Mark Jones examines the making of a new child’s world in Japan between 1890 and 1930 and focuses on the institutions, groups, and individuals that reshaped both the idea of childhood and the daily life of children. Family reformers, scientific child experts, magazine editors, well-educated mothers, and other prewar urban elites constructed a model of childhood—having one’s own room, devoting time to homework, reading children’s literature, playing with toys—that ultimately became the norm for young Japanese in subsequent decades.
This book also places the story of modern childhood within a broader social context—the emergence of a middle class in early twentieth century Japan. The ideal of making the child into a “superior student” (yutosei) appealed to the family seeking upward mobility and to the nation-state that needed disciplined, educated workers able to further Japan’s capitalist and imperialist growth. This view of the middle class as a child-centered, educationally obsessed, socially aspiring stratum survived World War II and prospered into the years beyond.
The Silk Road, which linked imperial Rome and distant China, was once the greatest thoroughfare on earth. Along it traveled precious cargoes of silk, gold and ivory, as well as revolutionary new ideas. Its oasis towns blossomed into thriving centers of Buddhist art and learning. In time it began to decline. The traffic slowed, the merchants left and finally its towns vanished beneath the desert sands to be forgotten for a thousand years; however, legends grew up of lost cities filled with treasures and guarded by demons. In the early years of the last century foreign explorers began to investigate these legends, and very soon an international race began for the art treasures of the Silk Road. Huge wall paintings, sculptures and priceless manuscripts were carried away, literally by the ton, and are today scattered through the museums of a dozen countries. Peter Hopkirk tells the story of the intrepid men who, at great personal risk, led these long-range archaeological raids, incurring the undying wrath of the Chinese.
Since its foundation in 1860, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History has become a key center for scientific study, its much-loved building an icon for visitors from around the world. The museum now holds more than seven million scientific specimens, including five million insects, half a million fossil specimens, and half a million zoological specimens. It also holds an extensive collection of archival material relating to important naturalists such as Charles Darwin, William Jones, and James Charles Dale.
This lavishly illustrated book features highlights from the collections, ranging from David Livingstone’s tsetse fly specimens to Mary Anning’s ichthyosaur, and from crabs collected by Darwin during his voyage on the Beagle to the iconic Dodo, the only soft tissue specimen of the species in existence. Also featured are the first described dinosaur bones, found in a small Oxfordshire village, the Red Lady of Paviland (who was in fact a man who lived 29,000 years ago), and a meteorite from the planet Mars.
Each item tells a unique story about natural history, the history of science, collecting, or the museum itself. Rare & Wonderful offers unique insight into the extraordinary wealth of information and fascinating tales that can be gleaned from these collections.
This beautifully illustrated book showcases the highlights of the Tolkien archives held at the Bodleian Library. From J. R. R. Tolkien’s childhood in the Midlands and his experience of the First World War to his studies at school and university, from his exquisite illustrations for The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings to his intricate and beautiful maps showing the topography of Middle-earth, this stunning book is a perfect introduction to Tolkien’s life and works. Tolkien: Treasures sheds light on the extraordinary genius and imagination that brought us Middle-earth, with all its Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Ringwraiths, Wizards, and, of course, Hobbits.
The Bodleian Library is home to one of the world’s largest and oldest collections of maps, with atlases, maps, and books on cartography dating back to the fourteenth century, including many that are among the most rare and historically significant.
Treasures from the Map Room publishes seventy-five extraordinary examples from this collection, housed in the Map Room at the newly renovated Weston Library. The maps reproduced in Treasures range from the fourteenth to the twenty-first century. Among them are the fourteenth-century Gough Map, the earliest road map of Great Britain that achieved a remarkable level of accuracy and detail for its time; fifteenth-century portolan charts intended for maritime navigation; the Selden Map of China, the earliest Chinese map to show shipping routes; and an important early map from the medieval Islamic Book of Curiosities. The book also includes a great many recent examples, including J. R. R. Tolkien’s map of Middle Earth and C. S. Lewis’s map of Narnia. Debbie Hall takes readers back in time to uncover the fascinating story of each treasure, from a map plotting outbreaks of cholera to a jigsaw map of India from the 1850s and silk escape maps carried by pilots flying missions over occupied Europe during World War II.
With lavish full-color photography and descriptions of each map’s provenance, purpose, and creation, Treasures from the Map Room is a beautiful and informative catalog of this remarkable collection.
An illustrated reference book for students and scholars of Persian art, poetry, and literature.
With this book, Barbara Brend provides thorough consideration of two celebrated Persian manuscripts housed in the British Library. These two copies of the Khamsah (Quintet) a set of five narrative poems by twelfth-century poet Nizami, a master of allegorical poetry in Persian literature, were produced in Herat in the fifteenth century, one of the greatest periods of Persian painting. Although well known, the manuscripts have never before been written about in relation to each other. Brend tells the story of each poem and the painting that illustrates it, and she formally analyzes the images, placing them in their historical and artistic context.
The images from both highly prized manuscripts are beautifully reproduced in color, and the ownership history of one of the manuscripts—recorded in the form of seal impressions and inscriptions— is also included. Ursula Sims-Williams provides a translation and commentary of these important marks of ownership which identify the Mughal rulers Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb, among many others.
Illinois State Historical Society Superior Achievement Award 2015
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois, houses a trove of invaluable historical resources concerning all aspects of the Prairie State’s past. Treasures of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library commemorates the institution’s 125-year history, as well as its contributions to scholarship and education by highlighting a selection of eighty-five treasures from among more than twelve million items in the library’s collections.
After opening with a historical overview and extensive chronology of the Library, the volume organizes the treasures by various topics, including items that illustrate various locations and materials relating to business, the mid-nineteenth century and the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the oldest items, unusual treasures, ethnicity, and art. From the Gettysburg Address, Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s letters, and Governor Dan Walker’s boots to a Deering Harvester Company catalog, WPA publications, and an Adlai Stevenson I campaign hat, each entry includes a thorough description of the item, one or more images, and a discussion of its history and how the library acquired it, if known. Other treasures include the Thomas Yates General Store daybook, Dubin Pullman car materials, Civil War newspapers, a Lincoln coffin photograph, the Mary Lincoln insanity verdict, the Directory of Sangamon County’s Colored Citizens, andLincoln’s stovepipe hat.
To highlight the academic importance of the Library, nineteen researchers share how study in the Library’s collections proved essential to their projects. Although these treasures only scrape the surface of the vast holdings of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, together they epitomize the rich, varied, and sometimes quirky resources available to both serious scholars and curious tourists alike at this valuable cultural institution.