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  • Location: Oxford

Magpie Lane

Magpie Lane

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Roaming Oxford’s secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of family – and what it is to be denied one.

  • ISBN: B07SD56T2W
  • Genre: Crime, Mystery

What you need to know before your trail

When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers.

As Dee looks back over her time in the Master’s Lodging – an eerie and ancient house – a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.

But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for concern? And most of all, why is Felicity silent?

Travel Guide

Discover the alleys and corners of Oxford via Magpie Lane

Magpie Lane

A very interesting name once upon a time! The Victorians renamed it.

“Until recently, this was a dirty, dangerous , filthy little alley full of prostitutes an drunkards.”


Holywell Cemetery

This graveyard is basically a snapshot of Victorian Oxford: town and gown side by side, death the great leveller and all that.”

The writer of Wind and the Willows is buried here and the sad story about Wind and the willows is discovered.

There are a few interesting stories of the ‘residents’ here!

Stinking rich

The phrase comes from the fact that the very wealthy wanted to be buried above ground incase there was a mistake and so they could climb out easily. A bonfire it turns out comes from the words ‘ bone fire’ where they would cremate the bones of the dead!

Lewis Carroll is buried in Headington on the other side of the city

The Master’s Lodging

Any of the grand buildings in Oxford. The bedroom has a priest hole where priests could hide up when they were being persecuted by the men of Henry VIII.

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Magpie Lane

Destination/location: Oxford Author/guide: Lucy Atkins  Departure Time: 2000s

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