front cover of Ware's Victorian Dictionary of Slang and Phrase
Ware's Victorian Dictionary of Slang and Phrase
J. Redding Ware
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2013
Acutely aware of the changes affecting English at the end of the Victorian era, writer and journalist J. Redding Ware set out to record words and turns of phrase from all walks of life, from the curses in common use by sailors to the rhyming slang of the street and the jargon of the theater dandies. In doing so, he extended the lifespan of words like “air-hole,” “lally-gagging,” and “bow-wow mutton.”

First published in 1909 and reproduced here with a new introduction by Oxford English Dictionary editor John Simpson, Ware’s Victorian Dictionary of Slang and Phrase reflects the rich history of unofficial English. Many of the expressions are obsolete; one is not likely to have the misfortune of encountering a “parlour jumper.” Order a “shant of bivvy” at the pub and you’ll be met with a blank stare. But some of the entries reveal the origins of expressions still in use today, such as calling someone a “bad egg” to indicate that they are dishonest or of ill-repute. While showing the significant influence of American English on Victorian slang, the Dictionary also demonstrates how impressively innovative its speakers were.

A treasure trove of everyday language of the nineteenth century, this book has much to offer in terms of insight into the intriguing history of English and will be of interest to anyone with a passion for words.

front cover of We Are Not Amused
We Are Not Amused
Victorian Views on Pronunciation as Told in the Pages of Punch
David Crystal
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2017
Have you ever cringed while hearing someone mispronounce a word—or, worse, been tripped up by a wily silent letter yourself? Consider yourself lucky that you do not live in Victorian England, when the way you pronounced a word was seen as a sometimes-damning index of who you were and how you should be treated. No wonder then that jokes about English usage provided one of Punch magazine’s most fruitful veins of humor for sixty years, from its first issue in 1841 to 1900.

For We Are Not Amused, renowned English-language expert David Crystal has explored the most common pronunciation-related controversies during the reign of Queen Victoria and brought together the cartoons and articles that poked fun at them, adding insightful commentary on the context of the times. The collection brings to light a society where class distinctions ruled. Crystal explains why people felt so strongly about accents and identifies which accents were the main sources of jokes, from the dropped h’s of the Cockney working class to the upper-class tendency to drop the final g in words like “huntin’” and “fishin’.”
In this fascinating and highly entertaining book, Crystal shows that outrage over proper pronunciation is nothing new—our feelings today have their origins in the ways our Victorian predecessors thought about the subject.

front cover of Weddings
Vintage People on Photo Postcards
Tom Phillips
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2011
To celebrate the acquisition of the archive of distinguished artist Tom Phillips, the Bodleian Library asked the artist to assemble and design a series of books drawing on his themed collection of over 50,000 photographic postcards. These encompass the first half of the twentieth century, a period in which, thanks to the ever cheaper medium of photography, ordinary people could afford to purchase their own portraits. These portraits allowed individuals to create and embellish their own self images, presenting themselves as they wished to be seen within the trends and social mores of their time. Each book in the series contains two hundred images chosen from a visually rich vein of social history. Their back covers also feature thematically linked paintings, specially created for each title, from Phillips’s signature work, A Humument.
Weddings captures all the excitement and drama of the stages of the ceremony from preparations to wedding vehicles to family and friends in lively scenes in churches and homes.
These unique and visually stunning books offer a rich glimpse of forgotten times and will be greatly valued by art and history lovers alike.
 “These images are captivating visual vignettes. We may not know who the subjects are, but the postcards offer us a glimpse of their interests, their time, and their world. Tom Phillips's exceptional collection gives us a fascinating chance to retrieve something of these lives.”—Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London
“Picture postcards from a century ago capture unique moments in time and place and are a wonderful social history record. Tom Phillips is adept at seeking out and choosing amazingly evocative postcard images.”—Brian Lund, editor, Picture Postcard Monthly

front cover of Whale's Way
Whale's Way
Johanna Johnston
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2015
With a new children’s book imprint, the Bodleian Library brings beloved classics back into print, beginning with a beautiful storybook about the life of a fascinating species. Originally published in 1962, Whale’s Way by Johanna Johnston tells the surprising story of these creatures, complete with colorful artwork by award-winning illustrator Leonard Weisgard.

Whale’s Way introduces young readers to the humpback whale, one of the world’s largest creatures. With winter almost here, the gentle giants must swim, spouting and leaping, to the warmer waters near the equator. But, during the dangerous journey, the whales meet a band of hunters who wish them harm, and they must escape and guide the baby whales to safety.  

Few things pique children’s curiosity about the world around them better than a good book. Brought back for a new generation of young readers, Whale’s Way offers a fun and creative introduction to these fascinating animals.

front cover of What Can Cats Do?
What Can Cats Do?
Abner Graboff
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2018
There are many things cats can do that children can’t, such as lap up milk, leap double the length of their bodies, and use their tongues as combs. There are also a number of things that cats can’t do, like sing children to sleep, or get down from trees . . .
            Abner Graboff combines the voice of childhood innocence with a wonderful sense of fun in his quirky book about the mysteries of cats and their secret lives, inspired by the Graboff family’s own beloved cat Tarzan. Told from the point of view of a young child, this whimsical tale is complemented by Graboff’s characteristically playful and bold illustrations.

front cover of What Have Plants Ever Done for Us?
What Have Plants Ever Done for Us?
Western Civilization in Fifty Plants
Stephen Harris
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2015
Plants are an indispensable part of our everyday lives. From the coffee bean that gets roasted for our morning brew to the grasses that feed the animals we eat to the rubber tree that provides the raw materials used in the tires of our cars, we depend on plants for nearly every aspect of our lives.
With What Have Plants Ever Done for Us?, Stephen Harris takes readers step by chronological step through the role of plants in the rise of the Western world, with sojourns through the history of trade, travel, politics, chemistry, and medicine. Plants are our most important food source. Some, such as barley, have been staples since the earliest times. Others, like the oil palm, are relative newcomers to the Western world. Over time, the ways we use some plants has also dramatically changed: Beets, a familiar sight on the dinner plate, were once thought to be an effective treatment for leprosy and now show significant promise as a sustainable biofuel. What, one wonders, might the future thus hold for the mandrake or woad? Plants have also held potent cures to some of our most prevalent diseases. An extract from the bark of the yew tree, for instance, is commonly used in the treatment of cancer.
Wide-ranging and thoroughly engaging, What Have Plants Ever Done for Us? will help readers cultivate a deeper appreciation for our branched and rooted friends who ask little in return for their vast contributions save for a little care and water.

front cover of What Is Red?
What Is Red?
Suzanne Gottlieb
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2016
Children will discover a world of colors as they set out on an adventure with a cheerful boy named Jonny. From the moment he wakes bright-eyed to the yellow sunlight streaming through his bedroom window, the colors of the day dance merrily around him. He sees green grass and purple flowers and pauses to dip his toes in a bubbling blue brook. Best of all, when the time comes to harvest, he digs in the brown earth and discovers an enormous orange pumpkin! But, before he knows it, the blue sky has turned black, and it’s time for Jonny to sleep before waking to the wonders of a new day.

A joyous celebration of colors that will encourage young readers’ curiosity about the world around them, What Is Red? is packed with illustrations in bright, primary colors. Originally published in 1961, the book is one of the most recent additions to the Bodleian Library’s children’s book imprint.

front cover of What Is Round?
What Is Round?
Blossom Budney
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2017
The sun is round and hot and glowing. An orange is round on the tree where it’s growing.
Many things in the natural world are round—the sun, the moon, a bird’s nest with three bright baby birds. So are the turning wheels of a train and a hot air balloon high in the sky. So are cakes, pies, cookies, and many other delicious things to eat!
Page by brightly colored page, What is Round? invites young readers to pick out the shape in the world around them, from the smallest raindrop to a big spectacular carousel. Many of the objects can be found in our own homes, like the clock that tells the time or the colorful decorations on a Christmas tree. Others, like the portholes of a passing ship, require a watchful eye. Striking and vibrant illustrations by Vladimir Bobri accompany the playful rhymes of Blossom Budney in this lively look at this shape that can be found in the most unexpected places.
Originally published in 1954, What is Round? will make a wonderful addition to any child’s library, and it’s the perfect story to read aloud.

front cover of Why North Is Up
Why North Is Up
Map Conventions and Where They Came From
Mick Ashworth
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2019
Many people have a love of maps. But what lies behind the process of map-making? How have cartographers through the centuries developed their craft and established a language of maps which helps them to better represent our world and help users to understand it?

This book tells the story of how widely accepted mapping conventions originated and evolved—from map orientation, projections, typography, and scale, to the use of color, symbols, ways of representing relief, and the treatment of boundaries and place names. It charts the fascinating story of how conventions have changed in response to new technologies and ever-changing mapping requirements, how symbols can be a matter of life or death, why universal acceptance of conventions can be difficult to achieve, and how new mapping conventions are developing to meet the needs of modern cartography. Why North is Up offers an accessible and enlightening guide to the sometimes hidden techniques of map-making through the centuries.

front cover of Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen
An Illustrated Life
Jane Potter
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2014
Wilfred Owen is the “Poet of Pity,” whose realistic portrayals of war gave voice to the soldier wounded, captured, or killed—not just in the Great War but in every war since, so great is the evocative power of his work. Although he saw only five poems published during his lifetime, Owen left behind a wealth of letters and poetry that together form a powerful legacy.
This generously illustrated book tells the story of Owen’s life and work, from his birth in 1893 to his tragic death just one week before the signing of the armistice that would end the war. The shocking realism of poems such as “Strange Meeting” and the angry disillusionment of “Anthem for Doomed Youth” reveal Owen’s transformation from a romantic youth steeped in the poetry of Keats to a mature soldier awakened to the horrors of the Western Front.
Drawing on numerous manuscripts, artifacts, and family photographs, this book gives a comprehensive view of the relationship between the poet’s lived experience and his writing that will appeal equally to both those well-versed in Owen’s work and those seeking a well-researched, accessible introduction.

front cover of Women & Hats
Women & Hats
Vintage People on Photo Postcards
Tom Phillips
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2010

To celebrate the acquisition of the archive of distinguished artist Tom Phillips, the Bodleian Library asked the artist to assemble and design a series of books drawing on his themed collection of over 50,000 photographic postcards. These encompass the first half of the twentieth century, a period in which, thanks to the ever cheaper medium of photography, ordinary people could afford to own portraits of themselves. Each of the books in the series contains two hundred images chosen from a visually rich vein of social history. Their covers also feature thematically linked paintings, specially created for each title, from Phillips’s signature work, A Humument.

Women & Hats explores the remarkable range found in the world of millinery, from outrageous Edwardian creations to the inventive austerities of World War II. Each of these unique and visually stunning books give a rich glimpse of forgotten times and will be greatly valued by art and history lovers alike.


front cover of Wonderful Things from 400 Years of Collecting
Wonderful Things from 400 Years of Collecting
The Bodleian Library 1602-2002
Edited by the Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2002
A timeless selection of Wonderful Things, this book highlights the tremendous range of the Bodleian Library's collections. From the sixth-century Laudian Acts—a manuscript probably used by Bede himself—to modern treasures such as one of Tolkein's own illustrations for TheHobbit, the objects chosen show the extent, variety, and quality of the Library's holdings and how they came to the Bodleian. Each work is sumptuously displayed in full-page color with facing-page descriptions. Collectively, they offer a fascinating glimpse into the principles, history, and future of collecting by a world-class institution.

front cover of Writing the Thames
Writing the Thames
Christina Hardyment
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2016
From Arthur Conan Doyle to Charles Dickens, Colin Dexter to Kenneth Grahame, writers and artists have often taken inspiration from the Thames. Gathering poetry, artwork, and short excerpts from longer prose, Writing the Thames includes chapters on topics that dominate in literary and artistic depictions of the Thames, from historical events like Julius Caeser’s crossing in 55 BCE and Elizabeth I’s stand against the Spanish at Tilbury to the explorations of the topographers who mapped and drew the river to the many authors, including Thomas More, Francis Bacon, William Morris, and Henry James, who enjoyed riverside retreats. A chapter on boats features the frenetic rowers from Zuleika Dobson, a camping tale from Three Men in a Boat, and the story of William Hogarth’s impulsive five-day trip down the river with four inebriated friends. Some of the best-loved children’s literature has also been inspired by the Thames, including The Wind in the Willows.

Beautifully illustrated with seventy full-color illustrations, this book tells the river’s remarkable story through art, poetry, and prose, while celebrating the writers who helped form its enduring legacy.

Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter