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Lady Margaret Hall Library: Books from Childhood

This is a previous exhibition, but if you are interested in viewing one of the objects you can make an appointment (email Exhibitions in the library rotate once or twice a year. Have a look at our current exhibitions to see what's on at the moment.


Pages from 'The Game of Logic' with a mathematical diagram.

1 of 6 | Lewis Carroll at LMH

Lewis Carroll was the pen-name of Charles Dodgson, a Christ Church Mathematical Lecturer and specialist in logic. After the great success of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, he used his fame to write popularist mathematics books. Whilst he was working his Game of Logic he tested it at LMH: in Edith Langridge’s memoirs she discusses him visiting college on “several successive Thursdays after dinner” in 1886. Dodgson clearly kept up a relationship with LMH, as he gave us this copy of the book in 1896.

Lewis Carroll, The game of logic (London: Macmillan and Co., 1886). Briggs Room 164 2

Pencil sketch of the Mad Hatter and March Hare's tea party, signed Dorothy G. Poole.

2 of 6 | LMH’s Adventures in Influenza

In Michaelmas Term 1918 there was an influenza outbreak among the students, leading to the SCR becoming carers to nurse them back to health. The students made this album of drawings and poems to thank the Fellows. Dorothy Gertrude Poole’s contribution shows the enduring appeal of Wonderland.

A Booke Made For the S.C.R. By Their Gratefull Patients (Oxford: Payshunt & Phloo, 1919). Archives

Page from 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', with printed title and handwritten note: 'Edith Jebb from the Author'.

3 of 6 | Friends of Lewis Carroll

Alice is famously inspired by Alice Liddell, the daughter of Henry Liddell, Dean of Christ Church, and the first draft of it was composed by Carroll during a boat trip with Alice. Carroll’s friendship with Alice was mirrored by several other friendships: these entries from his diaries discuss rowing with Edith Jebb, who he gave this signed copy of Alice’s Adventures to.

Edith Jebb was the aunt of Cynthia Borough, who studied history at LMH from 1919–22. Cynthia later became a librarian, worked at the Bodleian, and gave us a large collection of rare books, including these two.

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (London: Macmillan and Co., 1866). Briggs Room 823.99 270

Handwritten diary extract, transcribed in caption.

4 of 6 | 'A very enjoyable day'

From Lewis Carroll's diaries:

'...with Mr Jebb, Florence & Edith, & had a very enjoyable day. Mr Jebb & I rowed most of the way, but Florence also took part.

1870 Jan 12 Left Barnack for Doncaster (to stay with the Jebbs). All but Eustace at home, Edith (now aged 12) if possible more charming than ever. We all went at 5 to a children's party at the Vicar's, where there was a magic lantern and various round games.

1874. March 11. Mrs Jebb & Edith arrived, to stay two days. They are to have beds next door, at Archdeacon Clerke's. We dined a trio & had a quiet evening. Edith (now 16) is...'

Page from 'Pig Book' with text 'All is not pork that's pawky' and illustration of a pig in top hat and monocle. A previous reader has added a pig drawing and signed it: 'Name: Cynthia Mabel Borough, Date: January 1 1910'.

5 of 6 | Pig Book

Pig Book is a fun sketchbook, where people are expected to draw a pig with their eyes closed. Among the many friends and family who completed pages in it are several entries by Cynthia Borough and her aunt Edith.

Pig Book (London: Dean and Son, c.1900). Locked Stack 096 24

Introduction to 'Pig Book' (transcribed in caption).

6 of 6 | 'A. Pigge'


Every pig has its day (even as a dog), and as there are many dog books, why not a Pig Book? We hasten to explain that a Pig Book is a book having reference to pigs. We give it this tile because it sounds more polite than "Pigs I have met." As most people draw just as well with their eyes closed as open, the inflexible rule of the Pig Book is that the artist shall close his or her eyes, draw a pig on one of the pages, and lift the pencil before putting in (or out, as the case may be) the eye of the pig. The artist then signs in order to fix the responsibility. Some people can draw a pig, and most people think they can.

The line at the head of this page is for the use of the owner, so that the page may read "Mrs Porkington's Pig Book," or "Chanticleer Hall Pig Book" - so to speak, as the case may be.

A. Pigge.'

Pig Book (London: Dean and Son, c.1900). Locked Stack 096 24

Fairy Tale

Book page with German text and loose line drawing of Snow White in her glass coffin surrounded by the dwarves.

1 of 6 | Pictures and Conversations

Das Märchenbuch is a series of fairy tales publications from 100 years ago. This edition features tales from the Grimm brothers, and the German Impressionist artist Max Slevogt contributes loose, expressive illustrations.

Illustrations have developed in line with available technology and stylistic trends; the first printed translations of Perrault were accompanied by woodcuts, while visual storytelling of fairy tales endures today in computer-animated films such as Frozen. As illustrations became more easily replicable, the appeal to children became more widespread. It was thanks to the success of illustrated English-language editions of the Grimms’ tales that Lewis Carroll requested illustrations for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Das Märchenbuch: Erstes Buch, Deutsche Märchen, ill. by Max Slevogt (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1918). Locked Stack 096 85/1

Colour illustration of a girl kneeling at a grave, labelled 'Aschenputtel'.

2 of 6 | Children’s and Household Tales

If you have ever read an early fairy tale, you will know that their contents was not what we would consider child-friendly. But in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, fairy tales adjusted their tone to become an acceptable way of passing on values and ideas to the younger generation. Modern ideas about the educational value of imagination were influenced by the Romantic movement, and tales of magic and nonsense began to contend with those of reason and realism. Illustrated books were instrumental to this: they physically brought tales into the nursery.

Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm (1786–1859) Grimm put together their most famous collection, Kinder und Hausmärchen, at the beginning of the 19th century. Fairy tale readers at this time were becoming a hybrid audience of all ages, and the title encompasses “children” as well as the wider “household”.

In this edition, seven tales are marked mit Bild (with illustration); this example shows Aschenputtel, the Grimm brothers’ version of Cinderella. Thekla Brauer’s illustration selects a tamer image than is accessible to those old enough to read the written text, where birds peck out the stepsisters’ eyes in the final scene—a scene that tends to be omitted in more recent children’s versions.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Kinder und Hausmärchen, 14th kleine edn. (Liepzig: Otto Spamer). Locked Stack

Title page of 'Choix de Contes de Fées, Par Perrault, Mme d'Aulnoy, Mme Leprince de Beaumont et Hégésippe Moreau', with a border styled like architectural columns.

3 of 6 | Moralités

From this story one learns that children,

              Especially young lasses,

       Pretty, courteous and well-bred,

Do very wrong to listen to strangers,

       And it is not an unheard thing

       If the Wolf is thereby provided with his dinner.

—Charles Perrault, ‘Le Petit Chaperon Rouge’                   

On the book’s spine, Choix de Contes de Fées is credited to “Perrault etc.” Two hundred years before the Grimms, there was no such genre as children’s literature. Nonetheless, innovative French writer and lawyer Charles Perrault (1628–1703) made the morally instructive nature of his tales clear, concluding each with a rhyming moralité that was sometimes directly aimed at children. Often omitted or altered by editors or translators, these morals are adjustable to different contexts.

D’Aulnoy, Leprince de Beaumont, Moreau and Perrault, Choix de Contes de Fées (Paris: Nelson, 1936). Locked Stack 096 80

Frontispiece showing the prince approaching Sleeping Beauty, captioned 'Il s'approcha en tremblant et en admirant.'

4 of 6 | Contes de Fées

While the “big three” fairy tale collectors (Perrault, Grimms, Andersen) may be more familiar names, the “etc.” covers two French women who also made significant contributions to writing and recording tales: Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy (1651–1705) and Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (1711–80). And in our copy of this anthology, a reader’s pen has reattributed a story known as ‘L’Adroite Princesse’ from by Charles Perrault to “by Mlle l’Heritier” (Perrault’s cousin)—although where any of these perpetually retold stories truly originate from remains a complicated question.

The final contributor to this selection of French fairy tales is poet Hégésippe Moreau (1810–38). Critic Charles Saint-Beuve remarks in his introduction that these tales, unlike the rest of Moreau’s work, are “pure” enough for children.

D’Aulnoy, Leprince de Beaumont, Moreau and Perrault, Choix de Contes de Fées (Paris: Nelson, 1936). Locked Stack 096 80

German text of 'Die Blumen der kleinen Ida', with a large inital letter 'M' in green surrounded by tiny flowers and mice.

5 of 6 | Nourished Hearts

By the time Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805–75) was collaging together his collection, fairy tales had become widely accepted as children’s media; Charles Dickens (1812–70) enthused that tales “nourished” positive traits in “the child’s heart”.

The two volumes comprising this 1909 German-language translation of Andersen’s tales, while not fully illustrated, are decorated with inhabited initials. These larger letters at the beginning of each tale feature small creatures in a leafy setting.

Hans Christian Andersen, Märchen, vol. 1 (Leipzig: Insel-Verlag, 1909). Locked Stack

Patterned endpapers in red and white.

6 of 6 | Enchanted Objects

Artist, illustrator and stage designer Rex Whistler (1905–44) produced images to accompany this English-language translation of Andersen’s literary fairy tales. This elaborate endpaper design, repeated on the covers, makes the book itself appear as an almost magical object on the nursery shelf. It incorporates his initials, and comes to life with silhouettes of the mermaids, lizards, swans and others characters who populate the tales. Andersen accompanied spoken performances of his tales with cut paper figures, and Whistler’s silhouetted design echoes this paper puppet style. Mythographer, novelist, professor and LMH alumna Marina Warner argues that illustrated tales such as these “imprint more strongly than words” on young imaginations. 

Hans Christian Andersen, Fairy Tales and Legends, ill. by Rex Whistler (London: Bodley Head, 1948). Locked Stack 096 76

Mother Goose

Two covers of 'The Barnacle' with black and white illustrations. One has the title 'Barnacle Gosling Magazine' surrounded by faces and other tiny cartoons; the other has four circles with the largest, central circle containing a goose.

1 of 9 | The Barnacle: Girls’ Self-Improvement

The Barnacle was a self-made magazine, almost a Victorian ’zine, created by a group of young Victorian women. They called themselves the Gosling Society, and all adopted wonderful pseudonyms: the co-ordinator was the novelist Charlotte Mary Yonge, Mother Goose; other contributors had names like Albatross, Bog Oak, Mockingbird, Ladybird, Gurgoyle, and Frog.

The Barnacle (Otterbourne: The Gosling Society, 1863-67). Briggs Room 823.99 311–322. Donated by Ester Georgina Battiscombe née Harwood (LMH 1924–27).

Cover of 'Barnacle Christmas', showing a Christmas tree surrounded by goose-people.

2 of 9 | The Barnacle

They were all passionate fans of Yonge’s books, as can be seen from the cover for Christmas 1864, where the Goslings keenly gather Yonge’s works: Heartsease, The Prince and the Page, The Heir of Redclyffe, and the Monthly Packet are all under a tree, which is liberally covered with copies of her latest release, the Book of Golden Deeds, being hung up by her publisher.

The Barnacle (Otterbourne: The Gosling Society, 1863-67). Briggs Room 823.99 311–322. Donated by Ester Georgina Battiscombe née Harwood (LMH 1924–27).

Cover of 'The Barnacle' with cartoons of goose-people.

3 of 9 | The Barnacle

As can be seen by the June 1865 cover, each member of the society from across the UK wrote pieces (serialised stories, poems, translations, and articles on historical matters) that were sent to Yonge in Otterbourne, who selected the best and had them bound together into these volumes. They were then sent around the country, from one member to the next—a system that did lead to occasional problems: our collection is sadly lacking three volumes that never completed their travels! Several of the Goslings become novelists or journalists in later life, and contributed to Yonge’s Monthly Packet.

The Barnacle (Otterbourne: The Gosling Society, 1863-67). Briggs Room 823.99 311–322. Donated by Ester Georgina Battiscombe née Harwood (LMH 1924–27).

Title page of 'The Heir of Redclyffe, illustrated by Kate Greenaway' with line drawing of two characters.

4 of 9 | Charlotte Mary Yonge, The Novelist of the Oxford Movement

Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823–1901) was one of the most prolific Victorian authors, publishing over a hundred books: at LMH alone we hold 96 books by her. She was dedicated to the High Church Oxford Movement, lived in the village next to John Keble’s, and her work often featured strong Christian and Victorian moral themes. She mostly wrote for young women, but some of her works were breakout successes—the Harry Potters or Twilights of their day? Many of her books were historical novels, including her most famous work, The Heir of Redclyffe, which was one of the biggest sellers of the 19th century.

Charlotte M. Yonge, The heir of Redclyffe (London: Macmillan, 1882). Gallery 823.99 219

Covers of two books (full titles in caption). 'Roman History' is a brown cover with Roman columns and gold lettering and vases; 'Herd Boy' is a red cover with gold lettering and a character in armour.

5 of 9 | Charlotte Mary Yonge

Fans of Yonge included Lewis Carroll, George Eliot, Charles Kingsley, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Anthony Trollope, C.S. Lewis, and Louisa May Alcott (in Little Women Meg finds Jo “eating apples and crying over The Heir of Redclyffe, wrapped up in a comforter on an old three-legged sofa by the sunny window”). She was also held in high regard by the Pre-Raphelite Brotherhood: William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones read The Heir of Redclyffe whilst up at Oxford, and consciously modelled themselves on its Byronic hero and his chivalric ideals.

Charlotte M. Yonge, Aunt Charlotte's stories of Roman history for the little ones (London: Marcus Ward; Belfast: Royal Ulster Works, 1877). Gallery 823.99 158

The herd boy and his hermit (London: National Society's Depository; New York: T. Whittaker, 1900). Gallery 823.99 180

Covers of two books (full titles in caption). 'Constable's' is grey with elaborate gold lettering and a ship; 'Slaves' is blue with characters in Roman clothing.

6 of 9 | Charlotte Mary Yonge

Although Yonge was popular in her time, her work has dropped in popularity as tastes have changed, with her conservative views and heavy morals being less to modern tastes. In 1882 Oscar Wilde met a condemned criminal in Nebraska, who was a fan of Yonge; Wilde commented, “My heart was turned by the eyes of the doomed man, but if he reads The Heir of Redclyffe it's perhaps as well to let the law take its course”.

Charlotte M. Yonge, The constable's tower, or, The times of Magna Charta (London: National Society's Depository; New York: T. Whittaker, 1891). Gallery 823.99 220

The slaves of Sabinus: Jew and gentile (London: National Society's Depository; New York: T. Whittaker, 1890). Gallery 823.99 167(B)

Page of printed text titled 'The Monthly Packet of Evening Readings for Younger Members of the English Church'.

7 of 9 | Charlotte Mary Yonge

Yonge was also the editor of The Monthly Packet of Evening Readings for Younger Members of the English Church, a regular magazine containing reflections on High Church teachings and uplifiting stories from throughout history. It was, in many ways, similar to a more widely-published Barnacle, and so it makes sense that several Barnacle authors went on to write for the Packet.

Charlotte M. Yonge (ed.), The monthly packet (London: John and Charles Mozley, 1851–91). Locked Stack 823.99 60–122

Title page of 'The Snow Garden and Other Fairy Tales for Children by Elizabeth Wordsworth'. Frontispiece contains illustration of 'An old man in a black furred mantle.'

8 of 9 | Elizabeth Wordsworth, LMH’s First Principal

These two books are by Elizabeth Wordsworth (1840–1932), the founding Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, a prolific author who wrote poetry, plays, novels, children’s literature, religious articles, and biographies. Like her acquaintance Charlotte Mary Yonge, she was committed to the Oxford Movement, and this clearly influenced her life and work. Several of her plays reworked classic fairy tales, so this collected volume of six plays includes three that were also remade by Disney: Beauty and the Beast, The Seven Dwarfs, and The Wonderful Lamp.

Elizabeth Wordsworth, The Snow Garden: and other Fairy Tales for Children (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1897). Librarian’s Office 824.19 6(A)

Page of play script titled: 'Act II. Scene 3. The Beast's Garden.'

9 of 9 | Elizabeth Wordsworth

Her brother was a Fellow of Brasenose, and it was through him that she met the group intent on providing a university education for women in Oxford. It was her who proposed that this new female hall should be named after Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII: a gentlewoman, a scholar, and a saint, exactly what Elizabeth felt our students should be.

Elizabeth Wordsworth, Beauty and the Beast (Oxford: Alden, c.1890). Librarian’s Office 822.69 7

Contact the Library

LMH Special Collections are open to visitors by appointment (email during staffed hours, Monday to Friday, 9.30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Lady Margaret Hall Library
Norham Gardens
United Kingdom


Telephone: (01865) 274361

The librarian, Jamie

Jamie Fishwick-Ford

(Librarian, they/them)

Sally Hamer

(Assistant Librarian, she/her)