So much literature and the Perch

The Perch is close to an avenue of poplars made famous by Gerard Manley Hopkins in his poem Binsey Poplars, written when he found the riverside trees felled. The replacements for these trees, which stretch from Binsey to Godstow, lasted until 2004, when the present replantings began.[2] The Perch was frequented by author Lewis Carroll and is noted as one of the first places that he gave public readings of Alice in Wonderland. It was also a favorite of C. S. Lewis and fictional character Inspector Morse.[7]

On the journey to Godstow, Carroll and the girls would have passed within sight of Binsey, a hamlet of a dozen or so houses on the western side of the Thames. The place was familiar to Carroll through his life-long friendship with another Christ Church don, Thomas Prout, who was the vicar.

As the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, Alice Liddell enjoyed many privileges in her life. One such was to have as a tutor the famous and influential artist, and patron of artists, John Ruskin (1819–1900). Alice evidently reaped the benefit.

She became an accomplished amateur artist, and her skill as a wood-carver is displayed today in Osney’s church of St Frideswide. Appropriately enough the scene shows Oxford’s patron saint arriving at Binsey by boat, prior to the events which led to the miracle of the ‘treacle well’.



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