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Travelling often brings unexpected and pleasant surprises and it was no exception with Hilary and my trip to the UK this recent September. The trip to the British Museum to see the Medieval Reliquaries exhibition and the visit to the Heraldry exhibition in Cumberland Lodge at Great Windsor Park were planned but our stay in the Oxford village of Blewbury was made more interesting when we discovered that we had rented an apartment where Wind in the Willows was written. Actually it was part of converted stables and Kenneth Grahame read his story to children by the little lake in the grounds of the big house attached to the complex. A further delight occurred when we took our daughter-in-law to lunch. We dined at The Perch, a seventeenth century thatched roof public house, but now a rather upmarket restaurant on the banks of the Thames at the historic village of Binsey on the edge of Oxford. It was here that Lewis Carroll first read Alice in Wonderland to his young audience. Other literary connections include Gerard Manley Hopkins, C.S. Lewis and the fictional Inspector Morse. A near miss was our trip to the Bodleian Library in Oxford to view some fascinating material drawn from its vast archival collection, which included a copy of the Magna Carta, a map of Lyra's Oxford from Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy and an original painting by J.R.R. Tolkien for The Hobbit. I say a near miss for we could not spend the time looking at the Opie's collection of Victorian children's books that is housed at the Bodleian. Beyond these treasures I was able to add four books to my collection of Tiger Tim annuals. Three of them were garnered at an Oxfam store in York and the 1930 copy from a market stall outside Wells cathedral. Our suitcases tipped the scales into excess but with a little maneuvering we managed to escape any fees and bring our many books and other printed material home without mishap.

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Title Annotation:British Museum trip
Author:Cohen, John
Publication:Reading Time
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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