And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
- And did those feet, William Blake

søndag 19. mai 2013

My Oxford Library

Last week I spent a few days in Oxford for a conference called Performing Medieval Texts, where I presented a paper. There will probably be further blogposts on this particular subject later on. However, for now I only aim to show you the books I bought during my Oxford sojourn. As regular readers and friends will know very well at this point, I'm a voracious bibliophile and I often end up buying a lot of books when I'm travelling in the UK (my book hunts in York have been told in some detail here, here and here) and Oxford should prove no exception to this rule, as can be seen below. This time, however, I had to execute immense self-restraint, and I avoided bookshops on purpose lest I should take out of them more than I could carry back home to Norway. This proved to be only of some avail as giftshops in several Oxford museums have a quite nice selection of books in addition to the usual baubles and trinkets. This did of course make me very happy, as I came across some nice gems here and there.

From Oxford Castle

Oxford Castle has a tower dedicated to Saint George, and for this reason the above book has found its way to the museum giftshop. I was particularly delighted to find this book, as I consulted it briefly during my MA thesis and found it to be a very informative and well-composed piece of work, and was one of the key texts I used when writing my blogpost on the cult of Saint George.

From Blackwells

Prior to my arrival I did some research on local bookshops and a friend told me Blackwells had the best poetry selection. Although it is strongly rivalled by the selection at Waterstones, the selection of poetry at Blackwells did not disappoint. Oxford in Verse proved to be a delightful travel companion, and will be a source of many quotations in blogposts to come, while Jan Morris' book is a delightful city biography which I look forward to explore more thoroughly in the future.

From The Ashmolean

The above books are not particular to Oxford, as is quite evident, but I had a hard time resisting when I found them in the giftshop at The Ashmolean. Marco Polo's travels could be found due to the museum's Asian collections, one of which explored the exchange between Asia and Europe. As for Blake's collection of poetry, I am a great admirer of both his art and his poetry, so I could not pass by this opportunity.

From The University Church of St Mary the Virgin

My last purchases were made at The University Church of St Mary the Virgin close to The Bodleian. The first book is an instalment in a lovely series on medieval architecture, and as I'm very fond of the green man - or the woodwose - I bought it with little hesitation. Bill Leonard's book was likewise an easy purchase. Since I'm a big fan of the Lewis series - and to a lesser extent of Morse - this had been my main exposure to Oxford prior to my arrival, and I had rewatched a number of episodes in preparation. I look forward to peruse it more diligently.

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