An Oxford Bestiary

by Sophie Huxley

Sophie Huxley’s An Oxford Bestiary takes the reader into some of the lesser known and more secret places of Oxford, both in the town and in the university. Representations of animals—mammals, birds, fish, insects, and mythological creatures—in stone, bronze, and stained glass, heraldic animals on college and city coats of arms, their depiction on pub signs, and their mention in street names, all feature in the book. Interspersed with these are accounts of animal myths and legends associated with Oxford and descriptions of literary animals from the works of Oxford writers such as Lewis Carroll, C. S. Lewis, Philip Pullman, and J. R. R. Tolkien. The book is richly illustrated with Paul Freestone’s superlative photographs.

Sophie Huxley is an Oxford college gardener, writer, and publisher. In addition to An Oxford Bestiary, she is also the author of The Oxford Science Walk, Oxford Trees, and Eric Gill in Oxford.

Paul Freestone has been a freelance photographer since 1986. His work has appeared in numerous publications and has been widely exhibited. He is also the author of Eccentric Man, the definitive biography and discography of British blues-rock guitarist Tony McPhee.

If you live in Oxford, this volume is conveniently available from the Albion Beatnik Bookstore, 34 Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AA. Tel: 07737 876213. Drop in and have a coffee, and you may well find other books you didn’t know you wanted.