Oxford, Briefly

Yesterday was a lot of fun.

The radio show went well after a slight technical hitch at the start. More on that tomorrow.

I got to Oxford on time, and Lev Grossman’s talk was very interesting. He’s a very nice chap too. More on that tomorrow as well.

Today I spent a bit of time in the Ashmolean. The Great British Drawings exhibition is nice, though it does serve to emphasize once again that Byrne-Jones wasn’t very good. I went mainly to see Rossetti’s Proserpine, which is indeed lovely, and to confirm my suspicion that there would be nothing from Simeon Solomon in it. There wasn’t. You would have thought that the British art establishment would have grown up by now, but clearly it hasn’t. Still, there was a Ronald Searle and a Gerald Scarfe, which cheered me up.

The Caricatures exhibit is interesting mainly for the evidence that slut-shaming of women has a very long history. The best thing in it is this gorgeous little cartoon of gout.

The Ed Paschke exhibition is very bright. I suspect that the cover of Roz Kaveney’s Tiny Pieces of Skull may have some Paschke influence.

The exhibition I really wanted to see was Gods in Colour, where they have taken a selection of Greek and Roman statues, and painted them up to look like they would have looked when they were new. It was great. I wish they had done more.

Oh, and I had lunch in a pub called the Eagle and Child, which was apparently the venue for some sort of fannish pub meet years ago. A bunch of wannabe fantasy writers known as The Inklings used to go there and discuss their work over a pint or several. I did not find Viriconium.