It was certainly a man’s world (and an extremely elite one) at Oxford University as described by A D Godley in his book Aspects of Modern Oxford published in 1894 by Seeley & Co Ltd.
The plates in the book were produced by five artists. They illustrate all aspects of a student’s life, in particular participation in a wide variety of sports including tennis, rowing, cricket and golf. There was swimming too. The area called Parson’s Pleasure (see image 3 in this post) was a nude bathing area in the University Parks – men only, of course. The selected images are by Lancelot or Launcelot Speed, an illustrator of fiction and fairy tale books. The picture of the rowers waiting for the coxswain begs for a caption competition!
For your interest, here’s a link to the history of women at Oxford (who were admitted as full students in 1920). It includes a list of some of the University’s more well-known graduates.
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