The story of the British Museum

by Marjorie Caygill | History |
ISBN: 0714117285 Global Overview for this book
Registered by LyzzyBee of Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on 10/17/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by LyzzyBee from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, October 17, 2004

This is a cool book about the history of the British Museum, only a slim volume but lots of info and pictures.

I'm planning to release this to the person who wants it and is furthest away from me - they must let me know they want it by 16 November and I'll then send it on!

Journal Entry 2 by LyzzyBee at on Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Released on Thursday, November 11, 2004 at about 6:00:00 AM BX time (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) at Sent to a fellow BookCrosser in Controlled release, England United Kingdom.


Whoo Hoo my 100th release as well as my 100th registered book!

Sending to boreal who was the furthest away bookcrosser to respond to my challenge.

It will then hopefully go out on a Ray

Happy reading all!

Journal Entry 3 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Thanks LyzzyBee, it arrived this morning, thanks for sending it. I was in the middle of making biscuits when I looked out the window at the mailbox and noticed the postie putting something large in it (well bigger than a letter anyway) I thought to myself, I bet that's Lyzzybee's book, and it was!
I have had a quick flick through it and it looks fascinating. I will read it very soon and then set up a bookray for it

PS Thanks for the postcard.

Journal Entry 4 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Sunday, February 13, 2005
I finally got this read -sorry it has taken me so long.
It was a fascinating book but would probably mean more to someone who had actually visited the British Museum.
I especially enjoyed the bit about the disposal of zoological specimens- in 1800 or thereabouts some specimens were burned or buried. One keeper in particular was very attached to his cremations and the more people complained about the smoke the bigger the fires!
Thanks again Lyzzybee, I will now offer it as a bookray, so that the book can travel even further.

Journal Entry 5 by boreal from Dunedin, Otago New Zealand on Sunday, February 13, 2005
Bookray participants in proposed shipping order.

Sherlockfan Wellington, New Zealand
Futurecat Christchurch, New Zealand
Pixette Sydney, Australia
tantan Queensland, Australia
Davros-10 Queensland, Australia
celestewa Perth, Australia
tqd Sydney, Australia <-book is here
Peggysmum Canberra, Australia*
Viola7 Brisbane, Australia*
mojosmom Chicago, USA
MysteryMish California, USA
ds3233 Arizona, USA*
sqdancer Alberta, Canada*
Arwen-Galadriel Alberta, Canada
RikkiDD Germany
PrincessJCM Ireland*
whitehorsy Belgium*
AnglersRest England*
Back to Lyzzybee whose book it was to start with and who intends adding it to a bookcrossing museum.

Anyone else who wants to join will be added in as necessary and should be prepared to ship internationally if possible.

Some brief bookray instructions -

1. Make a journal entry when you receive the book to let us know its arrived safely.

2. When you finish the book, make another journal entry telling us what you thought.

3. Send a PM to the next on the list asking for their address. If you are too busy to read the book in the next few weeks, let me know and I will move you down the list.


Journal Entry 6 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, February 20, 2005
Thanks Boreal. It arrived today 21 Feb and looks good. I have been to the British Museum and been overawed by all its treasures. I'm looking forward to studying its history in a bit of depth.
Two books arrived today and one on Friday. Also the Massey course work is ahead of me "Life writing" and although it doesn't officially start until next week I feel the need to start developing some discipline in order to fit all the required hours in without anything else suffering too much. Always the optimist.

Journal Entry 7 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Saturday, February 26, 2005
A fascinating book now ready to continue its journey. Lots of interesting information about the development of the various exhibitions and the pictures are great.
We are fortunate enough to be planning another trip to London later this year and I'll be much better informed this time. There is never enough time though to do justice to such a vast collection; living in London must be a real boon if one has enough time to work methodically through the centuries, or perhaps across continents in developing and expanding one's knowledge.
Great idea, LyzzyBee to send a book like this out and about. Thank you.

I'll Post this off to Futurecat tomorrow.

Journal Entry 8 by Sherlockfan from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, February 28, 2005

Posted off to futurecat Monday 28 Feb.

Journal Entry 9 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Received today. I've got coursework interrupting my leisure-reading time too, but I should manage to get it read by Easter, so I can give it to one of the Sydney contingent at the NZBC Convention to take back with them for Pixette.

^ ^

Journal Entry 10 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Yayy!!! Finally finished it, and just in time for Easter! I don't know why it took me so long to read - normally a little book like this I could get through in an afternoon, but it's taken me a couple of weeks. I think it must be Tutankhamun's curse - every time I sat down to read it, I'd get interrupted by something...

Anyway, an interesting book - a bit dry in places (I didn't really want to know the exact attendance figures for every exhibition they've ever had, or the details of *every* bequest ever given to the Museum), but a lot of fascinating stuff too. I spent a day in the British Museum when I was in London a few years back, and realised at the time that that wasn't long enough to do it justice. Reading this book, I now realise how much more of it I missed! Oh well, one day I'll get back over there, I'm sure...

I'll find someone at the NZBC Convention who's heading back to Sydney, and ask them to take this over to Pixette for me.

^ ^

Journal Entry 11 by Littlemave from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, April 5, 2005
Just the messenger here, ma'am!

Collected from futurecat during the NZ convention to be passed on to Pixette at meet-up next week.

Journal Entry 12 by Pixette from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Received from Littlemave at the april sydney meetup. thanks

Journal Entry 13 by Pixette from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, May 4, 2005
A nice little book. Its fun to read some of the odd things in the Brit Museum's history.

Journal Entry 14 by Pixette at Postal Release in -- Controlled Release, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Released 17 yrs ago (5/4/2005 UTC) at Postal Release in -- Controlled Release, New South Wales Australia



As TQD has begged off for the time being, I've put in the post to TanTan

Journal Entry 15 by tantan from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Received today thanks to Pixette. It's a couple down on the bookrings pile, but I'll get to it as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 16 by tantan from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Saturday, July 2, 2005
I really enjoyed this history of the British Museum, but I wonder if the author will bring out any updated editions. I think a couple of things have changed since when the book was published, and when I visited the museum a couple of years ago. It was a great look at how the museum came to be what it is today.

Journal Entry 17 by tantan from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Saturday, July 2, 2005
This will be heading off to Davros-10 as soon as I have an address.

Journal Entry 18 by tantan from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Posted to Davros-10 today.

Journal Entry 19 by wingDavros-10wing from Banyo, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Received in the mail today from Tantan. Very keen to start reading it as I managed to visit the museum twice when I was in the UK in 2001. (The first visit was only for an hour as the building was evacuated when there was a bomb scare - luckily I was staying in London for nearly 3 months so managed to fit in a second visit when I spent nearly the whole day there.)

I'm off work due to health reasons next week so should be able to read it then, but I think my partner KEMS will probably also read it before we pass it on to Celestewa.

Journal Entry 20 by wingDavros-10wing from Banyo, Queensland Australia on Monday, July 11, 2005
Excellent! A great history of the British Museum from its formation in 1756 until just before the end of the 20th century. Thank you LyzzyBee for releasing this book, and Boreal for starting the bookray, and everyone else for passing it on. I will be giving it to my partner KEMS on the weekend for her to read, and then we will be sending it on to Celestewa. The picture at left was taken of the King's Library in 2001. Compare this with the black and white photo on page 64 which was taken in 1875.

Here's just two fascinating little details from the book:

First of all, in the late 19th century "Henry Hook VC, one of the survivors of the siege of Rorke's Drift where in in 1879 a force of just over a hundred men ... held off a force of two Zulu impis, an engagement which resulted in eleven Victoria Crosses being awarded ... was appointed to the permanent position of 'inside duster' (of the sculptures) on recommendations from one of the commanders at Rorke's Drift (Gonville Bromhead), the leader of the British column, Lord Chelmsford, and the Prince of Wales ... Later he was promoted to take charge of readers' umbrellas and stayed at the Museum until 1904 when he resigned because of ill health." Most people would only be familiar with Henry Hook and Gonville Bromhead from the 1964 film "Zulu" in which they were played by James Booth and Michael Caine respectively. In the film Henry Hooke was portrayed as a slacker, and a scheming malingerer, which he was not in reality, but it is interesting to learn he spent his days after leaving the army at the Musuem. And I love the way he was "promoted" to looking after umbrellas.

Secondly, the extremely well known poem by Laurency Binyon glorifying the dead of World War I, which reads:

"They shall not grow old
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them."

was written by him for the plaque at the front entrance of the Museum in remembrance of the sixteen staff members who did not return from the war. Binyon worked at the Museum from 1909 to 1933.

Journal Entry 21 by KEMS from Banyo, Queensland Australia on Thursday, July 14, 2005
This book has been highly recommended and I'm looking forward to reading it.


Journal Entry 22 by KEMS from Banyo, Queensland Australia on Thursday, August 4, 2005
I enjoyed reading this book, it meanders along, has no chapters or headings, but the fascinating titbits of trivia and fact sprinkled throughout are quite charming.

I'll make sure it gets forwarded on to the next book-ray recipient.

Journal Entry 23 by celestewa from Perth City, Western Australia Australia on Saturday, August 13, 2005
Just to let you know a little bit of London has arrived in perth. Thanks David for its safe transit.Will get to it as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 24 by celestewa from Perth City, Western Australia Australia on Friday, September 2, 2005
I really found this little book interesting. Especially how all the collections came into being and how the buildings changed over time etc. Another interesting observation was the cultural cringe the English had for their own history. The museum was filling up with Egyptian and Assyrian artifacts, but there was no interest in ancient Briton artifacts.

Maybe thats where we Australians get this from.

Will send off when I get the next recipients address.

Journal Entry 25 by celestewa from Perth City, Western Australia Australia on Monday, September 12, 2005
Posted today, sorry it has taken me so long to get to the post office.

Journal Entry 26 by wingtqdwing from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, September 15, 2005
Turned up in the mail yesterday, thanks celestewa!

I've got a few before this, but it's a fairly slim volume, so shouldn't take too long to read.

Journal Entry 27 by wingtqdwing from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Ah, so many stories only just touched on! There were enough characters in here to keep someone like Dana Sobel or Simon Winchester busy writing books on each character for the rest of their lives! I could have done with more detail, but I suppose that wasn't the brief of this (brief) book.

I remember being very confused not that long ago when people were talking about the Elgin marbles. I wanted to know why there was such a fuss made over marbles, considering they were just a childhood plaything, like jacks, or tiddlywinks (whatever tiddlywinks are, that's a whole other conundrum). Finally I worked out that "marbles" meant "statues carved from marble". But it meant that I got to snigger at my previous misunderstanding every time the word "marbles" was used in this book, and conjure up images of very victorian explorers all sitting around grand ruins, playing schoolyard games.

Thanks everyone for getting this book to me! I have peggysmum's address, and will pop it in the mail asap.

UPDATE 26-OCT-2005: popped in the mail today! Happy traveling!

Journal Entry 28 by peggysmum from Kambah, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Friday, October 28, 2005
Arrived last night, thanks TQD. :)

A blessedly small book which I'll read over the weekend (but don't tell the owners of the other rings that arrived this week!)

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