An edition of Bodleian MS Aubrey 17

Designatio de Easton-Piers in Com: Wilts

by John Aubrey

with essays and commentary by

Kate Bennett, Peter Davidson, and Kelsey Jackson Williams



The book

Central to the book is a complete showing of all the pages in the manuscript that are not blank.

To accompany these full-colour images, reproduced from high-quality scans, Dr Kelsey Jackson Williams has written an extended biographical and contextual essay entitled Youth, building, loss, the pages of which run in parallel with the images.

Dr Kate Bennett and Professor Peter Davidson have contributed introductory essays and commentary on the individual drawings by Aubrey, considering the place which the manuscript holds in the canon of Aubrey’s works, and in the history of English responses to antiquity and to the English landscape.

All of Aubrey's Latin quotations have been carefully transcribed and traced to their original sources.

Extracts from two large-scale Ordnance Survey maps of the area around Lower Easton Piercy illustrate the viewpoints that Aubrey took in his drawings of the estate.

. . . and its format

Aubrey’s manuscript is landscape in format and we have retained that shape.

Our book is bound between boards covered with a paper specially hand-marbled by English paper marbler Jemma Lewis in the style of that chosen by Aubrey for his own binding of his manuscript. The leaves are sewn Japanese style though a faux vellum spine.

The book is slightly larger than A3 (about 17in wide and 12in deep) and runs to 68pp, so it makes a handsome volume.

There are 120 copies of which just 100 are for sale. Each copy is signed by the three authors.


of the book’s cover


of a sample page - please note this brings up an 18MB PDF*


* Image therein © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford 2018

Copyright (c) 2021 Martyn Ould