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.
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
Published to accompany an exhibition at the Bodleian, this volume presents over 100 masterpieces from the Library’s collections – manuscripts, books and artefacts associated with geniuses from Euclid to Gandhi – and explores how the elusive quality of ‘genius’ has been understood through history.
Ware's Victorian Dictionary of Slang and Phrase
A goldmine for anyone intrigued by the weird and wonderful usages of slang, Ware’s 1909 compilation of ‘Passing English’ is introduced by John Simpson, former Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, who describes it as full of expressions ‘that might never find their way into more straitlaced dictionaries’. As well as words and phrases dating from the late 19th century, including slang from different occupations, sports, countries and ‘street’, Ware explains new idioms such as cads on castors (bicyclists) and the American brownstone fronts (aristocrats).
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.