Oxford, Day 9: Jubilee in Jericho

This afternoon, the grouped walked to Jericho, where Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure lived in Oxford. The story’s protagonist, Jude, leads a difficult life filled with rejection and confusion. Young Jude, a true scholar, is not accepted to the universities in Oxford, because of his working class status.  After a series of disappointing events, Jude moves from the country to Oxford, but he realizes that he will never be able to step on the other side of the universities’ stone walls. He is forever shut out.

Visiting Jericho today was certainly not depressing like Jude’s world. Former working class homes have been renovated and boast little English rose gardens that gently spill onto the sidewalk. Many locals were out celebrating the Jubilee holiday at pubs and the street fair.

The group visited St. Sepulchre’s graveyard to visit the grave of Oxford scholar Benjamin Jowett. Jowett served as the inspiration for the blue caterpillar in Alice and Wonderland and one of the university deans in Jude the Obscure. Afterwards, we went to St. Barnabas Church in the center of town by the Jubilee celebrations, and finally ended the day at a pub named Jude the Obscure.

St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery

RIP Benjamin Jowett

Jericho Street Festival

St. Barnabas Church

Jude the Obscure Pub

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