10 things you didn’t know about the Sheldonian Theatre (Oxford Today)


I put together a list of 10 things you didn’t know about the Sheldonian Theatre for Oxford Today, to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the laying of the building’s foundation stones.

And here’s a bonus fact: Gilbert Sheldon, the then Archbishop of Canterbury who paid for the building, was born in Staffordshire.

Read the list here: Celebrating the Sheldonian

Chasing The Light (Oxford Today)

Photography_OxfordMy feature about the new Photography Oxford festival is now online.

How can charities move us to give when we are so used to seeing pictures of starving children? Are we more interested in recording experiences than living them? And in the end, what is the point of photography?

Organisers of a major international photography festival taking place in Oxford this autumn hope to explore all these questions and more with an ambitious programme of exhibitions, talks, debates, workshops, films and competitions. More than 100,000 visitors are expected to flock to the three-week Photography Oxford Festival to be challenged, moved and inspired by the ideas and artwork on display.

Read the full feature here

Triumphant Twitching (Oxford Today interview)

oxford today 220514


My interview with champion bird-watcher Neil Hayward is the featured story on the Oxford Today website.

Neil spotted a record-breaking 750 species during his “accidental big year” – as well as clocking up 195 nights away from home, driving 51,758 miles, spending 147 hours at sea, and flying 193,758 miles on 177 flights through 56 airports.

For many years, Neil Hayward (New College, 1992) kept his favourite hobby a secret from all but those closest to him. But in 2013 he took centre-stage, in the North American bird-watching world at least, by spotting a record number of species within a year.

Read the full story on the Oxford Today website.


Book review: William & Dorothy Wordsworth: All in Each Other (Oxford Today)

allineachotherI reviewed William & Dorothy Wordsworth: All in Each Other by Lucy Newlyn for Oxford University’s alumni publication Oxford Today.

It says a great deal about the way our minds work that Lucy Newlyn (Lady Margaret Hall, 1975) feels she must place her cards firmly on the table just eight lines into this literary biography’s preface.

She is, she explains, interested in the close relationship between siblings William and Dorothy Wordsworth “as evidence of their intense emotional and spiritual need” (her italics). Reader, if you’re looking for scandalous revelations of incestuous passion, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Read the full review here.

Book review: Philosophy Bites Back (Oxford Today)

philbitesbackI reviewed Philosophy Bites Back by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton for the Oxford alumni publication Oxford Today.

Podcast fans may already be familiar with the hugely successful Philosophy Bites series, which began in 2007 and has since been downloaded nearly 20 million times. But for those not in the know, Philosophy Bites Back is the second collection of transcribed interviews taken from the popular digital philosophical show.

Click here to read the full review