Weston Library Trip

On a surprisingly sunny afternoon, four L6 students interested in studying English at University hopped on the bus down to the Weston Library in Oxford city centre.

At the Library were two exhibitions: one on Franz Kafka, the esteemed author of ‘The Metamorphosis’, as well as an exhibition titled ‘Write Cut Rewrite’ which gave insight into the early drafting processes of a range of famous authors.

Spending 40 minutes strolling around these fabulous and insightful displays was not nearly enough – we all had to peel ourselves away from everything: from handwritten drafts of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, to modern poetry, to Percy Shelley’s sketches on the original ‘Ozymandias’ – a poem all GCSE students will be firmly familiar with!

One particular area of insight for me was Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’: studying this as an A level text and then being able to see Shelley’s handwriting and her editing process was absolutely unforgettable. The recognition of her literary skill as a woman in the 19th century alone is monumental!

Walking around the displays, it was difficult for us to even move on before fully understanding and appreciating each and every text. The exhibition on Kafka’s life, and recognition of his life after death, was an excellent way to finish off the afternoon – I was astounded by how not only immersive but informative the showcase was.

To anyone interested in literature, or just looking for an activity to kill some time on a slow-moving afternoon, 40 minutes in the Weston Library’s exhibition rooms will ignite a certain type of curiosity rarely felt in such a way.

Report by Scarlett (L6)