While walking about I ran into a former professor of mine, James Bracken. I was really surprised when he introduced me to his friend from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota (If only Gustavus had been Norwegian and not Swedish we could have had the perfect Garrison Keillor Minnesota stereotype.). Dr. Bracken actually managed to remember the paper I wrote on Christian Hebraism for his History of the Book class. We promptly did the sacred letters, O-H, to demonstrate Ohio State’s kinyan, ownership, of this land. (We did not have the manpower to perform the I-O, but I am sure Coach Woody Hayes up above understands.)
I walked into a Borders here at Oxford. It is good to feel some of the pleasures of home. Stephenie Meyer and her Twilight vampires are clearly a hit in this country as well.
Sitting around in the Oriental Studies library, I came across an essay by David S. Katz, “Edmund Gayton’s Anti-Jewish Poem Addressed to Manasseh Ben Israel, 1656.” [JQR 71(1980-81)] This essay deals with a series of rumors, circulated by royalists, while the issue of Jewish readmission into England was being debated, that the Jews were negotiating with Oliver Cromwell’s government to buy St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Bodleian library, the main library at Oxford. Apparently the Jews offered 500,000 pounds but Cromwell wanted 700,000-800,000 pounds. I showed this to the librarian and he got a good laugh.