The Oxford and Cambridge Society of New England cordially invites you to its 
Annual Christmas Dinner 
Friday 4th December 2015
Winchester Country Club
"John Ruskin at Oxford: From Gentleman-Commoner to Slade Professor"

The art and social critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) was one of the 19th century’s most influential thinkers. He was also an Oxford man. His relationship with the university bookended his long and remarkable intellectual career, from his beginnings as a woefully underprepared Gentleman-Commoner at Christ Church, to the glory days of speaking to packed lecture halls as the first Slade Professor of Art.

From Modern Painters Vol I - published when Ruskin was 24, and his opening volley in a lifetime of labyrinthine works defending the art of JMW Turner – to the revolutionary economic manifesto Unto This Last, or his hauntingly beautiful memoir Praeterita, written between bouts of the madness that would silence his last years, Ruskin’s opinions on art, architecture, economic justice, and education reverberated throughout the world.

Ruskin’s time matriculating at Oxford was blighted by a painfully unrequited love – the first of his disastrous romantic life – and by the amused bullying of the aristocrats he was thrown in with. It was also blessed with rich and life-long friendships, for it was here he met such scientific luminaries as the revered Dr. William Buckland and Charles Darwin. His affection for Oxford led him to contribute a stunning cache of Turner’s paintings to it – an act of generosity he repeated at Cambridge.

Author Octavia Randolph will present an illustrated talk about John Ruskin at Oxford, and read from her new biographical novel about him, Light, Descending. Ms. Randolph has been the recipient of Artistic Fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Ledig House International, and Byrdcliffe in support of the research and writing of Light, Descending, and has spoken about Ruskin at NYU, The Boston Athenaeum, Save Venice, and numerous other venues. She is also the author of the best-selling historical novel series, The Circle of Ceridwen Saga.

Attire for gentlemen will be black tie, college blazer or business suit.

The event is open to OCSNE members and their guests, new members please add membership when booking online, or include your $30 membership dues in your check.

Tickets cost $100 per person ($85 for student members) including wine and port with dinner and reception drinks. To book use the event page at, or send in the reservation form with your check.

Reservations Deadline: Saturday November 28th.

The Winchester Country Club has ample parking. Address and directions:

Winchester Country Club
468 Mystic Street
Winchester, MA 01890
(781) 729-1181

From Boston: Take Route 93 North to Exit 31 (Arlington, Mystic Valley Parkway). Continue straight on the parkway into Arlington, by the Mystic Lake on the right, up to a set of traffic lights where you make a right turn onto Mystic Street (Route 3 North). The Winchester Country Club will be three quarters of a mile on the left at the Arlington/Winchester town line.

From Route 128 North or South: Take exit 33A. This will take you onto Route 3 South where you will continue for approximately 4 miles passing Mahoney's Rocky Ledge Farm on your right and the Winchester Boat Club on your left. At the next bend in the road you will take a right onto Arlington Street and your first left into the lot of the club.

From Route 2 in Boston: Heading West go to Pleasant Street to the lights at the Mass Avenue intersection at Arlington Center. Go straight across Mass Avenue to Mystic Street (Route 3 North). The Winchester Country Club is one mile on the left at the Arlington/Winchester town line.

From Route 2 East: Take exit #59 (Pleasant St., Arlington). Continue on Pleasant Street to the lights at Mass Avenue intersection at Arlington Center. Go straight across Mass Avenue to Mystic Street (Route 3 North). The Winchester Country Club is one mile on the left at the Arlington/Winchester town line.

Although the Winchester Country Club is in the suburbs, one of the reasons we selected it is that it is readily accessible from Boston and Cambridge by public transportation.

Take the Red Line to Alewife and transfer to the 350 bus. If you pay on the Red Line with your Charley Card, swiping the Card on the 350 will get you a free transfer. Take the 350 to the Mystic Street / Old Mystic Street stop and you will be 50 yards from the Winchester Country Club. Service is infrequent on Saturday evenings-- there are buses at 5:30, which will get you there a few minutes early and at 6:30, which will get you there well into the pre-dinner drinks period.

Coming back, the last bus is at 10:15pm, and we have set up the timing of the evening to allow you to catch this bus comfortably. The Club tells us that this bus is very reliable and that a number of the Club employees catch it.
This mailing also serves as the notice for the Annual Meeting of Members (AGM) and the Regular Meeting of Directors, which will take place at the dinner.

Sincerely,                                                          Reception: 6:00 pm, Dinner: 7:15 pm
Dona Cady                                                     AGM: 8:30 pm, Talk: 8:50 pm,
Dona Cady (Somerville, Oxon.),                        Location: Winchester Country Club
President of the Society