Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Life of an Undergraduate at Oxford

I am a new fan of The Edwardian Promenade.  In the post for September 11th, an article on an American's observations of Undergraduate Life at Oxford was presented.  I include an excerpt from it below, as it provides a snapshot of what life was like at Oxford in the 1890s.  Enjoy!

The day of an Oxford man is somewhat different from that of an American student. He rises at eight, and goes to chapel, and from chapel to breakfast in his own room, where he gets a most substantial breakfast—I never saw such substantial breakfasts anywhere else — or, what is more likely, he breakfasts with some one else in some one else’s rooms. This is a most excellent and hospitable habit, and prevails generally. So far as I could see, no one ever lunched or dined or breakfasted alone. He either was engaged somewhere else or was giving a party of his own. And it frequently happened that after we were all seated our host would remember that he should be lunching with another man, and we would all march over to the other man’s rooms and be received as a matter of course. It was as if they dreaded being left alone with their thoughts. It struck me as a university for the cultivation of hospitality before anything else.