Seminars meet each weekday morning, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study, or exploring the many places of interest in and around the city.
Please note that OUDCE reserves the right to alter course content and/or cancel field trips in accordance with government guidance.
In our initial discussion we will consider what makes a good crime story and what we expect from one. Then we discuss Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein from 1818 which, despite popular film and comic versions, is a very interesting and disturbing book: a story of pursuit and crime, as well as a social and psychological study.
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins is one of the most famous of the Sensation novels of the 1860s and is often called the first detective story. In it Collins experiments with ways of telling a mystery without cheating the reader.
A new century brings us to The Innocence of Father Brown by G K Chesterton. Father Brown is overshadowed by his predecessor, Sherlock Holmes, but has a claim to be the greater. We look in detail at a few of the stories and consider the short story’s advantages and disadvantages.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier was published in 1938 and its first sentence is famous. The book is a gothic horror with one killing and an attempted killing in a very evocative English setting.
We jump to the present day with Cara Hunter’s Close to Home. This is the first of a well-plotted police series that surprises with its twists and which mixes straight narrative with reports, social media etc and which is set in a mainly recognisable real Oxford. Cara hopes to join us for part of the morning. We finish with a review of the week and participants recommendations of books from their own countries.