As she awaits her execution at Oxford Castle, a newly wed woman from a God-fearing family, convicted for murdering her housemaid, is pardoned at the last minute by King George II. A butcher suddenly disappears and changes his identity after the tragic death of his young wife. A picture-frame maker from humble origins becomes ‘the richest man in Oxford’ and is at ease socialising with the luminaries of the Victorian art world. And a lovestruck local member of parliament with a serious gambling addiction dies in suspicious circumstances.
These are some of the stories of individuals connected with the land and property on Middle Way in Summertown, Oxford, where the author now lives. The book presents an alternative history of Oxford and explores how Summertown evolved from being primarily an artisans’ village to becoming a well-heeled suburb of Oxford. Extensively referenced and using archival sources and interviews, a voice is also given to the living relatives of people connected with the land and property on Middle Way.
Previously a professor of international relations and a consultant who lived in Istanbul for twenty years, more recently Gareth Winrow has focused on family, social and local history. His previous book followed the adventures of an extraordinary family who lived in the Ottoman Empire and British-ruled India. After returning to Oxford, where he was once a student, Gareth lives in Summertown with his wife and two cats.
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