Gifts and Books

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We all know about giving and receiving gifts: they can be touching or puzzling, either strengthening bonds of friendship or becoming a burden. Gifts are an integral part of human societies and this volume explores how, over the centuries, books and writing describe gifts in all their complexity, but also become precious gifts themselves. In a series of thought-provoking essays, richly illustrated from the Bodleian Library's collections and beyond, the contributors illuminate some of the striking ways in which writing interacts with those fundamental impulses to give, receive and reciprocate.