Oxford author Sylvia Vetta has devised a city centre walk which features some locations from her novel Sculpting the Elephant.

In the novel Harry King, artist and antiques dealer, thinks he has just made the worst purchase of his life – an enormous Victorian chest of drawers filled with ancient newspapers and bric-a-brac that now takes up half his shop.

But when he trips over the beautiful historian Ramma Gupta, he realises he might have got more than he bargained for. Their story becomes entwined with the life of a Victorian explorer who mysteriously disappeared.

Oxford Mail:

Ms Vetta describes the novel as “a cross-cultural journey takes them from Oxford to India to uncover love, secrets, and the teachings of a lost empire.”

The walk starts at the Jam Factory in Frideswide Square, where Ms Vetta once helped to run an antique centre.

It is now a cafe and a centre for offices and businesses.

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Ms Vetta said: “In 1987 when my business partner Gill Hedge and I ran an art and antiques centre on the ground floor we named it the Jam Factory and the name has stuck.

“The restaurant/bar at the rear has retained the name and in some ways the atmosphere.

“Why not start your walk with coffee or a drink in the Jam Factory which Harry would love because it is also an art gallery?”

Cross the road from the café and turn left into St Thomas’s . This was the heart of industrial Oxford the home of many breweries.

Just before the castle you come to Quaking Bridge turn left and walk by the river, cross Park End Street and continue along the river path. Cross Hythe Bridge Street and join the canal path.

Oxford Mail:

Follow the canal path for about half a mile until you reach a bridge near Isis lock cross the bridge into Mount Place and turn right into Canal Street.

Ms Vetta added: “Harry’s terraced house was near St Barnabas church. Being an artist, Harry loved St Barnabas.

“The architectural style is of a Roman basilica but the decoration inside would have been modern in its time. The Combes who ran the Clarendon Press (now OUP), also in Jericho, were among the earliest patrons of the Pre-Raphaelites. They were the instigators of the building of this church.

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"The leafy decoration and other patterns on the left could be from a William Morris book. Walk up to Walton Street and turn right. You come to two pubs which are important in Harry’s life. The Jericho Tavern was where Oxford band Radiohead played in their early days.

Oxford Mail:

“Cross the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter and make your way down to St Giles, before turning left into Broad Street. Then cross to the corner of Catte Street and look up. You will see an elephant.

Oxford Mail:

"That leads us to India and the second half of Sculpting the Elephant. This building was originally the Indian Institute and is a good place to end our walk.”