Volume VII of The History of the University of Oxford completes the survey of nineteenth-century Oxford begun in Volume VI. After 1871 both teachers and students at Oxford were freed from tests of religious belief. The volume describes the changed mental climate in which some dons sought a new basis for morality, while many undergraduates found a compelling ideal in the ethic of public service both at home and in the empire. As the existing colleges were
revitalized, and new ones founded, the academic profession in Oxford developed a peculiarly local form, centred upon college tutors who stood in somewhat uneasy relation with the University's professors.
The various disciplines which came to form the undergraduate curriculum in both the arts and sciences are subject to major reappraisal; and Oxford's 'hidden curriculum' is explored through accounts of student life and institutions, including organized sport and the Oxford Union. New light is shed on the social origins and previous schooling of undergraduates.
A fresh assessment is made of the movement to establish women's higher education in Oxford, and the strategies adopted by its promoters to implant communities for women within the masculine culture of an ancient university. Other widened horizons are traced in accounts of the University's engagement with imperial expansion, social reform, and the educational aspirations of the labour movement, as well as the transformation of its press into a major international publisher. The architectural
developments-considerable in quantity and highly varied in quality-receive critical appraisal in a comprehensive survey of the whole period covered by Volumes VI and VII (1800-1914).
By the early twentieth century the challenges of socialism and democracy, together with the demand for national efficiency, gave rise to a renewed campaign to address issues such as promoting research, abolishing compulsory Greek, and, more generally, broadening access to the University. Under the terrible test of the First World War, still more deep-seated concerns were raised about the sider effects of Oxford's educational practices; and the volume concludes with some reflections on the
directions which the University had taken over the previous fifty years.
No private institutions have exerted so profound an influence on national life over the centuries as the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Few universities in the world have matched their intellectual distinction, and none has evolved and maintained over so long a period a strictly comparable collegiate structure.
Now a completely new and full-scale History of the University of Oxford, from its obscure origins in the twelfth century until the late twentieth century, has been produced by the university with the active support of its constituent colleges. Drawing on extensive original research as well as on the centuries-old tradition of the study of the rich source material, the History is altogether comprehensive, appearing in eight chronologically arranged volumes. Together the
volumes constitute a coherent overall study; yet each has a unity of its own, under individual editorship, and brings together the work of leading scholars in the history of every university discipline, and of its social, institutional, economic, and political development as well as its impact on national and international
The result is a history not only more authoritative than any previously produced for Oxford, but more ambitious than any undertaken for any other European university, and certain to endure for many generations to come.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 1078
Weight: 1345 g
Dimensions: 242 x 165 x 60 mm
For many years to come specialist scholars will raid this volume, not only for the historical context in which their specialist research is involved, but also for the shorter essays on special topics ... The photographs are well selected and not just for the images they present. They are accompanied by a commentary on the plates from which they have been reproduced and on the circumstances of their production - a novel and commendable notion this. Every picture
does indeed tell a story. Again, it is an example of the true historian's art, for it is not what you see which counts, but who presents it for you to see and why. * Higher Education Review *
Detailed, authoritative, skilfully constructed and edited, and full of a wonderful variety of information and interpretation which will stimulate many a future research project. * The Pelican Record *
Part 2 of Volume VII of the History of Oxford University completes this monumental scholarly series with a flourish but also with gravitas ... There are fascinating anecdotes in the midst of serious analysis. There is an elegance in the way chapters proceed to well crafted conclusions ... For many years to come specialist scholars will raid this volume, not only for the historical context in which their specialist research is involved, but also for the shorter
essays on special topics ... it is an example of the true historian's art, for it is not what you see which counts, but who presents it for you to see and why. * Higher Education Review *
Historians of other universities can only congratulate the editors and the Clarendon Press, with a mixture of admiration and envy, on the completion of this path-breaking and well-funded scholarly project. * English Historical Review *
Its strength lies in its immense range and its depth of detailed illustration. * English Historical Review *
This is a gold-mine from which readers may select nuggets which bring them the latest research, written in a most accessible format. It is a magnificent conclusion to a magnificent undertaking. * Contemporary Review *
This impressive volume completes the monumental history of the university which will no doubt hold the field for a long time. * Church Times *
Represents a truly fitting - and not simply accidental - conclusion to a major intellectual project. Glory to Michael Brock and Mark Curthoys. * S. J. D. Green, Times Literary Supplement *