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Old Member Publications

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Gardens of the Gods

Christopher McIntosh (PPE, 1962)

Gardens of the Gods is an invitation to look at and create gardens in a new way—or rather a very old way that has been widely forgotten. Its theme is the garden as a sacred space, an outdoor temple carrying an intentional message: religious, mystical, poetic or philosophical. Christopher McIntosh reveals the basic elements of the visual language used to convey meaning in a garden: its form and proportions; the decorative features in it; and the plants with their symbolic or mythological associations. He gives examples of motifs most frequently used and most pregnant with meaning, such as labyrinths, grottoes, fountains, monoliths and sacred groves. The reader is then taken on a fascinating tour of the great gardening traditions of different periods and regions. These include the gardens of China with their moon gates and immortal rocks, the Zen gardens of Japan, the paradise gardens of Islam, those of Renaissance Italy, the landscaped parks of England, and some striking modern examples of symbolic gardens, such as the Tarot Garden of the sculptress Niki de Saint Phalle in Italy.

A Byzantine Encyclopaedia of Horse Medicine

Anne McCabe (Byzantine Studies, 1993) 

The veterinary compilation known as the Hippiatrica is a rich and little-known source of information about the care and medical treatment of horses, donkeys, and mules in late antiquity and the Byzantine period. This book provides a guide both to its intriguing contents, and to its complex textual history.

To find out more about this book please click here.

Hotel Victoire

Oliver Stanley (English, 1946)

Slyly observant, sensitive and frequently hilarious, this assured novel tells of Englishman abroad William Soames, and evokes the somewhat seedy atmosphere of Paris in the years following the end of Word War II.

To purchase a copy of Oliver Stanley's novel, please click here.


A Bearskin's Crimea

Algernon Percy (Modern History, 1987)

Algernon Percy (Christ Church 1987-90) saw his first book, A Bearskin's Crimea: Colonel Henry Percy VC and his Brother Officers published in 2005. In November 2007, it came out in paperback. As well as using previously unexamined family archive papers, the author contacted as many descendants of Grenadier Guards officers from the period 1854-55 as he could locate. More often than not, he found yet more material locked away in attics which the families in question had never got round to looking at properly in the previous 150 years. Algernon Percy also travelled extensively in the Crimea as part of his research for this book, which covers not only the exploits of the Crimean War's highest ranking VC recipient but also interesting aspects of the 'home front' and Florence Nightingale's work (through Henry Percy's brother, who did much to advance the cause of women's nursing). This makes the book as much a 'human story' as it is military history.

Master Drawings of the Italian Renaissance

Claire Van Cleave (History of Art, 1989)

A beautifully designed selection of the finest Italian Renaissance drawings from the British Museum, the Louvre and other French public collections, giving remarkable insight into the creative processes of some of the greatest artists in history. The main body of the book showcases 112 of the finest drawings by more than 40 Italian Renaissance masters, including Michelangelo, Leonardo, Botticelli, Raphael and Andrea del Sarto, accompanied by a concise sketch of the life and work of each artist. Arranged chronologically, they reveal stylistic and geographical trends as well as personal interactions between the artists themselves, and provide an extraordinary insight in to the artistic world of renaissance Italy.

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

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.

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.


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.

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