front cover of If England Were Invaded
If England Were Invaded
William Le Queux
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2014
No fewer than two hundred thousand Germans were already upon English soil! The outlook grew blacker every hour.
Eight years before the onset of World War I, as national hysteria over the possibility of German spies in England reached its peak, journalist and prolific spy novelist William Le Queux penned The Invasion of 1910. Although it has since faded from public memory, at the time of its serialization, the novel was a tremendous success, selling more than one million copies and even inspiring an unauthorized, abridged German-language edition that altered the book’s ending.
If England Were Invaded restores this major work of “invasion literature” to print. Le Queux constructs a catastrophic scenario in which the German army has invaded England in a surprise attack on the coast. The story chillingly chronicles a war fought on the British homeland, with detailed accounts of battles involving real locations and real defense experts of the time. Throughout, Le Queux brings to life the domestic realities of a nation at war, from food shortages and failing financial institutions to the ever-present threat of espionage. One by one, strategic cities and counties in the novel—Birmingham, Manchester, and Suffolk—are abandoned to the German army until it stands poised to “advance upon and crush the complex city which is the pride and home of every Englishman—London.”
A truly entertaining read—complete with campaign maps and fictional proclamations from Kaiser Wilhelm II—If England Were Invaded also offers an incredible cautionary tale about a country that was not prepared for an attack and, in doing so, it shines a light on the common hopes and fears in England at the beginning of the twentieth century.

front cover of Illuminating the Life of the Buddha
Illuminating the Life of the Buddha
An Illustrated Chanting Book from Eighteenth-Century Siam
Naomi Appleton, Sarah Shaw, and Toshiya Unebe
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2013
Illuminating the Life of the Buddha investigates an outstanding eighteenth-century samut khoi, a type of beautifully illustrated, folded book found in Southeast Asia and popular as a repository for the Buddha’s teachings. Written in Pali and produced in Siam, the samut khoi features finely executed paintings on khoi paper portraying key stories from the Buddha’s past lives. These stories, known as the Jatakas, were the principal means by which Buddhist teachings were communicated and were thus a favored theme for samut khoi. However, this samut khoi stands out for its extensive series of paintings from the last life of the Buddha, including his final awakening and teaching, which are distinctive to the region.

Affording readers immense insight into a spectacular eighteenth-century manuscript, and Thai Buddhist manuscripts and temple culture as a whole, this book will be of great interest to art historians and scholars of Buddhism and Southeast Asia.

front cover of Illustrating Empire
Illustrating Empire
A Visual History of British Imperialism
Edited by Ashley Jackson and David Tomkins
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2011

Through more than 150 striking and original images from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera at the Bodleian Library, Illustrating Empire tells the history of the British Empire from the age of discovery through World War II. This wealth of visual material was used to promote, record, and celebrate the development of the Empire, which by 1922 included more than thirteen million square miles—or almost a quarter of the Earth. The captions that accompany the illustrations reveal the narrative of the Empire and unlock the history and meaning behind the images. 

Following a general introduction that provides an overarching discussion of the many facets of the Empire’s long history, the book is structured around eight major themes: emigration and settlement; imperial authority; exploration and knowledge; trade and commerce; travel and communications; popular culture; exhibitions and jubilees; and politics. Along the way, Illustrating Empire examines the significance of media in conveying and creating ideas about empire and the non-European world. It also provides a clear summary of debates regarding the significance of empire in British culture. 

This informative and accessible visual history represents a significant contribution to the literature on culture and empire and will be an engaging and useful source of historical information for general readers and scholars alike.


front cover of Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia, 1942
Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia, 1942
Edited by the Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2006

“Unlike cricket, which is a polite game, Australian Rules Football creates a desire on the part of the crowd to tear someone apart, usually the referee.” This is only one of the entertaining and astute observations the U.S. military provided in the pocket guides distributed to the nearly one million American soldiers who landed on the shores of Australia between 1942 and 1945. Although the Land Down Under felt more familiar than many of their assignments abroad, American GIs still needed help navigating the distinctly different Aussie culture, and coming to their rescue was Instruction for American Servicemen in Australia, 1942. The newest entry in the Bodleian Library’s bestselling series of vintage pocket guides, this pamphlet is filled with pithy notes on Australian customs, language, and other cultural facts the military deemed necessary for every American soldier.

             From the native wildlife—a land of “funny animals”—to the nation’s colonial history to the general characteristics of Australians—“an outdoors sort of people, breezy and very democratic”—Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia gives a concise yet amazingly informative overview of the island nation. Regarding Aussie slang, it notes that “the Australian has few equals in the world at swearing. . . . The commonest swear words are ‘bastard’ (pronounced ‘barstud’), ‘bugger,’ and ‘bloody,’ and the Australians have a genius for using the latter nearly every other word.” The pamphlet also contains a humorous explanation of the country’s musical traditions—including an annotated text of “Waltzing Matilda”—as well as amusing passages on sports, politics, and the Aussies’ attitudes toward Yanks and Brits.

            A fascinating look at a neglected Allied front in the Southern hemisphere, Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia, 1942 follows its successful predecessors as a captivating historical document of a pivotal era in history.


front cover of Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain, 1942
Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain, 1942
Reproduced from the original typescript, War Department, Washington, DC
Edited by the Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2004
In 1942, the United States War Department distributed a handbook to American servicemen that advised them on the peculiarities of the "British, their country, and their ways." Over sixty years later, this newly published reproduction from the rich archives of the Bodleian Library offers a fascinating glimpse into American military preparations for World War II.

The guide was intended to alleviate the culture shock for soldiers taking their first trip to Great Britain, or, for that matter, abroad. The handbook is punctuated with endearingly nostalgic advice and refreshingly candid quips such as: "The British don't know how to make a good cup of coffee. You don't know how to make a good cup of tea. It's an even swap." By turns hilarious and poignant, many observations featured in the handbook remain relevant even today.

Reproduced in a style reminiscent of the era, Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain is a powerfully evocative war-time memento that offers a unique perspective on the longstanding American-British relationship and reveals amusingly incisive American perceptions of the British character and country.

front cover of Instructions for British Servicemen in France, 1944
Instructions for British Servicemen in France, 1944
Edited by the Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2006
When World War II drew to a close, British servicemen were sent to France to assist in the liberation and recovery of their war-ravaged ally, and a small but indispensable guidebook was packed into their knapsacks for the mission. A follow-up to the hugely successful publication of Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain, 1942, this pamphlet offers a rare and insightful glimpse into the lives of soldiers during the Second World War. 

Instructions for British Servicemen in France, 1944 reminds British soldiers of the common points of culture and history Britain shares with France, and, above all, their mutual aim of defeating Hitler. The pamphlet attempts to teach British soldiers the ways of the French and warns them not give in to their urges: “If you should happen to imagine that the first pretty French girl who smiles at you intends to dance the can-can or take you to bed, you risk stirring up a lot of trouble for yourself—and for our relations with the French.” The pamphlet also features a pronunciation guide (“Bonjewer, commont-allay-voo?”), a list of useful phrases, and an unflinching account of the diseases and poverty ravaging the citizens of battle-torn France. 

Instructions for British Servicemen in France, 1944 captures the complex dynamics of Anglo-French relations during the Second World War on an intimate and often humorous level and reveals all the fascinating aspects of life off the battlefield. Essential for the shelf of every historian and history buff, Instructions for British Servicemen in France, 1944 is a small document that nonetheless speaks volumes about its era.

front cover of Instructions for British Servicemen in Germany, 1944
Instructions for British Servicemen in Germany, 1944
Edited by the Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2007
“Don’t be too ready to listen to stories told by attractive women. They may be acting under orders.” This was only one of the many warnings given to the 30,000 British troops preparing to land in the enemy territory of Nazi Germany nine-and-a-half months after D-Day. The newest addition to the Bodleian Library’s bestselling series of wartime pamphlets, Instructions for British Servicemen in Germany, 1944 opens an intriguing window into the politics and military stratagems that brought about the end of World War II.

The pamphlet is both a succinct survey of German politics, culture, and history and a work of British propaganda. Not only does the pamphlet cover general cultural topics such as food and drink, currency, and social customs, but it also explains the effect of years of the war on Germans and their attitudes toward the British. The book admonishes, “The Germans are not good at controlling their feelings. They have a streak of hysteria. You will find that Germans may often fly into a passion if some little thing goes wrong.” The mix of humor and crude stereotypes—“If you have to give orders to German civilians, give them in a firm, military manner. The German civilian is used to it and expects it”—in the text make this pamphlet a stark reminder of the wartime fears and hopes of the British.
By turns a manual on psychological warfare, a travel guide, and a historical survey, Instructions for British Servicemen in Germany, 1944 offers incomparable insights into how the British, and by extension the Allied forces, viewed their fiercest enemy on the eve of its defeat.

front cover of Islamic Maps
Islamic Maps
Yossef Rapoport
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2019
Spanning the Islamic world, from ninth-century Baghdad to nineteenth-century Iran, this book tells the story of Islamic cartography and the key Muslim map-makers who shaped the art over the centuries. Muslim geographers like al-Khwārazmī and al-Idrīsī developed distinctive styles, often based on geometrical patterns and calligraphy, and their maps covered all the known world, from the sources of the Nile to the European lands of the north and the Wall of Gog and Magog in the east. These map-makers combined novel cartographical techniques with art, science, and geographical knowledge to produce maps that could be both aesthetically stunning and mathematically sophisticated.

Islamic Maps examines Islamic visual interpretations of the world in their historical context through the map-makers themselves. What was the purpose of their maps, what choices did they make, and what arguments about the world were they trying to convey? Lavishly illustrated with stunning manuscripts, beautiful instruments, and Qibla charts, this book shows how maps constructed by Muslim map-makers capture the many dimensions of Islamic civilization across the centuries.

front cover of The Itineraries of William Wey
The Itineraries of William Wey
Translated and Edited by Francis Davey
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2010

In 1456 and again in 1458, William Wey (1405/6–76) set out on journeys across a Europe in turmoil from local conflicts and cross-border expansions. Wey, a Devon priest and bursar of Eton College, had been granted special dispensation by Henry VI to undertake pilgrimages, and he was prompted by his friends to write an account of his itinerant adventures. He collected his stories from his travels to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain and later Jerusalem in the fifteen chapters that comprise The Itineraries.

The Itineraries contains practical travel advice for the period on conduct and currency, alongside comparative English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew vocabularies, in addition to a remarkable scrapbook compendium of places, roads, and distances. Originally written in English and Latin, Wey’s fascinating observations of a changing Europe are for for first time available in a modern English edition. The pilgrimage was an idea essential to medieval and early modern Christianity, and Wey’s work adds a new dimension to our understanding of its importance and practice. Wey is at once adventurous and highly observant, and The Itineraries will be of interest to scholars of early modern history and armchair pilgrims alike.


front cover of It’s All Greek
It’s All Greek
Borrowed Words and their Histories
Alexander Tulloch
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2018
Most of us are aware that the words for some of our most important concepts stem from ancient Greek roots—words such as geometry, democracy, technology, and aesthetics. But lesser known is the wide and varied scope of old Athenian influence on the English language, which extends to some of our most mundane, run-of-the-mill words—words like purse, sketch, and marmalade.

This book offers a word-by-word look at the influence of Greek on everyday words in English, telling the stories behind the etymological developments of each example and tracing their routes into modern English via Latin and European languages. It also explains connections with ancient Greek culture, in particular mythology, politics, and warfare, and includes proverbs and quotations from Greek literature. Revealing how deeply indebted we are to the language spoken in Athens 2,500 years ago, this book is the perfect gift for any logophile.

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