Return to Oxford
Thursday (July 19) we returned to Oxford for our tour of the Bodelian Library at Oxford University. The library is the main research library at Oxford University and is administered by the university unlike the other libraries which are administered by the individual colleges. It is one of the oldest libraries with the current building and collection dating back to the 1602 when Sir Thomas Bodley a fellow of Oxford from Merton College offered to develop the declining library by providing books from his own collection and soliciting other donations as well as taking the cost upon himself for the restoration of the building and furniture.
My most memorable impression
The library is quite grand to be expected. But my most memorable impression of the whole visit will be of the bathroom. Why the bathroom you ask? Well, you may or may not know that in England, library patrons are referred to as "readers". Very appropriate. So naturally, the bathroom or toilet is labeled "Women Readers". I love it! I had to take a picture of it. I thought I was being discreet but our guide was lurking behind the pillar and caught me in the act. Oh well crazy Americans.
C.S. Lewis Tour
While in Oxford, we had the afternoon free so some of us signed up to take a "C.S. Lewis Tour" graciously arranged by our classmate Mike. The tour was interesting and our guide was quite a character. It was a little subjective though. Our tour guide claims to have been friends with C. S. Lewis's stepson and to have known the man himself. He was also adamant that there should be some kind of monument to Lewis in Oxford of which there isn't. So he provided this tour as a tribute to Lewis since none according to him exists. We did visit some interesting places, amongst them his house "The Kilns", his church
and grave site and the home of J. R. R. Tolkien a friend of Lewis's and one of the famous "Inklings" who used to gather at the "Eagle and Child Pub" to discuss Christianity and other philosophical ideas I'm sure. As I said it was interesting and entertaining. A little longer than I would have preferred however but our guide provided a certificate for each of us with our names stating that we had participated in the tour, somewhat odd but nice. Unfortunately, we were too late to visit Christchurch but I took pictures anyway.
C. S. Lewis grave site