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Cambridge - Treasure Island in the Fens

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact William Eucker.

Amongst the few books published this year to mark the 800th, Cambridge – Treasure Island in the Fens is unique. First it is written by an outsider, Nicholas Chrimes – the author graduated from Bristol and Fontainbleau, France. Secondly it is thematic not chronological with chapters on why there is a university in Cambridge, how it flourished, its architecture, the critical role of women in its growth, colleges – their chapels, gardens and character. Other chapters cover wealth, privilege, misbehaviour, sport and the cultural impact the university has made on those who have never been near the place. Its uniqueness is confirmed by its focus on the town as well as “gown.”

The book exposes particularly the connections between England and the United Sates – which are astonishingly profound. We have asked him to speak to us in our 2nd floor Common Room at the University Centre at 6.30pm on Monday 23rd November. He will discuss why the university started, how it flourished, its acquisition of huge wealth and privilege, the ancient contribution of women and those deep connections between the States and England.

Incidentally, the book is available from Heffers – whose four-foot square shopwindow poster of the book’s cover is hard to miss – but it will also be available next Monday. £1 from every book sold will be given to the restoration of the outstanding “Pre Raphaelite church”, All Saints in Jesus Lane. More information is available at

As always, the Distinguished Lecture Series is targeted for Gates Cambridge Scholars in statu pupillari, but we welcome the participation of any university member or accompanied guest. Please direct questions to

This talk is part of the Gates Distinguished Lecture Series series.

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