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Tom Brown at Oxford   By: (1822-1896)

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Tom Brown at Oxford by Thomas Hughes is a captivating coming-of-age story that follows the adventures of its protagonist, Tom Brown, as he navigates the complexities of university life. Building on his earlier novel, Tom Brown's School Days, Hughes continues to explore themes of friendship, sportsmanship, morality, and personal growth in this well-crafted sequel.

Set in England in the mid-19th century, the novel offers readers a vivid glimpse into the world of Oxford University during that era. Hughes's attention to detail and descriptive storytelling transport the reader to the idyllic, yet demanding, academic environment. From the picturesque landscapes to the grandiose architecture, Hughes paints a rich backdrop against which the characters' experiences unfold.

Tom Brown, the beloved protagonist from the previous installment, carries the story forward with his charm, resilience, and unwavering sense of honor. As he enters Oxford, he is faced with new challenges that test his character and ideals. Hughes thoughtfully explores the various aspects of university life, from the competitive spirit of college rowing and rigorous academic pursuits to the intricacies of social hierarchies and the demands of being a young gentleman.

One of the novel's strengths lies in its ability to tackle complex moral questions without simplification or judgment. Hughes delves into controversial topics of the time, such as religion, politics, and societal expectations. Through Tom's interactions with his fellow students, including peers from diverse backgrounds, Hughes reflects the intellectual debates and societal changes of the era, effectively enhancing the novel's historical context.

While the book may not be for those seeking a fast-paced plot or action-packed narrative, it excels in its ability to create well-rounded characters and evoke a strong sense of time and place. Hughes's writing style is elegant and sophisticated, capturing the essence of Victorian England with a touch of nostalgia.

Tom Brown at Oxford is a worthy successor to Tom Brown's School Days, exemplifying the author's talent for crafting engaging stories that resonate with readers of all ages. Hughes's ability to explore universal themes through the lens of an individual's growth and development is commendable, making this novel an enjoyable and thought-provoking read for fans of historical fiction and coming-of-age tales.

First Page:

Tom Brown at Oxford

Thomas Hughes (1822 96)

Publishing history

First serialized ending in circa 1861 in MacMillan's Magazine (mentioned by the author in his preface, and Chapter 28 contains the author's footnote indicating that at least part of this chapter was not written earlier than 1859)

First published in 3 volume book form 1861 by Cambridge, London (British Library)

2nd edition published 1861 by MacMillan & Co., Cambridge & London (British Library)

Published 1861 by Ticknor & Fields, Boston (Library of Congress)

May have been serialized by Ticknor & Fields in 1859 (parts offered on by an antique bookseller)

Published 1863 by Ticknor & Fields, Boston (Library of Congress)

Published 1865 by MacMillan & Co. (British Library)

Published 1870 by Harper Bros., New York (British Library)

Published 1871 by Harper Bros., New York (Library of Congress & British Library)

Published 1879 by unknown, New York (Library of Congress)

Published 1881 by MacMillan & Co., New York (Library of Congress)

French translation published 1881 in Paris with added name Girardin, Jules Marie Alfred who is possibly the translator(?) (British Library)

Published circa 1888 92 by John W. Lovell, New York (Ebook transcriber's scanned copy)

Published 1888 by Porter & Coates, Philadelphia (Ebook transcriber's proofreading copy)

Published 1889 by MacMillan, London & New York (Library of Congress)

Published 1890 by Lovell, Coryell & Co... Continue reading book >>

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