An ever-expanding Virtual Tour of Oxford University and City.

Now with over 2,500 panoramas from all around Oxford, including most of the colleges, including "JRR Tolkien's Oxford" - exploring some of JRRT's favourite places.

You have total control over each image... the floor of the "University Schools Building" is worth the visit on its own. Amazing.... GO NOW!
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Jack and Joy... and marriage

For we did learn and achieve something. There is, hidden or flaunted, a sword between the sexes till an entire marriage reconciles them. It is arrogance in us to call frankness, fairness, and chivalry 'masculine' when we see them in a woman; it is arrogance in them, to describe a man's sensitiveness or tact or tendernesss 'feminine.' But also what poor, warped fragments of humanity most mere men and mere women must be to make the implications of that arrogance plausible. Marriage heals this. Jointly the two become fully human. 'In the image of God created He them.' Thus, by a paradox, this carnival of sexuality leads us out beyond our sexes.

A Grief Observed
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The famous Jack Lewis quote on Marriage...

C.S. Lewis on Marriage Protection

“... I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question -- how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one.

I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mahommedans (sic) tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognise that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.

From Mere Christianity, Chapter 16:

Is he right? (RR)

Tolkien on Marriage

Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.

J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter to Michael Tolkien, March 1941 Posted by Picasa

Eden's Courtesy

Such natural love twixt beast and man we find
That children all desire an animal book,
And all brutes, not perverted from their kind,
Woo us with whinny, tongue, tail, song, or look;
So much of Eden's courtesy yet remains.
But when a creature's dread, or mine, has built
A wall between, I think I feel the pains
That Adam earned and do confess my guilt.
For till I tame sly fox and timorous hare
And lording lion in my self, no peace
Can be without; but after, I shall dare
Uncage the shadowy zoo and war will cease;
Because the brutes within, I do not doubt,
Are archetypal of the brutes without.

C. S. Lewis, Poems, "Eden's Courtesy" (1964) Posted by Picasa


"I will not seek it," the other replied.

"It has been opened once and it is enough. And you,are you sure that man can conquer until he has been wholly defeated? Are you sure that he can find plenitude till he has known utter despair? You will not let him despair of himself, but it may be that only in such a complete despair he finds that which cannot despair and is something other than man."

Shadows of Ecstasy - Charles Williams / ch.11

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The Other Mrs. Moore

"There was in the grounds of The Kilns when I arrived there, away over beyond the desolate tennis court, a small two roomed weather-board shack. It was almost completely overgrown with creepers and bushes and was evidently not in use for any purpose. When I asked Fred Paxford about it he told me that it had been "Mrs Moore's house", and it had been built for her use. On further inquiry I came to understand that the "Mrs Moore" in question had been a family friend and had fallen on hard times and thus had been brought into the household in Ireland to "help", and that when things became very hard in her later life, Jack and Warnie had "rescued" her, brought her over from Ireland, and built that little bungalow for her so that she could spend her declining last years in peace and without worry.

This information may or may not be completely accurate as it was gleaned over a period of time; neither Jack nor Warnie would ever openly talk about their charitable works. The little house later became my "Gang Hut" (rather a posh one actually as it had two rooms and a coal fired heating stove) and also an alternative "sleep-out" bedroom for me to use when I was feeling adventurous or whatever.

I visited Mrs Moore's grave only a few weeks ago as it happens in order to point it out to some visitors. She shares the burial place of her Earthly residue with that of the other Mrs Moore, at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry.

Douglas Gresham - Lenten Lands (1988)

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