e-Matters 27th August 2021

Dear Members and Friends,

A warm welcome to this edition of e-Matters, our update to you on Christ Church news, events and more. 

Peck 9 viewI have the great good fortunate to be writing this from my office in Peck 9, overlooking a sun-filled quad.  I am sure there are many Development Directors across Oxford claiming to have the best view from their window but this one must be hard to beat! 

In this edition of e-Matters, the Censors present an update on Christ Church as they reflect on last term and look ahead to the new.  I am grateful to them for taking the time to write and glad we can share this with the Christ Church community.  
We look forward to seeing many of you back at our events in September and October. For those who have not yet booked because of concerns about Covid, please rest assured that protocols are in place for guests to have a safe as well as an enjoyable time. Our policy can be found in the events update section. 
As ever, e-Matters features a wide range of news and achievements from the whole community and I hope that you will find much of interest.
Please do continue to email your perspectives and feedback. I look forward to hearing from you. 

With best wishes from us all,
Philippa Roberts
Interim Development Director


News from the House

Censors' Update – Summer 2021  

Tom TowerMembers will be aware that this is the time of year when there is a changeover in the censorial team. Our appreciation goes to Prof. Ian Watson (Censor Theologiae), Prof. Geraldine Johnson (Senior Censor) and Prof. Dirk Aarts (Junior Censor) who are succeeded respectively by Canon Prof. Sarah Foot, Prof. Dirk Aarts, and Prof. Kevin McGerty.   
As we look ahead to the new term, reflecting on the last brings with it a range of emotions. Above all, we can be especially proud of how our students and staff, academic and non-academic, adapted to the inevitable disruption and challenges of a chaotic public health picture. Tutors and students explored new ways of teaching and learning through a mixture of remote and in-person tutorials, with the balance between the two having to shift in response ​to our ever-changing circumstances.
In addition to the challenges the pandemic presented to teaching, it transformed the research activities of our academic staff. Some could immediately turn the focus of their work to address Covid and the challenges it brought. These included of course our medics Prof. Sir John Bell, Prof. Stephanie Cragg, Prof. Sarah Rowland Jones, Prof. Richard Wade-Martins and perhaps most famously, Senior Associate Research Fellow Prof. Dame Sarah Gilbert, co-leader of the team that developed the Oxford-Astra-Zeneca vaccine.  You may also have seen reports about the excellent research of Dr Robin Thompson, an epidemiologist who began tracking Covid-19 literally days after it was first reported in Wuhan in 2019.  
Others in our academic community however saw the pandemic force their research into a state of limbo, cut off from access to essential material for their work. This is particularly devastating for researchers in the early stages of their career, and so we are happy to report that Christ Church has been able to offer its Junior Research and Career Development Fellows an additional year of support.
The contribution of our non-academic staff during this period has been immense. They consistently went beyond the call of duty to meet the needs of students, both when they could be in residence, and when they could not. Student well-being and mental health has been a huge focus for us all and will continue to be as we enter 2021/2.   
You too have been instrumental in our response to the pandemic. The Covid Support Fund, to which so many alumni have generously given, has made a real difference to those students most affected by the pandemic, including the funding of bridging programmes to support students whose schooling was most interrupted before they come up to Christ Church. Your donations are always invaluable when it comes to our outreach and access work, but particularly so given that young people from less well-off backgrounds have been amongst the most adversely affected by the last 18 months. 
We also wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the status of the Dean. The current situation is a source of great pain and frustration to us all.  It will be even harder to comprehend for those of you looking on from afar, especially through the lens of public speculation and, at times, disinformation.   
The Dean voluntarily withdrew from his duties last November, following an allegation made against him. An independent investigation into the allegation was commissioned; this allegation is now being addressed under the relevant House procedures. We are sure that you will understand that due confidentiality is essential in such a matter.
In addition, the Dean has made a number of employment tribunal claims against Christ Church, which the House is defending. Sadly, these will now not be heard in court until 2023. It had been anticipated that, through mediation, a much earlier resolution could be reached but unfortunately the current phase of mediation was halted by the independent mediator earlier in the summer, after several months of negotiation.
Christ Church remains committed to a full review of its governance structures in due course, but this cannot take place until the Employment Tribunal has concluded. We understand there may be frustration at the amount of time these various processes are taking, but they must be allowed to run their proper course. In the meantime, Governing Body is continually reviewing and updating our policies and procedures to support the smooth running of Christ Church.
Finally, but most importantly, we want to thank you all again for the help and support you provide to the House, financially or otherwise. The pandemic has caused some of you to give for the first time, joining the many who donated regularly before. In whatever way you are able to support Christ Church, we, and above all our beneficiaries, remain extremely grateful.  


Women's 40th Event

Photo of Belinda Jack'A Very Short History of Women's Reading' by Dr Belinda Jack

Belinda Jack, Official Student and Tutor in French at Christ Church, and Gresham Professor of Rhetoric (2014-2018), will be giving a lecture at noon on Saturday 18th September, entitled 'A Very Short History of Women's Reading'. Jack has been teaching Modern French Literature at Christ Church for thirty years and has written both for an academic, and a wider public, including a highly acclaimed Yale University Press book on the History of Women's Reading (The Woman Reader, 2012), and an O.U.P. Very Short Introduction to Reading (2019). She is currently translating Colette for Penguin World Classics while writing a new biography.

She will begin her talk by asking what the grim realities of the lives of women in the sex trade in ancient Pompeii and the lives of women in Afghanistan today have in common.  

Sneak preview into the Women’s 40th  Weekend schedule: Women in Wine with Emily Robotham
Women taking active role in wine production in 14th century.Women have been involved in winemaking for a very long time indeed; largely, their role is forgotten or side-lined by the often unsafe assumption that men must have been decision-makers. Today, of those who achieve the academic rigour of the Master of Wine programme, one third are female: scientific studies going back to 2002 identify women of reproductive age as the most successful group tasters, with sensitivity eleven times that of similar groups of men. We’re going to take a look at two houses where extraordinary women changed the nature of the business, with effects we all can enjoy today.

It was reliance on sense of taste and smell that first made the name of Mary Penfold’s (1820-1895) winery. Moving to Australia in 1844 with her husband Dr Christopher Penfold, Mary’s responsibilities included tending the vineyard along with other household requirements in The Grange farmhouse. For a sense of scale, this means Mary Penfold had started making wine before Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild founded Mouton-Rothschild. Thirty years later, the widow Penfold was exporting bottles of wine to Tasmania, New Zealand and even India. An 1874 edition of the South Australian Register noted as an example to others that:

‘The work is done under Mrs. Penfold's personal direction, not in conformity to any fixed or definite rule, but according to her judgement and taste.’
By the time Mary retired from making wine, Penfold’s was making a third of the total wine made in the colony of South Australia and had won gold at the Paris Exhibition of 1881. Today, Penfold’s Grange red wine sells often for north of £500 a bottle and is a heritage icon protected by the National Trust of South Australia.

The iconic Australian wineOf the many Champagne houses that were run by widows, not least the widow Clicquot, my favourite is Lily Bollinger (1899-1977). Her husband died in 1941 of natural causes with no clear heir to the Bollinger estate and fortune. Lily Bollinger stepped into the breach, and not only directed the Bollinger house to greater peaks of success, but created two iconic wines of Champagne: Bollinger vintage RD (recently disgorged) and Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises (the only Champagne made from ungrafted vines that pre-date the Phylloxera scourge). These wines trumpeted the Bollinger commitment to exciting methods of winemaking and are still among the most highly sought wines from Champagne.

Lily Bollinger was particularly successful at the British export market, leading to a Royal Warrant in 1955 and inclusion as James Bond’s favourite Champagne. The link between Bollinger and Britain was so strong that when The New York Times reported Lily Bollinger’s death, they assumed she was the daughter of a British army officer. Lily Bollinger allegedly got one over on France’s occupiers by offering the overweight Nazi governor of Champagne, Otto Klaebisch, a chair that was intentionally too narrow for his frame. Humiliated, Klaebisch cut short his visits to Bollinger.

Lily Bollinger on her bicycle.If you would like to hear more about the efforts and achievements of women in the wine trade, do come to a talk and tasting on the topic during the Christ Church 40th anniversary of women at the House this September.

This is just one of the many events we will hold throughout the weekend. The events on Friday and Saturday are open to our alumnae, whilst Sunday will be a family day for all alumni and their partners/spouses and children.

Sign up to join us for the weekend here.

We are still accepting pre-orders on the Christ Church sparkling wine, another product of female impetus! To order, please visit https://chchwinecellar.creventa.app/menu and expect your wine this September.

Please email development.office@chch.ox.ac.uk with any questions.


Christ Church ✕ PSiCHArt Virtual Art Event

PSCHiArt PaintingA big thank you to watercolour artist Valeria Szucs for the brilliant finished product from our PSiCHartXChrist Church session!
The painting was inspired by discussion with our current members and alumni on Wednesday 30th June, around the topic of 40 Years of Women at the House. The conversation included the significance of visual diversification in college, such as portraits of women in the Dining Hall; the importance of connecting with people in the community, such as women porters and college staff; and developing sisterhood among women freshers. There was also focus on future action, such as increasing efforts to encourage women from all backgrounds to apply to the College.

Thank you to all those who participated. We are looking forward to exhibiting the painting and sharing the printed postcards at our anniversary weekend in September!



‘Women at the House:
Celebrating 40 Years of Women Undergraduates’

Thank you to Gilman and Soame for helping to organise this group photo, and producing such a high quality image, and to all our members who participated.

This photograph is a testament to the hard work of women staff, Junior and Senior Members throughout college, and we look forward to displaying it proudly. The photograph will also be exhibited during our anniversary weekend in September.

Women's photo in Tom Quad

**Gillman & Soame are to allow Christ Church to use photograph 407149, for the sole purpose of being shown in the e-newsletter. This arrangement is given on the following understanding and conditions: These photographs are not to be used for commercial purposes. Any use of the photographs should acknowledge their copyright. Should you wish to alter the manner in which these images are used, please inform and consult with them.


Events Update

We are delighted to welcome alumni and friends back to the House, with our first event due to take place in early September.

Please see below for the events schedule:

4 September: 2020 Leavers Dinner
8 September: 1971-1975 Gaudy
11 September: Board of Benefactors Gaudy
12 September: 1546 Lunch
17-19 September: Women’s 40th Anniversary Weekend

1 October: 1976-1980 Gaudy
3 October: Family Programme Lunch and Tea
9 October: Boat Club Soc. Family day & "Hammers" Boat Naming

Our priority remains protecting the safety of our staff, event guests and everyone at Christ Church. A number of measures have been put in place to keep us all safe. Please click here to view our Covid-19 policy for events.


Photo of Professor Gregory HutchinsonProfessor Gregory Hutchinson elected a Fellow of the British Academy

Gregory Hutchinson, Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Oxford and a member of Christ Church, has been elected a Fellow of the British Academy. The British Academy elects Fellows ‘in recognition of their outstanding contributions’ to the social sciences, humanities and the arts.

Professor Hutchinson has published ten monographs. These cover a range from archaic Greek epic and lyric poetry to Greek and Latin prose of the Roman Empire. Some are commentaries on particular texts, others explore wider aspects of literature. The three most recent are Greek to Latin (2013), Plutarch’s Rhythmic Prose (2018), Motion in Classical Literature (2020). Greek to Latin sees the impact of Greek literature on Latin literature within various contexts, conceptual and physical (the Italian villas and Greek cities where Romans experienced Greek literature). Plutarch’s Rhythmic Prose establishes through statistical methods which Greek imperial prose-writers follow a specific rhythmic system; it shows how rhythmic analysis leads to a different way of reading the prose of Plutarch’s Lives. Motion in Classical Literature looks at what classical literature and art do with physical movement, by humans, gods, ships, horses. Recent articles include the use of a new inscription to throw light on why Augustus exiled Ovid, and the reconstruction of a new papyrus to offer the first appearance of the party-loving poet Anacreon on the Athenian stage.

Click here to read full article on Christ Church website.


Garden Play

Garden play in Cathedral GardenDirector Katy Holland and Producer Nick Phipps hosted ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in the Cathedral Garden 2-4 August. 

Katy would like to thank all Members and Friends who have contributed to the Covid-19 Student Support Fund, for helping to make this happen:

"Against all odds, the play went ahead. It was an indescribable feeling, having been deprived of student theatre for so long, to see the first members of the audience filter in. The cast and crew were always slightly on edge throughout the rehearsal process that something would stop the play from going ahead; one of the cast, for instance, was released from isolation only 2 days before the first performance, and we were waiting with bated breath to see whether another one of our crew might be struck down at any moment!
One can imagine the feeling of joy, then, before every performance. We had a rocky start. The weather gods, despite all our prayers, sent down heavy showers on Monday. The cast carried on in what was later described as a “heroic performance,” battling the showers before deciding to call it quits after the interval. The next two nights ran smoothly. Everyone remembered the impossible dance routines I had forced them to learn, and the audience laughed when we hoped they would. In our books, then, a success! Thank you so much to everyone who made this happen – it was a dream come true!


From the Library...

Music scriptNot long ago, Christ Church Library added a unique Tudor manuscript - Mus 1296 - to its Special Collections. We have since digitised it and it is now available on the Christ Church Digital Library - Music Collection - web page, and Digital Bodleian platform.

This is the violin partbook, dating c.1640, from a set of four volumes, containing consort music by John Coprario (1570-1626) and William Lawes (1602-1645). It contains 8 fantasia-suites for two violins, bass viol and organ by Coprario, and 8 fantasia-suites for violin, bass viol and organ, then 8 fantasia-suites for two violins, bass viol and organ by William Lawes. It was copied in score by two unidentified scribes, probably English. The first hand seems to resemble that found in other Christ Church manuscripts in the Music Collection, such as, for instance Mus 423-428 and Mus 473-478.  Also, its binding of calf over boards, gold-tooled with fillets and small ornaments at the corners resembles closely that of another score by William Lawes, Mus 430.

Click here to read the full article by Dr Cristina Neagu, Keeper of Special Collections.


The Library was very fortunate to acquire at Bonhams on 24th June a rare early edition of Desiderius Erasmus' most famous work Moriae encomium (Praise of Folly). 

Erasmus 1522Praise of Folly was written by the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus (1467-1536) in little over a week in 1509 while staying at the London home of Sir Thomas More (1478–1535).  The work was first published in Paris in 1511 and is a satire of the foolishness of European society, and on the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered one of the most notable works of the Renaissance and played an important role in the early stages of the Protestant Reformation. 

The work was dedicated to More who attended Canterbury College, Oxford, a monastic college founded in 1363, and acquired by Christ Church following the dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s. Canterbury Quad and its entrance gate were built on the site of Canterbury College. 

The edition of Moriae encomium acquired by the Library was printed in 1522 by Erasmus’ principal publisher, Johann Froben of Basle.  Erasmus and Froben formed a renowned publishing partnership after Erasmus joined Froben’s network of scholars who worked as editors and proofreaders, as well as providing material for publication. Erasmus arrived in Basel in 1514 and subsequently lived in Froben’s house, having previously travelled through many European centres of learning. Erasmus offered most of his work to Froben for its first printing. 

The volume contains an allegorical woodcut border on the title page by Jakob Faber and is in a beautiful contemporary Flemish binding. We look forward to making it freely available in the Library for research, teaching and display.

Ms Gabriel Sewell,
College Librarian

Much of our library acquisition relies on donations and gifts from alumni and friends. If you would like to learn more about this, please click this link.


Christ Church's English Sparkling Wine

Hundred Hills vineyardChrist Church is pleased to announce that it will be launching its new English Sparkling Wine at the Women’s 40th Anniversary Event, 17 – 19 September.

Alumni and friends are invited to pre-order special presentation cases of this wine in advance of the event.

Christ Church has commissioned an English sparkling wine from the Hundred Hills vineyard in Oxfordshire. Hundred Hills is a very exciting newcomer to the English wine scene: their first vintage was 2016 and we shall be using wines from their 2018 vintage, a spectacular harvest for English wine.

Stephen and Fiona DuckettMore than a decade has gone into getting the wine perfect for release. Owners Steven and Fiona Duckett recall that when they first sent off samples from their Stonor Valley sites, the Montpellier lab asked from which part of the Côte des Blancs they were taken. Their winemaking has taken its cue from Frank Mazy, who is also advising Taittinger’s Domaine Evremond in Kent, Dr Michel Salgues of Champagne Roederer and Prof Pierre-Marie Guillaume of University of Montpellier.

Every care has been made to make the vineyard and the winery environmentally sustainable and geared towards fantastic wines, and the results speak for themselves. The tasting team found the wines to match the quality of our favourite sparkling wines. The whites were seductive and aromatic and the rosé was hardly like a rosé Champagne at all and more like a very fine Provençal rosé with a delicate mousse.

To find out more, visit https://hundredhills.wine/ or see this article from the drinks business “Is this England’s most select wine estate?”


Hundred Hills wooden casesThe House has had an input into the blending and dosage process from Hundred Hills’ top wines, alongside their experts. Therefore, when we say it’s our wine, it really is bespoke, unique, and from the best ingredients we could find in this Country.

Due to the long ageing the wine will have undergone, the earliest it will be available is September of this year, just in time to celebrate Christ Church’s ‘40 Years of Women’. However, we will also lay down a quantity of the cuvée in order to mark the Quincentenary that we will be celebrating in 2025, in order to serve the wine at festivities throughout that year.

We would like to share this splendid wine with you. In order for us to gauge how much to buy, we are asking you to commit to an order in advance. The bottles you buy will be ready for drinking on arrival, but will also develop well over the next four years.


Possible label designsThe Alumni and Friends’ Offer:

Presented in a special wooden case, which will also have the Cardinal’s Crest on it, alumni and friends may buy cases of six Christ Church white, six Christ Church rosé, or a mixture of 3 white and 3 rosé for £300 per case of six. This price includes VAT and carriage to a mainland UK address.

As quantities are limited pre-release orders are limited to a maximum of 12 white, and 12 rose per person. Payment is at the time of order, and delivery should be expected during the month of September.

Please order online here: https://chchwinecellar.creventa.app/menu

This special opening offer ends on the 31st August 2021, or when stocks run out.

For further details and questions, email: Emily.robotham@chch.ox.ac.uk



40th Anniversary Silk Scarves

A reminder that our limited-edition 40th Anniversary silk scarf (photo below) can be ordered through the new online shop. To visit the shop please click here. 

Mandy with scarf


News from Alumni

Photo of Lara QuieLara Quie named 40-over-40 Inspiring Women of Singapore 2021

Lara Quie (1992), Founder & CEO of Lara Q Associates, is on the list of 40-over-40 Inspiring Women, Singapore 2021 in the Entrepreneur category.

Lara read Modern Languages in Christ Church from 1992 to 1996. Originally trained as a corporate lawyer, Lara left the law to become an entrepreneur. She co-founded a successful designer kitchen business before exiting and moving to Asia. There she reinvented herself as the APAC head of Business Development working at several international law firms over the past 8 years.

In November 2019 she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and went on to receive 7 months of treatment during which she completed her Associate Certified Coach (ACC) accreditation with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Having discovered the power of transforming lives through coaching and mentoring, Lara quit her job and established her own consultancy, Lara Q Associates. She now specialises in helping lawyers and law firms achieve their goals.

The 40-over-40 project in Singapore aims to celebrate the female that has taken risks and faced challenges to embark on a new career, try a new path or start a business after her 40th birthday. Click here to read the full article on Lara's award on the 40-over-40 website.

Click here to read Lara's interview on CNA Lifestyle.


Professor Tony Rahman won RCP Excellence in Patience Care Award 2021

Photo of Professor Tony RahmanCongratulations to Christ Church alumnus Professor Tony Rahman (1986), Ann Vandeleur and Team Gastro at The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, Australia for winning an RCP Excellence in Patient Care Award 2021.
Brisbane Gastro won the International Award, which recognises and rewards projects that have been delivered outside the UK and have contributed to significant improvements in patient care and health outcomes in a particular country or region. Their project, Gastroenterology Online, is a platform which informs patient decision making and streamlines pre-surgery preparation. By producing clinically approved, accessible videos about colonoscopies, the Prince Charles Hospital allows patients to more fully understand the procedure, give their consent and prepare. To see some of the inspiring work produced, please visit: http://www.medic.video/chch-colon
The project is being carried out in collaboration with PocketMedic,
a digital communications company that creates and delivers high quality content about health.  Information films are ‘prescribed’ by clinicians to support their patients to become more ‘expert’ in managing their chronic diseases.
Click here to view the initial presentation pitching Tony’s ideas about how digital healthcare could transform the team’s work in Brisbane: https://vimeo.com/574880274/46491bf11e
Tony Rahman is Director of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane and Adjunct Professor in the College of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University.
Kimberley Littlemore is the Creative Director of PocketMedic, and, incidentally, is also the producer of our series of films on ‘Women at the House’, with her company Littlefox Communications. Kimberley is a fellow of Swansea University Medical School and an award-winning former BBC filmmaker.

Kimberley and Tony reconnected when Tony was looking for a collaborative partner to realise his vision for improving bowel cancer detection rates for his patients.  Through the Christ Church Alumni network, Tony saw some of the papers published about the ability of PocketMedic films to drive behavioural change. The collaboration has been a huge success, improving patient care, numbers of people being seen and releasing more time for patients with more complex needs.   

Congratulations to all involved, particularly our Christ Church Members. We look forward to seeing the successes of this project going forward!


Kieron Winn (1987)

Photo of Kieron WinnMembers and Friends may remember Kieron Winn (1987) from the June edition of e-Matters. Kieron became the first poet in residence at Rydal Mount in the Lake District since it was the home of William Wordsworth.

Kieron successfully completed a week at Rydal Mount, spending the time writing, reading, giving a recital of his own poetry, and exploring the Lakes in the footsteps of Wordsworth. 
Click here to watch a video of Kieron reading his poems at Rydal Mount.

Click here to read the article summarising Kieron's residence on the Rydal Mount's website.


Sean French on The Unheard by Nicci French

Photo of Nicci FrenchSean French (1978) introduces his latest psychological thriller 'The Unheard', written together with his partner, Nicci Gerrard, under the name of Nicci French.

There are so many kinds of thrillers: whodunnits, locked room mysteries, police procedurals, techno-thrillers, spy thrillers. As for us - my wife Nicci Gerrard and I -  who write together under the name, Nicci French, we’ve always been interested in the suspense stories that come out of everyday life. We’re fascinated not so much by terrorists and bombs and shoot-outs but by the feelings that we can all understand. 

We take apparently mundane anxieties - what happens when a relationship goes wrong? how much do we really know about those closest to us - and turn the dial a few notches. Most parents will have experienced their young children coming back from nursery school with an unintelligible drawing they’ve done that day. You ask them what it is and their explanation isn’t much help. Nicci and I will have a conversation about a memory like this and then, being the kind of people we are, ask: how could this be a thriller?

Book cover of the UnheardOur new book, The Unheard, begins with Tess, a young woman, collecting her three-year-old daughter, Poppy, who has spent the weekend with her father. Sorting through Poppy’s bag, Tess finds a drawing that her daughter has done while she was away. It seems to show that Poppy has witnessed a murder. She calls the police but there is a problem: apart from the picture, there is no other evidence of a murder or even a death of any kind. And a three-year-old is a completely unreliable witness. 

That was the idea that hooked us: a murder story with no apparent murder, no apparent body and a witness who can’t explain what she has seen.

What we tried to write in this story - apart from we hope a gripping work of suspense - is about what can happen when a long relationship breaks up and you realise that your life wasn’t the safe, stable thing you thought it was. Tess realises she has been lied to by everyone, including her own friends. So what can she do?

That’s the sort of suspense that interests us. We’re taught from childhood to beware of strangers. But the statistics show it’s our friends and relatives we should really be scared of. Anyone who lives in a family has material for a lifetime of psychological thrillers. 

'The Unheard' will be out on 16th September. 
Click here to pre-order 'The Unheard'.


A Moroccan Trilogy: Rabat, Marrakesh and Fez, translated by Anthony Gladstone-Thompson (1962)

A Moroccan TrilogyDespite their immediacy and vivacity these works have never been translated, though they were the lens through which every subsequent writer framed their perceptions of Morocco. In a labour of love Anthony Gladstone-Thompson (1962) has combined this celebrated trilogy, Rabat: Moroccan Life and Times, Marrakesh and the Lords of the Atlas and Fez: The Bourgeoisie of Islam into a single volume. His translation remains faithful to the dust and the glory, the majesty, the squalor and the spontaneity of this extraordinary period.

The Tharaud brothers became unique eyewitnesses to history when summoned in 1917 from the Western Front to Morocco by the Resident-General of the French Protectorate there, Lyautey. The colonial conquest of Morocco had been put on hold after the French army was summoned home in 1914. But in a delicate balancing act, Lyautey kept the peace by establishing a working alliance with some of the most powerful of the tribal lords of
Morocco. It was part of a coherent policy to avoid the mistakes in Algeria and preserve Morocco's historical architecture, faith and culture intact for future generations.

A Moroccan Trilogy: Rabat, Marrakesh and Fez will be released on 28 October 2021. Click here to pre-order on Amazon.


Photo of Piers PlowrightPiers Plowright: 10 December 1937– 23 July 2021

Piers Plowright (1958), alumnus of Christ Church, passed away on 23rd July 2021.

Piers Plowright, who has died aged 83 of cancer, read History at Christ Church from 1958 to 1962. He began his three decades of radio producer at the BBC working on drama, and found his true voice with documentary features.

During his time as a BBC radio drama and feature maker from 1968 to 1997 he won the Prix Italia for radio documentaries three times as well as three Gold and two Silver Sony Awards and a Sony Special Award for Continual Dedication and Commitment to the Radio Industry. Since then he has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an honorary doctor at Bournemouth University and a 'Radio Luminary' at the prestigious Chicago Third Coast Radio Festival.

Click here to read Pier Plowright's obituary in The Guardian.


Other News

90 Years Ago, a HRR Triple-Win for Jumbo Edwards
By Gavin Jamieson

Ninety years ago, Jumbo Edwards took a triple-victory at Henley, winning the Grand, Stewards’ and Goblets – something that has never been repeated, Gavin Jamieson writes.

1931 Henley Royal RegattaOn the afternoon of 4 of July 1931, Hugh ‘Jumbo’ Edwards climbed the steps at Henley Royal Regatta to accept the Silver Goblets from the Duchess of York. The Duchess greeted the weary victorious rower with an amused, “Fancy seeing you again”.

This year’s Henley Regatta marks the 90th anniversary of a truly remarkable day. On that rainy and blustery Saturday in July 1931, Edwards achieved a feat that has never been matched since – he was victorious in three major finals.

This was not unique. In 1907, Claude Taylor was the first oarsman to win the Stewards, Grand and Goblets and many thought that this monumental effort would never be repeated. That it should be achieved by Jumbo Edwards, a man who had collapsed in the Boat Race of 1926 and had been told never to row again, was equally astounding.

Click here to read full article on Hear the Boat Sing website.

Gavin Jamieson is married to Melissa, granddaughter of Jumbo Edwards, and is working on a biography about the great oarsman.

If you do have any recollections of Hugh 'Jumbo' Edwards, or would like to express an interest in purchasing the book, please contact Gavin Jamieson by emailing gmbjamieson@gmail.com.


Oxford Climate Alumni Network

OxCAN (Oxford Climate Alumni Network), the official University alumni society for climate change and net zero related activities is currently looking to expand their network of members and invites all alumni to join!
OxCAN aims to be a place for alumni to learn, connect, and act together on climate issues. This includes understanding and promoting the climate research taking place at Oxford and collaborating on climate projects.
To join, please use the form on their website:
Click here to visit the OxCAN LinkedIn Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12454555/
If you have any further questions please email  info@oxfordclimatealumni.com


Alumni Poetry

Ode to Madness
By Tuppy Morrissey (2016)


Wild infants,
Stunted men,
What’s the time,
Sir Christopher Wren?
Time to laugh,
Time to sing,
For what can worldly
Sorrow bring?
So let us dance
Despite the storm,
A band of wayward
Dreamers form,
Who dare to death
And life enjoy,
For love is mad,
My darling boy.


Alumni Photography

We encourage all alumni and friends to submit photographs to us inspired by the poems featured on our Alumni Poetry Page. Poems and photographs will be collected together in the coming months and will eventually form an online exhibition celebrating alumni creative work. 

To submit your photograph please: