Interviews,  Show Notes

Episode 114: The Literary Life of Dr. Carolyn Weber

This week on The Literary Life podcast, we are excited to bring you a much anticipated interview with Dr. Carolyn Weber, author of the popular memoir, Surprised by Oxford. She is also currently a professor at New College Franklin. To keep up with Carolyn, visit or follow her on Facebook. Angelina and Cindy kick off the conversation by asking Carolyn about her childhood and how she came to love reading. They talk about her experience in school education and whether that differed from her personal reading life. Carolyn talks about her love of teaching and her immersive literary education experience at Oxford. She also expands on the way that reading the Bible for the first time opened her eyes to so many more of the truths in the literature she had read.

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

Unexpectedly, it was Oxford that taught me it was okay to be both feminine and smart, that intelligence was, as a friend put it, a “woman’s best cosmetic.”

Carolyn Weber

I’m like an addict when it comes to books. Compelled to read, understand, savor, wrangle with, be moved by, learn to live from these silent companions who speak so loudly. Surely some language must have a word for such a “book junkie”?

Carolyn Weber

We must not, that is, try to behave as though the Fall had never occurred nor yet say that the Fall was a Good Thing in itself. But we may redeem the Fall by a creative act.

Dorothy Sayers

Batter my heart, three-person’d God

by John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Book List:

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

Holy Is the Day by Carolyn Weber

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Robertson Davies

Margaret Atwood

Stephen Leacock

Flannery O’Connor

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Mousekins books by Edna Miller

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Crosswicks Journals by Madeleine L’Engle

Elizabeth Goudge

Frederick Buechner

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Epic of Gilgamesh

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass by Adrian Plass

A Small Cup of Light by Ben Palpant

Letters from the Mountain by Ben Palpant

Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon

Come Away, My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

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Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at

Find Cindy at, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

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