A Dodo at Oxford


The unreliable account of a student and his pet dodo.

SKU: AD2P Category: Tag:


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—possibly the last to have walked upon the earth.

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.

A 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 worldPhilip Pullman
  • presented with scholarly care, charm and a very dry witFinancial Times
  • one of our favourite books . . . the magic of the city is encompassed in this brilliant bookBlackwell’s Oxford
  • charming . . . a book to be savoured Spectator
  • an amuse-bouche, an elaborately zany spoof Literary Review
  • divine . . . wonderfully doneSaga Magazine

Please click on the newspaper’s title below to see some of the press coverage:

In 2013 Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford choose A Dodo at Oxford to represent the year 2010 in its ‘Best Books of the Last 25 Years’ list that they had most enjoyed celebrating and selling since 1989.


This is the 2023 paperback edition that replaces the original hardback edition published in 2010.

Edited by Philip Atkins and Michael Johnson, 2023, 160 pages, 196mm x 129mm, paperback, ISBN 9780953443888, weight approximately 250g. Product code: AD2P

Additional information

Weight 0.25 kg
Dimensions 12.9 × 1.1 × 19.6 cm