles and entered the political arena by standing for Parliament in Oxford. His arrogance and wit upset many colleagues: of one don at the House he said “I would like to castrate him – not that it would make any difference”, while – paraphrasing Hobbes – he dismissed one of Oxford’s most celebrated philosophers as ‘nasty, brutish and long-winded.’ Yet as Churchill’s scientific adviser he played a crucial part in the story of Britain’s atom bomb, the V-weapon battles, and the saturation bombing of Germany – a saga which arose out of a conversation at dinner at the House – and he remained at Churchill’s right hand through the most desperate years in the country’s history.

The author has kindly made this book available to old members of the House at a special discount.  Please send cheques for £10 per book (plus £2 postage) payable to 'Christ Church, Oxford' to the Development Office, Christ Church, OXFORD OX1 1DP.  Please call +44 (0)1865 286598 if you have any queries.

The Deceivers

Thaddeus Holt (Law, 1952)

THE DECEIVERS is the first comprehensive history of Allied military deception in World War II, based on recently declassified British and American documentary sources, and on interviews with surviving participants.  Focusing on the individuals who conducted deception operations (including, among many others, House old members John Bevan, chief of the central British deception staff in London, and Peter Fleming, head of deception in India-Burma, as well as the former House don Sir John Masterman, who presided over the use of double agents to feed false information to the Germans), it covers the development of deception techniques from its beginnings in the Middle East to its climax in covering the Normandy invasion, together with deception against the Japanese.  The House's Sir Michael Howard, sometime Regius Professor of Modern History, called it "definitive ... as comprehensive as it is readable and entertaining ... an astonishing achievement, and no library of the war can afford to be without it." 

To find out more about this book click here.

Grand Canal, Great River

Philip Watson (Oriental Studies, 1963)

In July 1170, a Chinese poet, politician and historian made a journey from west to east China. Lu You (pronounced 'loo yo') kept a daily record of his experiences: the people he met, the unfolding landscape and the famous historical sites he visited. What emerges is a detailed panorama of twelfth-century China, an exotic mixture of travelogue, literature and politics. This new modern translation by Philip Watson of the whole of the diary makes the entirety of this fascinating work of literature accessible to the general reader for the first time, and his detailed commentary fills in all the essential background information. Contemporary paintings and other artworks, together with photographs of the places described, complete this beautifully produced book, which brings the world of Lu You dramatically to life.  To buy this book please visit the publisher's website here.

The Desert Road South of Jerusalem

John Wright (PPE, 1954)

This collection of mostly one page wonder stories takes us straight back to the Acts of the Apostles. They tell of the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Gospel today to strangers with miraculous signs through ordinary people. John Wright, a good Anglican and member of the College of Evangelists, tells of his often hilarious adventures with great humour and honesty. The stories also cover marriage, money, business, and blessing those who persecute you! Perfect as a bedside book to send you to sleep with a laugh. Also perfect as an inexpensive Christmas present.Commended by Anglican and Catholic Bishops, it has gone to five editions in five years. A full refund if you are not delighted with it!  £3 from www.branchpress.com  or call 01508 494366.

Robert Louis Stevenson: A Literary Life

Bill Gray (Modern Languages, 1971)

More than most writers, Robert Louis Stevenson requires a Literary Life. As Henry James commented on reading Balfour’s 1901 biography: ‘Louis ... has superseded, personally, his books, and this last replacement of himself ... has killed the literary baggage.’ Serious critical attention to Stevenson’s literary works has been relatively slow to appear, though the ‘Life of Stevenson’ continues to flourish, having become a minor literary genre in its own right. The version of Stevenson’s literary life presented here embraces Stevenson’s own reservations about the role of linear chronology in biography, and is more of a literary geography than a literary history. Its structure is defined by the various geographical and cultural contexts (England, France, Scotland, America and the South Seas) in which Stevenson lived and worked. This is the first literary biography of Stevenson since the publication of his Collected Letters; it has also made use of hitherto unpublished letters.  To find out more about this book click here.

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