Writing the Thames
Surveying writings as diverse as Caesar’s account of his legions crossing the Thames, John Tradescant describing his botanical garden at Lambeth, and The Wind in the Willows, this is an illustrated look at how the Thames has inspired people to write about it. Focusing on the Victorian and Edwardian periods, Hardyment describes the responses of early chroniclers and historians, topographers and tourists, naturalists and poets, novelists who set their stories along its banks, and those who go messing about in boats.
Ye Berlyn Tapestrie
When Germany invaded Belgium
Lampooning the Kaiser and the German army, this satirical cartoon illustration, a parody of the Bayeux Tapestry, was first published in 1915 and, like the original, is printed as a continuous frieze and ‘concertina folded’ into the book covers. Slightly off-mint.
Scholars, Poets and Radicals
Discovering Forgotten Lives in the Blackwell Collections
Benjamin Henry Blackwell’s bookshop first opened in 1879 and its archive contains a wealth of information about the early years of this Oxford institution. Ricketts’ survey of the material brings to life many fascinating characters, in particular Blackwell’s scholar-apprentices, chosen for their enquiring minds, whose diaries and memoirs form a remarkable record of bookselling at a time when more people were literate than ever before.
Books of Divine Encounter
The 55 Qur’ān manuscripts featured here, which include some of the earliest surviving copies, range from luxury editions decorated with gold to a more humble pocket book of selections. They illustrate developments in Arabic script and styles of illumination, as well as more unusual forms of the text, such as a 12th-century Latin translation and a talismanic shirt inscribed with Qur’ān verses and invocations. Slightly off-mint.
Heath Robinson's Great War
The Satirical Cartoons
Best known for his humorous cartoons featuring over-elaborate contraptions, William Heath Robinson published drawings in magazines satirizing the First World War throughout the conflict, among the most popular being his series ‘Inventions Rejected by the Inventions Board’ which included the ingenious ‘Hot-bottler for Warming Highlanders’ Legs after a Night in the Trenches’. This volume reproduces three collections of the best of this work, originally published during the war: Some Frightful War Pictures, Hunlikely! and The Saintly Hun.
Heath Robinson's Golf
Classic Cartoons and Ingenius Contraptions
Heath Robinson’s genius for creating absurd machines to execute unnecessary functions is well suited to the world of golf as the telescopic putter, moveable bunker and curled niblick in these cartoons prove. This collection of his drawings making fun of the royal and ancient game is a reproduction of a volume entitled Humours of Golf, first published in 1923, and retains the original introduction by celebrated golf writer and commentator Bernard Darwin.
The Food Lovers' Anthology
Originally compiled by Peter Hunt and published as Eating and Drinking: An Anthology for Epicures in 1961, this volume of poetry and prose is full of unexpected delights: the ladies of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford faced with the insurmountable problem of peas and two-pronged forks; Fitzroy Maclean’s account of ‘an unsatisfactory vegetable’ during his desert travels in Eastern Approaches; food-related limericks from Edward Lear; and words of wisdom from the great gastronome Brillat-Saverin.
Dr Radcliffe's Library
The Story of the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford
Educated at Oxford, John Radcliffe (1650–1714) earned vast sums of money as a successful physician to royalty and the aristocracy. At his death, he bequeathed sufficient funds to his alma mater for the building of a new library on a site between St Mary’s and the Bodleian. Beginning with a profile of Radcliffe, this illustrated study traces the history of an architectural masterpiece and its use, from Nicholas Hawksmoor’s initial schemes to its continuing role within Oxford’s library service.
The Book Lovers' Anthology
A Compendium of Writing about Books, Readers and Libraries
This ‘compendium of writing about books, readers and libraries’, first published in 1911, presents prose and poetry by a who’s who of literature and learning, from Erasmus to Robert Louis Stevenson. The readings are arranged by themes including bibliophilia, the library and ‘literary worlds’ – in which we find this from Francis Bacon’s Apophthegmes: ‘Alonso of Aragon was wont to say of himself that he was a great Necromancer, for that he used to ask counsel of the dead: meaning Books.’
The Bay Psalm Book
The first book printed in North America, this 1640 translation of the Psalms of David was made for the Massachusetts Puritans. Communal singing of the psalms held a unique importance for the pioneers and their Psalter is in rhyming metrical verse. It was designed not for elegance but, as MacCulloch writes in his introduction, to be ‘roared out by a congregation exalting in its common voice, taking comfort from communal purpose amid a wilderness’. This facsimile is of the Bodleian Library copy. No jacket.
An Illustrated Life
This concise introduction to the life and work of Wilfred Owen (1893–1918) draws on manuscripts, artefacts and family photographs to describe his upbringing on the Welsh borders, his search for a profession and his military service, including his time at the Craiglockhart sanatorium where he met Siegfried Sassoon. Accompanied by some of his best-known poems, it explores the literary apprenticeship of the ‘poet’s poet’, and the growth of his reputation after his death just a week before the Armistice.
Volume the First
From the age of eleven, Jane Austen was writing short pieces of fiction, poetry and drama, often parodying contemporary novels and at times violent and risqué. She copied some of these stories into notebooks – ‘Volumes’ – for family and friends to read. This book presents a photographic facsimile of the first of the three surviving notebooks, offering a rare and sometimes quite shocking introduction to the young Austen, along with an introduction, ‘A Writer’s Apprenticeship’, by Kathryn Sutherland.
Paintings from Mughal India
A unique style of court painting, combining Persian, Indian and European elements, developed under the Mughal emperors who ruled India from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Drawing on the collection of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, this book reproduces 80 examples, ranging from scenes of adventure and court ceremonial to botanical illustrations. The introduction and accompanying texts explain the development of the genre and the context of the paintings.
The Huns Have Got My Gramophone!
Advertisements from the Great War
Extolling the virtues of motorcycles for ‘lady war workers’ and ‘absolutely waterproof’ trench coats for soldiers, the advertisements collected and discussed here illustrate how the First World War offered companies new commercial opportunities and fundamentally changed British society.
How to Dine in Style
The Art of Entertaining, 1920
First published in 1920, this manual reveals a golden age of elegant dining. Advice on table settings and decorations, etiquette, food and wine is complemented by menus for breakfasts, al-fresco luncheons, wedding receptions and garden parties. A chapter on ‘freak dinners given by wealthy people’ offers a glimpse into the decadent world of the Jazz Era.
From Downing Street to the Trenches
First-Hand Accounts from the Great War, 1914–1916
This collection adds some of the most eloquent voices of the age to the body of eyewitness evidence of the First World War. Drawn from the manuscript collection of the Bodleian Library in Oxford and covering the first two years of the conflict, from the front line to the Cabinet Office, the correspondents and diarists include Margot Asquith, Lewis Harcourt, TE Lawrence, WB Yeats and a young Harold Macmillan.
Marks of Genius
Masterpieces from the Collections of the Bodleian Libraries
Presenting 130 treasures now preserved in Oxford, this volume examines how the idea of ‘genius’ has been understood through history. Manuscripts and printed books from around the world illustrate the revolutionary ideas of individuals as well as the beautiful results of artistic collaboration. Also featured are ephemera and artefacts associated with geniuses (Mendelssohn’s conducting batons, a portrait of Galileo) and material that was donated to the Bodleian (books from Christopher Wren’s library, Dorothy Hodgkin’s hand-drawn insulin map).
Edward Lear's Nonsense Birds
Coming to life in just a few, seemingly effortless lines and the occasional wash of colour, Edward Lear’s nonsense birds have personality, attitude and, quite often, very human traits. Drawing on the British Library collections, this book presents birds from several of Lear’s original nonsense books, and includes stories, limericks, birds for learning colours and birds for learning the alphabet.
Can Onions Cure Ear-Ache?
Medical Advice from 1769 by William Buchan, MD
William Buchan’s Domestic Medicine was an 18th-century bestseller, a self-help manual intended for those who could not afford professional medical assistance. It covered everything from hiccups to consumption but, as Robert Winston writes in his foreword, ‘most remedies in Buchan’s time remained distinctly dodgy’. Melanie King introduces a selection from his A–Z of often hair-raising advice.
The Romance of the Middle Ages
With tales ranging from King Arthur’s Round Table to Alexander the Great’s journeys in the Far East, romance was the most fertile narrative form of the Middle Ages. This book presents treasures from the Bodleian Library to introduce the literary genre of romance and the manuscripts that preserve its texts. The authors also discuss later responses to the tradition: Pre-Raphaelites’ aesthetic appreciation, the enthusiasm of Sir Walter Scott and CS Lewis and the affectionate mockery found in Cervantes and Monty Python.
Peter Mundy was a 17th-century trader whose journeys took him to Istanbul, India, China, Danzig, Russia and the Arctic. His account of his remarkable travels, illustrated with his own lively drawings of the strange people and animals he encountered, survives in a single manuscript. This edited selection provides a vivid and fascinating account of the Ottoman, Mughal, Chinese and Russian empires, as well as events in London following the coronation of Charles II in 1661.
A Dance Through Time
Images of Western Social Dancing from the Middle Ages to Modern Times
Where depictions of peasant revels may be exuberant and unfettered, the stately codes of formal dance before the modern era created a tension between sobriety and decorum and underlying emotion or sexual tension. This art history curates images of dance from the Bodleian Library and explores their different meanings and themes, including how artists have conveyed the movement of dance technically and the social and historical information that can be gleaned from depictions of dancing, instructional illustrations and satirical sketches.
Sarah Angelina Acland
First Lady of Colour Photography, 1849–1930
Sarah Acland was inspired to take up photography by her acquaintance with artistic luminaries such as John Ruskin and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Following in the footsteps of Julia Margaret Cameron, whom she also knew, Acland became an important pioneer in the field of colour photography. This catalogue of her work includes the influential photographs she made using the Sanger Shepherd and Autochrome processes. Her subjects include Oxford scenes, architectural and nature studies, and portraits of people in her circle.
Wireless Communications During the Great Disaster
In the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic, the Marconi company provided the British inquiry with all of the wireless telegraphy that had been sent as the disaster unfolded. This book draws on these communications, now held in the Bodleian Library, to tell the story from the first warnings of ice to the poignant messages of the survivors. The narrative is complemented by an extensive selection of transcripts of logs that document the events as they occur.