If you live in, or in the near future heading to, England here’s a reminder to check out the Bodleian Library summer exhibit From the Middle Ages to Middle-earth.
The Bodleian’s summer exhibition takes as its theme the work of some of the foremost modern exponents of the genre, members of the group of writers informally known as the ‘Oxford School’: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner and Philip Pullman.
From its unique holdings of these authors’ papers, the Library is displaying a selection of Tolkien’s original artwork for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; C.S. Lewis’s ‘Lefay notebook’ and his map of Narnia, and manuscripts of novels and poems by Alan Garner, Philip Pullman and Susan Cooper, many of which are exhibited here for the first time.
Also featured in the exhibition are some of the books and manuscripts that contain the myths, legends and magical practices on which these Oxford-educated authors freely drew for inspiration. This historic material is housed in the Bodleian, which as a source of sorcery and arcane learning can be re-imagined as an enchanted location in itself, where the very act of reading is imbued with magical, transformative properties.