A century through workers' eyes

9:00am Thursday 17th April 2014

The People isn’t quite what you expect from an Oxford historian. It is a passionate account of the history of the working class by someone who arrived here from a Newcastle comprehensive school.

Fisherman's daughter who became viscountess

9:00am Thursday 17th April 2014

Julie Ann Godson (real name Thorne) moved to Northmoor four years ago and heard the tale of the humble 18th-century fisherman’s daughter who married a lord and became a viscountess.

Four-minute runner at Chippy festival

The Oxford Times: Roger Bannister at Blackwell's

4:08pm Tuesday 15th April 2014

Fans queued for hours on Saturday to meet Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under four minutes.

Joanna Trollope on when women take over

The Oxford Times: It can be a woman's world, says Trollope

11:54am Thursday 10th April 2014

Hannah Stephenson talks to Joanna Trollope about her latest family saga

Origins of Calvinism

The Oxford Times: Origins of Calvinism

9:00am Thursday 10th April 2014

Felicity McNab, who lives in Kidlington, has had a distinguished career as a translator, working for the UN and the UK Government.

Creating Utopia in Oxfordshire

The Oxford Times: Bill Heine

9:00am Thursday 10th April 2014

Sylvia Vetta has been writing her ‘Castaways’ column for The Oxford Times’s award-winning colour magazine, Limited Edition, for six years, interviewing a selection of the great and good of Oxfordshire, as well as more ordinary people.

Balancing Act by Joanna Trollope

The Oxford Times: Joanna Trollope

9:00am Thursday 10th April 2014

Joanna Trollope is famed for her family dramas, which always feature contemporary social issues, flawed characters and tangled relationships.

The chronicler of cottage gardens

4:07pm Tuesday 8th April 2014

If you think of garden history in terms of stately homes like Blenheim and Stowe, author Margaret Willes would urge you to think again. In a complicated modern world, we all long for something traditional and simple — and the cottage garden is back in fashion.

Review of the absorbing Buildings of Empire by Ashley Jackson

10:54am Thursday 3rd April 2014

Phil Bloomfield on the British Empire buildings that helped establish colonial rule

Top names at festival

9:00am Thursday 3rd April 2014

Chipping Norton Literary Festival may be small compared with its grand Oxford cousin, but it has top names lined up for its packed programme from April 24-27.

Imperial power and awe

9:00am Thursday 3rd April 2014

Woodstock-based author Ashley Jackson (a Visiting Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford), has crafted a dozen non-fiction short “stories” of iconic buildings from around the British Empire, each lovingly described in its historical context. This is not an architectural history, but an examination of our colonising rule, showing how we established ourselves in foreign places and imposed our organisation and institutions on the indigenous populations. The illustrations, many in colour, include a map of the Empire showing how it once covered a fifth of the habitable planet.

A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre

11:55am Thursday 27th March 2014

Entertaining but ultimately disappointing: Mick Smith a new Kim Philby book

A Spy Among Friends

9:00am Thursday 27th March 2014

By Mick Smith

Seasons of splendour at Oxford Literary Festival

11:02am Thursday 20th March 2014

Maggie Hartford on a food writer who helped to transform our post-war diet

Breaking bad - interview with Dennis The Menace author Steven Butler

The Oxford Times: Steven Butler

1:45pm Thursday 13th March 2014

Gill Oliver speaks to the reluctant reader turned best-selling author Steven Butler

Lashings of Enid Blyton

The Oxford Times: Enid Blyton

1:41pm Thursday 13th March 2014

Gill Oliver on a celebration of ‘a phenomenon’

A prime position - interview with Thatcher biographer Jonathan Aitken

The Oxford Times: Jonathan Aitken

1:38pm Thursday 13th March 2014

Having had a ringside seat during her rise to power, Jonathan Aitken is a biographer who saw many sides to Margaret Thatcher. Gill Oliver talks to him about his rollercoaster journey

Author Melanie King - intelligence best shared

The Oxford Times: Melanie King

1:28pm Thursday 13th March 2014

Gill Oliver speaks to prolific county author Melanie King

Free association at the Blackwell's Festival Marquee

The Oxford Times: Free association at the Blackwell's Festival Marquee

12:31pm Thursday 13th March 2014

Gill Oliver welcomes the bustling hub of eating, drinking and literary pleasure that is Blackwell’s festival Marquee

The Sword of Moses by Dominic Selwood

12:00pm Thursday 13th March 2014

Richard Jones on a historian’s thriller with Knights, Nazis and alchemists in the mix

This Boy by Alan Johnson

The Oxford Times: Alan Johnson, who will be at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival in April

10:49am Thursday 6th March 2014

Christopher Gray finds this memoir by Labour’s Alan Johnson is a gripping read

Ironworker's evocation of vanished world

10:20am Thursday 6th March 2014

A. E. Coppard was born into poverty in Kent, and after a mostly self-education and a variety of jobs, which included sprinting professionally, he moved to Oxford to work at the Eagle Ironworks. He saved enough from his wages and his running to give up work and rent a cottage in rural Oxfordshire (Headington!) aiming to become recognised as a writer. He sold short stories quite quickly to good magazines and eventually, 14 years after moving here, he published his first collection of stories, which was a critical success and was reprinted several times. He was popular in the 1920s but is not well-known today, despite some of his work being televised in the 1970s.

This Boy by Alan Johnson

The Oxford Times: Alan Johnson, who will be at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival in April

9:00am Thursday 6th March 2014

Garlanded with near-uniform five-star reviews on its publication last year, Alan Johnson’s ‘Memoir of a Childhood’, This Boy, is now out as a Corgi paperback guaranteed to impress and amaze anyone with the sense to read it.

Local author Steven Burgess

The Oxford Times: Local author Steven Burgess

1:52pm Tuesday 4th March 2014

Steven Burgess is the pen-name of a Watlington solicitor who wants to remain anonymous.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton - Hooked by hefty tome

The Oxford Times: Eleanor Catton, who will be at the Oxford Literary Festival in March

2:36pm Thursday 27th February 2014

Maggie Hartford on an opium-fuelled story set in the New Zealand gold rush

Local author Glyn Frewer

The Oxford Times: Local author Glyn Frewer

9:00am Thursday 27th February 2014

Novelist and poet Glyn Frewer lived for 18 years in an 18th-century cottage in Taston, a West Oxfordshire hamlet near Charlbury.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Oxford Times: Eleanor Catton, who will be at the Oxford Literary Festival in March

9:00am Thursday 27th February 2014

The Luminaries is a book to lose yourself in for days, weeks or months. If you haven’t yet succumbed to the hype about this huge saga, don’t resist. Switch off your smartphone, laptop, etc, and get stuck in.

Mildred on the Marne by David Slattery-Christy

11:09am Thursday 20th February 2014

Grant Nightingale on a tale of a woman's life near the First World War battlefields

Mildred on the Marne

9:00am Thursday 20th February 2014

A few weeks before the Great War started in August 1914, Mildred Aldrich, a US-born journalist, and resident of Paris since 1898, retired to a house in a village on the River Marne, directly in the path taken a few months later by the invading German army. Her house still stands near the Euro-Disney theme park close to Paris.

Local author Angela Cousins

9:00am Thursday 20th February 2014

Angela Cousins, 76, author of Telling Tales, a compilation of interviews with fellow residents of East and West Hanney, has written a new book about her aunt's Edwardian childhood. Kids From Over the Water (£12.99) is based on the memoirs of her aunt Keturah Daveney, who grew up in Walworth, South East London, struggling against poverty and disease against the shadow of the workhouse.

Land Where I Flee by Prajwal Parajuly

11:13am Thursday 13th February 2014

Jan Lee on an ‘uncomfortable, satirical’ novel set in the Indian Himalayas

Land Where I Flee by Prajwal Parajuly

9:00am Thursday 13th February 2014

Land Where I Flee is, according to its 27-year-old author Prajwal Parajuly, ‘an uncomfortable novel. . . often satirical, pharisaical’. Part Nepalese, part Indian, he grew up in Gangtok in the Indian state of Sikkim and completed his masters in creative writing at Oxford, where his short-story collection The Gurkha's Daughter was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize for Literature.

Festival lines up literary legends

The Oxford Times: Jan Morris

9:00am Thursday 13th February 2014

Legendary travel writer Jan Morris is to speak about her life and work to poet and author Kevin Crossley-Holland at this year’s Oxford Literary Festival.

Getting to the heart of the memoir

4:18pm Tuesday 11th February 2014

You pick up a Tim Pears novel confident you are in the hands of a consummate storyteller, not someone who wants to play literary tricks. His writing is controlled but passionate, and he takes you to the heart of whatever issue is at the forefront of his mind.

Walking with shadows

4:15pm Tuesday 11th February 2014

Writers often rhapsodise about the English countryside, and later this year we will be remembering the First World War poets: “Oh, to be in England, now that April’s here.”

Collection inspired by poet's father

The Oxford Times: Collection inspired by poet's father

4:37pm Thursday 6th February 2014

The latest collection from Oxford poet Jenny Lewis, Taking Mesopotamia, was inspired by research into the wartime experiences of her father (above), who died when she was a baby. His leg had been shattered by a bullet during the First World War, while serving in an area of Mesopotamia which is now part of Iraq Her research led her to look at how the 2003 invasion of Iraq grew out of the history of British interests in Mesopotamia in colonial times.

Burnt Norton by Caroline Sandon

4:34pm Thursday 6th February 2014

Burnt Norton carries an endorsement by Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, who calls it “a powerful story, beautifully told”. I agree entirely with the first point — the story has enough twists and turns to satisfy the most addicted soap opera fan, with scandal, grief, lust, attempted murder and forbidden love.

Burnt Norton - A romp through history

11:07am Thursday 6th February 2014

Maggie Hartford on a novel based on the true story of a Cotswold manor house

Kill or Cure - Science, the great healer

11:03am Thursday 30th January 2014

Richard Jones finds food for thought in a new illustrated history of medicine

Port Meadow with poet and painter

The Oxford Times: Godstow, by Andrew Walton

9:00am Thursday 30th January 2014

A year of early-morning walks in Port Meadow inspired Ground Work (£5) a 30-page booklet by poet David Attwooll and painter Andrew Walton.

Local author Jo Cotterill

4:36pm Tuesday 28th January 2014

Jo Cotterill has worked as an actress and was a teacher at Wychwood School, Oxford, but now writes full-time in her writing shed in her back garden in a village just outside Oxford.

Kill or Cure: History of Medicine

4:32pm Tuesday 28th January 2014

In Kill or Cure (DK, £19.99), popular science writer Steve Parker transports us through man’s medical journey by highlighting milestones that have changed our approach to health care.

Mrs. Griffin Sends Her Love by Miss Read

11:50am Thursday 23rd January 2014

Philippa Logan on a collection of articles that evoke country life during the 1950s

Miss Read's tales of everyday life

9:00am Thursday 23rd January 2014

‘Easy reading’ is not an insult, although Thackeray took it as such. Complimented on having produced ‘such easy reading’, he retorted that easy reading ‘means damned hard writing’.

Walking with McEwan

5:07pm Tuesday 21st January 2014

Faced with a rainy day, ramblers can’t do better than curl up with an Ian McEwan. His novel Amsterdam could inspire you to follow in the footsteps of Clive Linley, the nervy composer who is soothed by the words Blea Rigg, High Stile, Pavey Ark, Swirl How, which instantly transport him to the Lake District.

Local author Brian Martin

The Oxford Times: Local author Brian Martin

4:49pm Tuesday 21st January 2014

Brian Martin, a former teacher at Magdalen College School, Oxford, caused a stir with his debut novel North, which featured a pupil-teacher relationship. Now Mr Martin, who lives in North Oxford, has written a sequel, Latimer, an ebook which centres on the father of the dead student. Like his first book, the sequel features distrust, jealousy, sex and murder.

Life of JWM Turner

4:38pm Tuesday 21st January 2014

Those who know Turner (1775-1851) by his marvellous Ashmolean pictures of Oxford High Street and the Thames may think that he was a great realist painter.

In the footsteps of Shakespeare

10:35am Thursday 16th January 2014

Cymbeline’s Castle, jutting out from the Chilterns escarpment, sounds like an intriguing place. Could it be the site of one of the great battles for Britain, where the first century King Cunabelin (also known as Cymbeline) fought off the invading Roman hordes?

The Future: wait and see

10:31am Thursday 16th January 2014

Phil Bloomfield on a US politician’s analysis of how our world is set to change

Interview with Marcus Ferrar

10:31am Thursday 16th January 2014

Marcus Ferrar has no regrets about giving up his globetrotting life as a foreign correspondent for Reuters news agency. “It is a young man’s occupation. It is very strange. It is no sort of life if you want partners and children.


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