April 1, 2003
Hogwarts to Handel
Well, for the second consecutive week Ive managed to alienate my own dear mother from across the Atlantic. Last week, in Bath, I saw the former home of Jane Austen, whose novels my mom never tires of. This time, in Oxford along with the rest of our group, I experienced firsthand another fixture in her entertainment regimen: the dining hall of Harry Potter fame.
Thats right. While Oxford University ought to be seen and revered for a thousand different reasons, it is the elaborate dining hall at Christ Church College that has brought tourist crowds running since the first Harry Potter film was released a couple years back. (My understanding is that the film used it only as a model, since college officials had to continue using it for their own purposes. But diehard fans predictably dont seem to mind.) Its here where all the new students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry gather for their sorting ceremony, with floating candelabras,
a talking hat, and all the rest.