Oxford and Cambridge

Oxford and Cambridge

An Uncommon History

  1. Peter Sager
  • ISBN 9780500512494
  • 24.00 x 15.50 cm
  • Hardback
  • 472pp
  • 63 Illustrations, 46 in colour
  • First published 2005
‘… anecdote after anecdote tumbles from his fertile pen … It will give cheer and innocent fun to those who love Oxford and Cambridge’ – The Times Higher Education Supplement
‘Sager writes with perception, humour and a degree of distance mixed with an equal degree of involvement’ – Contemporary Review

‘If Oxford were not the finest thing in England,’ wrote Henry James, ‘the case would be clearer for Cambridge.’

'Oxford & Cambridge' is a unique combination of travel guide, history, biography and psychoanalysis of two towns that are not just places but states of mind.

No other private institutions have had a greater impact on England’s – and, at times, world – history, yet in different ways. Oxford has spawned more Prime Ministers, Cambridge more Nobel laureates. In Oxford, so it is said, things are brilliantly formulated; in Cambridge, they are seriously thought through. Bill Clinton practised the saxophone in 60s Oxford, and became President of the USA; Bill Gates chose Cambridge as the location for the first Microsoft branch outside the USA.

Ever since Thackeray invented a mythical ‘Oxbridge’, these two very distinctive institutions, as different as Harvard and Yale, have increasingly presented a common face to the world, a homogeneous elite whose sense of duty has been surpassed only by its self-confidence.

Peter Sager draws on a treasure trove of facts, figures and anecdotes to provide a witty and detailed map of Oxbridge. He roams through the idyllic gardens and courtyards, and uncovers the secrets that lie behind the college gates. He supports his literary journey with colour photographs and maps, a glossary, list of useful addresses and guide to further reading.

Peter Sager is best known for his guidebooks to the British Isles, which include Wales, East Anglia, The West Country and South-East England. He lives with his family in Hamburg.