Parodies in

Oxford Cockaigne:


The Land of Cockaigne by Breughel
Pieter Bruegel the Elder's "Luilekkerland" (The Land of Cockaigne)
Painted in 1567. Oil on panel.
Currently in the collection of the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany.

Part of the material which Johnny Frenchman uses to construct his Oxford Cockaigne is made up from encounters with authors and their works many of which relate specifically to Oxford. Consequently a number of short parodies of well-known books appear in the novel. These are listed below:

Toad in the Hole pp 32-35 is a parody of the opening of The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
Kenneth Grahame was a boarder at St Edwards school in Oxford.


The Ragged Trousered Socialist pp 68-72 is another parody of the opening from the perspective of Robert Tressell (real name Robert Noonan) the author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.


Three Men In A Boat Going Nowhere pp 144-151 is a parody of Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K Jerome (pp 144-150) and The News from Nowhere by William Morris (pp 150-151).
There are several other short parodies of the opening of Three Men in A Boat as told by William Morris (p12), Kenneth Grahame (p77), The Marquis de Rochefort-Luzay (p94), Toad (p100), Ernest Dowson (p225).
William Morris and Ernest Dowson's father both took "3 men in a boat" trips.


Rose in Cockaigneland pp 177-179 is a parody of Alice In Wonderland/Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll/Charles Dodgson.
Rose refers to Rose La Touche who Ruskin fell in love with after meeting her when she was ten.


Blairshead Revisited pp 188-190 is a parody of Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.
Tony Blair was a student at Oxford and sang in a band called "Ugly Rumours"


The Lion Comes Out Of the Wardrobe pp 198-200 is a parody of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C S Lewis. Harold Davidson who was captain of chess at Oxford in the early 1900s went on to become Rector of Stiffkey. He was defrocked after a sex scandal, became a circus performer and was killed by a lion called Freddie.

The Face of the Lion pp 203-205 is a parody of the novel by Charles Williams.
It was this novel which first brought Williams to the attention of C S Lewis.


You Like E. Dowson? pp 211-216 is a parody of Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm.
Ernest Dowson (1867-1900) studied at Oxford and was (later) a friend of Oscar Wilde.


Yellow Wallpaper pp 217-220 parodies The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman met William Morris and Bernard Shaw when she came to Britain in 1899.


The Picture of True Socialism pp 232-233 is a parody of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.


The Habit pp 239-242 is a parody of the opening of The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien.

John Radcliffe-Charley's Aunt pp 246-249 parodies a rehearsal of Charley's Aunt by Brandon Thomas
The play is set in Oxford and was first performed in 1892.

The Importance of Seeing Ernest pp 249-252 parodies The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.
Ernest Dowson's great love was Adelaide Foltinowicz who he met as a young girl at her parents' Polish restaurant in London.

Arsenic and Old Wallpaper pp 253-255 parodies the Cary Grant films Bringing Up Baby and Arsenic and Old Lace as well as incorporating the lion that killed Harold Davidson, the Rector of Stiffkey on 28th July 1938.
Recent research has revealed that William Morris wallpaper contains arsenic.

James Sadler's Balloon
James Sadler's Hot-Air Balloon

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