Alumni Authors


As a celebration of our alumni, each month we will highlight a new book written by one of Oxford's North American-based alumni.
Our May 2020 book is "Oxford College Arms: Intriguing Stories Behind Oxford's Shields" by John Tepper Marlin (Trinity 1962).

John Tepper Marlin graduated from Harvard in 1962, having been the first editor of the Let’s Go Guide to Europe. He went on to read PPE at Trinity College. English education was no mystery to him because he spent three years at Ampleforth College, which then had its junior forms at Gilling Castle and the Junior House. At Gilling Castle he says he ate his meals in the dining room with stained-glass windows featuring the arms of the Yorkshire cousins of Oliver Cromwell’s General, Sir Thomas Fairfax. He dates his interest in coats of arms to that period.

The fourth edition of his book Oxford College Arms recently came out. Kirkus Reviews praised the book as offering “unfailingly clear language, … as rationally organized as it is informative. This idiosyncratic slice of history actually opens an intriguing portal into the whole of British history since the heraldic symbols signify what should be praised as well as what should be condemned. … "[F]or those in search of a confident guide to these meaningful hieroglyphics, it would be difficult to find one superior to Marlin’s effort. An astute exploration of Oxford’s coats of arms.”

Dr. Marlin features a different college every month on his website, The Oxbridge Pursuivant. This month the college is Lady Margaret Hall, and he offers a contest. The first person to answer correctly ten questions related to Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, gets a free copy of Oxford College Arms. He has given talks on his book in London, Oxford, New York City and Washington, D.C.

You can purchase Oxford College Arms: Intriguing Stories Behind Oxford's Shields here.


Are you an alumni author?

If you have written a book which was published within the last three years, or is due to be released soon, please email us the following information.

Your full name
Alumni number (or college/year of matriculation)
Title of book
Date of publication
Link to purchase the book online

We thank you for sharing your books with us, and will let you know if you are selected for a feature in the coming months.

Please visit our archive page to look back at previous Alumni Authors

The North American Office team