The unreliable account of a student and his pet dodo
Cost: £12.99 + delivery
In 2008 a diary was discovered amongst some books donated to a charity bookshop in Oxford. It was a most remarkable book, supposedly written over three hundred years ago by a student, describing his life and unusual pet, a dodo.
Doubts have been cast over the authenticity of the diary, so every page has been photographed and reprinted to enable readers to judge for themselves.
The editors, Philip Atkins and Michael Johnson, have included notes on the diary entries, on such topics as astrology, book production, doll’s houses, and gout.
This video shows the first few pages of the diary.
As well as providing a portrait of the famous bird and glimpses of seventeenth-century Oxford, this is the history of a book: how it was printed, made, unmade, torn, stained, scribbled over, and forgotten. Now by strange good fortune both book and bird have come back to us, large as life.
A Dodo at Oxford is a masterpiece ... a real Oxford book, in every sense, full of wit and fantasy, and properly anchored in a very real seventeenth-century world.
A Dodo at Oxford is a classic in the making. From the city that brought us the Cheshire Cat and the Mock Turtle comes a new mythic beast, the Oxford Student’s indefatigable Dodo. Books of such wit, charm and scholarship are as rare as the eponymous beast at its centre. Savour it slowly, page by glorious page.
John Mitchinson, co-author of The QI Book of General Ignorance
In 2013 Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford choose the twenty five books that they had most enjoyed celebrating and selling. One title was selected for each year since 1989. A Dodo at Oxford represented the year 2010 in this ‘Best Books of the Last 25 Years’ list.
Edited by Philip Atkins and Michael Johnson, 2010, 160 pages, 196mm x 129mm, hardback, ISBN 9780953443826, weight approximately 350g. Product code: AD1P