Oxfordshire in the Blood


The Hubby and I just finished watching the old Inspector Morse series (all 33 episodes) which we first watched on Masterpiece Mystery many years ago. The books were written by Colin Dexter; the setting was Oxford, England; and the main characters were the brilliant Chief Inspector Morse and his hardworking colleague, Detective Sergeant Lewis. I’ve never read any of Colin Dexter’s books, although I always thought I would like to because we enjoyed the TV version of Morse so much. On my TBR list! The TV series was intelligent and well-written, very good mysteries, and enjoyable to watch again this many years later.

Thomas Gomm

My great, great, great grandfather, Thomas Gomm.

Another reason we returned to the series was because I have been reading some family history. My paternal great, great, great grandparents all came from Oxfordshire. When I remembered that the Inspector Morse series was filmed in Oxford, I thought it would be fun to see the area and watch a good mystery program at the same time. I was not disappointed. The mysteries were great and the filming of that area was wonderful. Many beautiful shots of the city and outlying areas.

Of course, the more I learn of my family history, the more I would love to travel to Oxfordshire and visit the locations where those distant grandparents lived. But that probably won’t be happening very soon, so my reading and TV viewing will have to do for now. Just for fun, I spent some time online and compiled a reading list of books set in Oxfordshire. There are probably many others I missed, but it turned out to be a fun list that would provide me with many hours of reading pleasure. Here’s some of the list I’ve compiled:

  • Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy
  • A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
  • His Dark Materials (trilogy) and Lyra’s Oxford, by Philip Pullman
  • Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
  • Gaudy Night, by Dorothy Sayers
  • Last Bus to Woodstock (Inspector Morse), by Colin Dexter
  • An Instance of the Fingerpost, by Iain Pears
  • Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis
  • Some Tame Gazelle, by Barbara Pym
  • Tom Brown’s Schooldays, by Thomas Hughes
  • Oxford Blood, by Antonia Fraser
  • The Oxford Murders, by Guillermo Martinez
  • Byron’s Child, Carola Dunn

Side-by-side photos of my great, great, great grandparents in Oxfordshire…

5 thoughts on “Oxfordshire in the Blood

  1. Kay

    How interesting, Robin, that you have those photos of your many great-grands. Enjoy your reading list! And have you ever watched Lewis, the TV show that came after Morse? I loved it.


  2. deslily

    from your list I’ve read: His Dark Materials (trilogy) and Lyra’s Oxford, by Philip Pullman, and An Instance of the Fingerpost, by Iain Pears and I have Gaudy Night on the stand next to my chair!


  3. Robin Post author

    Thanks, Kay. We have just started re-watching Endeavour, and then we have Inspector Lewis coming up next. We’re having a Morse/Lewis film festival here! Very enjoyable!

    Pat, you’ve put a good dent in my list! I’m following in your footsteps!


  4. Nan

    You might add Three Men in a Boat to your list. As much as I enjoyed Morse when it was on, and have watched the occasional episode again, I LOVE Lewis. I think it is better than Morse. And I do so love Endeavour. It’s fun because John Thaw’s daughter makes occasional appearances.


  5. Robin Post author

    Nan, have taken your suggestion and added Three Men in a Boat to my list! We are in the middle of Lewis and loving it. I think it’s better written than Morse, and I love the partnership of those two. We have also watched Endeavour and loved it, too. We loved the scene where Abigail Thaw asks Endeavor if they had met before… It was priceless.



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