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"The Bodleian Library" Bodleian Library Tip by KennetRose

Bodleian Library, Oxford: 19 reviews and 35 photos

  "Bodley's Library - Metaphysics section!
by KennetRose

One of six copyright libraries entitled to receive a free copy of any book published in Britain (I'm choosing my words carefully here). The others are the British Library, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Library of Trinity College Dublin. Incidentally the final comma in that last sentence, separating the final two items in a list, I included deliberately even though it's not normally part of my preferred writing style. It's called an Oxford comma. There - don't say you don't learn new things from my pages!

The library was opened in 1602, endowed by Sir Thomas Bodley. Bodley was a Calvinist whose parents took him to Geneva to bring him up away from the brutal repression of the Roman Catholic Church. In Philip Pullman's story Geneva is a place rich in intriguing ambiguity - in our universe a centre for particle physics, but in Lyra's universe, where John Calvin has become Pope and removed the seat of the papacy to Geneva before the abolition of the position on his death, it is the seat of the all-powerful Magisterium (the Church). Presumably in Lyra's Oxford Bodley would have had nothing to fear (but see my note on the Martyrs' Memorial). There it becomes 'Bodley's Library' and amongst other things is the repository for the learned books associated with the alethiometer, and one assumes the place where Lyra will investigate the mysterious "Dust" so that "eventually she would know more about Dust than anyone in the world

Address: Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BG
Phone: +44 1865 287400

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 4, 2003
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“Nothing is more repressive than the repression of curiosity.”

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