Thursday, February 28, 2013

Perspectives: Ivy Frost, Christ Church, Oxford

Fall frost touches the ivy over the stones around a dark stream that issues from under Christ College, Oxford.  Legend has it, Lawrence of Arabia (who grew up going to St. Aldates Church across the street) tried to explore the streams that flow under the city when he was at Oxford: also that he tried to steal the deer in Magdalene's Deer Park for his own college.  Christ College is where William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, studied, also John and Charles Wesley, John Locke, and Albert Einstein, along with thirteen future prime ministers, and where Charles Dodson (Lewis Caroll) taught mathematics.  Charles I set up his government here, cutting a passage through stone walls for conjugal visits, as I recall. Of course all that pales in comparison to the college's role as a site for the filming of a Harry Potter movie.  Old Tom sounds a couple hundred feet away 101 times at 9:05 PM, so wayward students could return to their dorm at the top of the hour as calculated in Oxford, Greenwich be damned.   

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