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From its origins in the 13th century the University of Cambridge has attracted many table students and teachers, both brilliant and eccentric. From Erasmus to Bertrand Russell and Wittgenstein, the university has been at the forefront of philosophical inquiry. Actors and directors like Sir Ian Mckellen and Sir Peter Hall have earned Cambridge a reputation for theatrical excellence, while the colleges have been home to an extraordinary list of poets, including Milton and Wordsworth, Byron and Tennyson, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. During the 20th century the city surrounding the university grew rapidly as a once small fenland town became a magnet for high-tech industries. But there are still quiet courts and green spaces - Parker's Piece, Midsummer Common, Jesus Green, and the Backs. The University City: courts and gardens, dons and students; Cambridge poets and spies; the struggle for women's colleges and degrees The City of Science and Discovery: Newton, Darwin, the Cambridge physicists, the double helix, Stephen hawking and the secrets of the universe The City of Drama and Comedy: from latin entertainments for Elizabeth I to the Footlights and Monty Python
Martin Garrett has written widely on Renaissance and nineteenth-century literature. he is the author of Venice: a cultural and literary companion (Signal, 2000). He has lived and worked in cambridge since 1994.