Oxford, Day 9: Jubilee in Jericho

Originally published June 4, 2012, this blog post series is an undergraduate short-term study abroad trip in Oxford, UK in partnership with Salve Regina University and St. Clare’s Oxford.

This afternoon, the group 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. Afterward, 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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A Francophile based in coastal New England

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