front cover of The Odes of Horace
The Odes of Horace
A Facsimile
William Morris
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2016

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The Original Frankenstein
Mary Shelley (with Percy Shelley)
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2008

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The Original Laws of Cricket
The Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2008

This series of books from the Bodleian Library reproduces the original rules of classic sports, complete with commentary about their historical evolution and adaptation—in attractive, collectible formats. They are informative and often witty companions to the world of sport, bringing the past and present together.

Of all the rules governing sports, the laws of cricket are among the oldest. The first written rules of 1744 survive solely on the border of a piece of linen at the Museum of The Marylebone Cricket Club, the home of cricket. The Original Laws of Cricket reprints the complete text of this original and explores how these early laws shaped the development of the game and in turn how the social dimensions of the game changed the laws.


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The Original Rules of Golf
Edited by the Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2009

More than 25 million people in the United States alone play golf each year. A game born on the stark, wind-swept landscape of Scotland in the fifteenth century, golf has grown over the centuries into a global phenomenon. It is a sport not only enjoyed by professionals and the spectators of international tournaments, but one enthusiastically enjoyed by amateurs everywhere who socialize with friends and colleagues on their local courses. Yet despite golf’s widespread popularity, few of us truly know its rules, which have grown more complicated and confounding as the game has grown in popularity. Extremely simple by comparison, the very first rules of the game are presented here in a charming, collectible format.

The first known rules of golf were drawn up in 1744 in Edinburgh for the world’s first open golf competition, hosted by the Gentleman Golfers of Edinburgh, who later became the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Local golf clubs then adapted the Edinburgh rules for their own use—until 1897 when the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews assumed oversight of the rules, and published the first national set of golf rules. The original Edinburgh and St. Andrews rules are both reprinted here alongside delightful images of the game throughout the centuries. In addition, well-known golf writer Dale Concannon provides a thorough introduction that examines the history of the rules of golf from their first codification in Edinburgh to the present day.

A must-have for anyone who delights in the spirit of the game, The Original Rules of Golf will find fans among golfers and armchair spectators everywhere.


front cover of The Original Rules of Rugby
The Original Rules of Rugby
The Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2007

Rugby has rules, seriously? Believe it or not, it does. The Original Rules of Rugby brings together the original rules of the game drawn up at Rugby School in 1845 and the first rules of the Rugby Football Union in 1871. The book shows the complex evolution of rugby football and the intriguing history behind its shifting rules.


front cover of The Original Rules of Tennis
The Original Rules of Tennis
Edited by The Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2010

The pristine grass and white uniforms of Wimbledon and the aggressive hard courts of the U.S. Open have inspired tens of thousands of amateur tennis players in North America. Millions of people watch the tournaments each year on television and the stars of recent decades are household names, but relatively few people know the history of the game. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was a “jeu de paume,” a game played at French and English royal courts with hands rather than rackets.  The modern game, however, dates from 1874, when Major Walter Clopton Wingfield developed a variation on the game for the amusement of his house guests in Wales. After he laid out the basic rules, the game spread quickly—the first championship at Wimbledon was held in 1877, followed soon after by the first American tournament in 1880.

Published in association with the All England Lawn Tennis Club—better known as Wimbledon—this attractive, collectible book examines the history of the rules of tennis from their first codification to the present day. Included is a fascinating introduction by John Barrett, the BBC’s now retired “voice of tennis” who played in twenty-one consecutive Wimbledon Championships, that looks at the circumstances of the composition of the first rules, their scope, and evolution. The Original Rules of Tennis is a must for spectators and players alike.


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The Ormesby Psalter
Patrons and Artists in Medieval East Anglia
Frederica C. E. Law-Turner
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2005
The Ormesby Psalter is one of the most well-known yet mysterious manuscripts to survive the Middle Ages. It was made in a series of campaigns over many decades, starting in the late-thirteenth century, and the main decorated pages were executed in the 1310s for a marriage that never took place. Likely meant for private devotion by its wealthy patrons, this exquisite book of psalms was left unfinished.

Housed in Oxford’s Bodleian Library for over 150 years, this enigmatic masterpiece is perhaps the most magnificent yet enigmatic of the great Gothic psalters produced in East Anglia in the first half of the fourteenth century. Manuscript expert Frederica C. E. Law-Turner places the psalter within a wider historical context and then deciphers its lush illuminations—scenes that vary wildly in tone from the comic to the bawdy to the mythic. Full-color photographs illustrate the text’s many characters: falcons and hunting dogs at bay, kings and courtesans, and other animals dressed in human garb. Created over a period of decades by previously unrecognized scribes and artists, the Ormesby Psalter is an exceptional amalgam of medieval art and history. For scholars of medieval life, as well as art historians, this new study will be an invaluable resource.

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Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum
A Brief History
Stephen A. Harris
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2017
The Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest surviving botanic garden in Britain, occupying the same location in central Oxford since 1621. Designed as a nursery for growing medicinal plants amid the turmoil of the civil war, and nurtured through the restoration of the monarchy, it has, perhaps unsurprisingly, a curious past.
This book tells the story of the garden through accounts of each of its keepers, tracing their work and priorities, from its founding keeper, Jacob Bobart, through to the early nineteenth-century partnership of gardener William Baxter and academic Charles Daubeny, who together gave the garden its greenhouse and ponds and helped ensure its survival to the present. Richly illustrated, this book offers a wonderful introduction to a celebrated Oxford site.

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Oxford Botanic Garden
A Guide
Simon Hiscock and Chris Thorogood
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2019
Oxford Botanic Garden has occupied its central Oxford site next to the river Cherwell continuously since its foundation in 1621 and is the United Kingdom’s oldest botanic garden. Today, the Garden holds a collection of more than five thousand different types of plant, some of which exist nowhere else and are of international conservation importance.

This guide explores Oxford Botanic Garden’s many historic and innovative features, from the walled garden to the waterlily pool, the greenhouses, the rock garden, the water garden and “Lyra’s bench,” made famous in Philip Pullman’s beloved His Dark Materials series. It also gives a detailed explanation of the Garden’s medicinal and taxonomic beds and special plant collections. Lavishly illustrated with specially-commissioned photographs, this book not only provides a fascinating historical overview but also offers a practical guide to Oxford Botanic Garden and its work today. Featuring a map of the site and a historic timeline, this book is a beautiful souvenir of the birthplace of botanical science in the UK.

front cover of Oxford Freemasons
Oxford Freemasons
A Social History of Apollo University Lodge
Joe Mordaunt Crook and James W. Daniel
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2018
Over the past two hundred years, many thousands of undergraduates have been initiated into membership of Apollo, the Masonic Lodge of the University of Oxford. These have included such diverse figures as Oscar Wilde, Samuel Reynolds Hole, and Edward, Prince of Wales and his brother Leopold. Drawing on archives held in the Bodleian Library, this book is the first serious attempt to set the story of Apollo in the context of Oxford life and learning as well as its wider social and political diaspora. From the devastating numbers lost in World Wars I and II, as well as those decorated for bravery, to the significant number of Olympians who were members of the lodge, the book also charts the lodge’s charitable work, social events, and its adaptation to twenty-first-century life in Oxford. Illustrated with archival material, portraits, and Masonic treasures, this unique book offers the history of a minor narrative with major implications, documenting the remarkable numbers of Oxford freemasons with distinguished careers in government, law, the army, and the church.

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Oxford in Prints
Peter Whitfield
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2016
For more than three centuries, Oxford has served as a source of inspiration for fine illustrated books and engraved prints. These works hold an important place in the historical record of the city, showing its identity to be deeply rooted in history while also chronicling Oxford’s development through the architecture of its most beautiful college and university buildings.
With Oxford in Prints, Peter Whitfield has assembled a rich selection of more than seventy illustrations and prints that offer a portrait of Oxford before it became the modern city it is today. Seventeenth-century prints by David Loggan show the medieval origins of Oxford University already overlaid by Tudor and Stuart buildings. Eighteenth-century editions of the Oxford Almanack depict a city dominated by neoclassical ideas. By the nineteenth-century, illustrations in the Almanack had an increasingly romantic feel, with buildings against a natural background of the river, trees, and sky. Each illustration or print is accompanied by an insightful description, including salient historical features.

front cover of Oxford in Quotations
Oxford in Quotations
Compiled by Violet Moller
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2014
Oxford is one of the world’s great cities—a source of inspiration to generations of poets, novelists, journalists, and commentators who have visited or called it home. Be it praise or colorful invective, everyone, it seems, has something to say about the city and this slender volume—filled with wise, witty, and sometimes scandalous quotes—presents the full range of impressions it has made.

Oxford, “City of Dreaming Spires,” earns high marks from Hillaire Belloc, who writes that “there are few greater temptations on earth than to stay permanently at Oxford . . . and to read all the books in the Bodleian.” But it is also, according to Anthony Trollope, “the most dangerous place to which a young man can be sent.” And none other than Max Beerbohm blames it for making him insufferable.

For fans, foes, and those planning a trip to the city in the hopes of forming an opinion, this collection will be welcomed.

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