Sunday, 16 June 2013

EXPLORE | Magical Books: From the Middle Ages to Middle Earth @ Bodleian Library, Oxord

“Let us suppose that this everyday world were at some one point invaded by the marvellous! – C.S Lewis

As a Father’s Day treat, my family and I ventured into Oxford to explore the Bodleian Library’s Summer exhibition – Magical Books: From the Middle Ages to Middle Earth.

Across the paved courtyard and through one of the tiny, Latin covered doors, an exploration of childhood tales, magic and fantasy was enveloped.The dimly lit, compact cove contained ancient books, manuscripts and illustrations from the Bodleian archives which depicted mythical beings, magical practices and enchanting tales, both fictional and factual.

Included in the collection were treasures linked to some of arguably the greatest childhood (and adulthood) tales and their authors - a map of Narnia drawn by CS Lewis; an original illustration by JRR Tolkein; the working pages of Philip Pullman’s The Dark Trilogy amongst many others. 

The picturesque Bodleian Library, Oxford

When imagination and fantasy are channelled into fashion, magical things happen. You just need to look through the collections of McQueen and Westwood to be taken on a sartorial fairytale.

The Bodleian exhibition is open until October but, for those unable to make a quest to the ‘shire, is explorable to an extent online here.