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This is a stone doorstop which belonged to Richard Adams, author of classic children's book Watership Down. Throughout his lifetime Richard acquired a very large collection of rabbit-themed items which filled his house. On his death, the family very kindly agreed to gift this doorstop to The Story Museum.
Watership Down is a survival and adventure novel by Richard Adams published in 1972. Set in southern England, around Hampshire, the story features a small group of rabbits. Although they live in their natural wild environment, with burrows, they are anthropomorphised, possessing their own culture, language, proverbs, poetry, and mythology. The novel follows the rabbits as they escape the destruction of their warren and seek a place to establish a new home, encountering perils and temptations along the way.
This is a hand printed copy of The Ankh-Morpork Times, as featured in Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. It was designed by graphic artist Barry Bulsara and specially commissioned by The Story Museum for Discworld Day in 2017. The front page includes a special message from Stephen Briggs, who was a long time collaborator and friend of Sir Terry.
The Anhk-Morpork Times first appears in the 25th Discworld book, The Truth. The book features the coming of movable type to Ankh-Morpork, and the founding of the Discworld's first newspaper by William de Worde, as he invents investigative journalism with the help of his reporter Sacharissa Cripslock. The two investigate the charges of embezzlement and attempted murder against Havelock Vetinari, and help vindicate him.
This is a signed copy of The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson. Lisa's book was chosen by The Story Museum's Young Producers team to feature as a space in the museum's Enchanted Library. The young people worked with designers and makers to create the space. The book has been signed by Lisa Williamson expressing how excited she is to have her book featured in The Story Museum.
His parents think he’s gay. The school bullies call him a ‘freakshow’. But David Piper has a secret. David knows ‘he’ is actually a girl. A girl called Kate.
Leo Denton, the new boy at school, has one goal – to be invisible. However, when he sees David getting bullied, Leo steps in to help. An unlikely friendship forms between the two teenagers, and they soon learn that they have a lot more in common than they first thought.
Lisa Williamson (born in Nottingham 1980) spent her childhood reading, daydreaming and writing stories in her head. After studying drama at Middlesex University, and nearly a decade of working as an actor, Lisa began to write stories again. Working with the NHS Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) inspired her to write a story about transgender teenagers. However, although gender identity is an important theme throughout the book, her story also explores friendship, family, falling in love and self-acceptance.
What is it?
It is a sculpture of a dodo, carrying a walking cane, taken from an illustration in the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The sculpture is cast of bronze and mounted on a slate plinth. It was made by the Robert James workshop and donated to The Story Museum in 2012.
What’s the story?
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a novel written by Oxford author Charles Dodgson, under the pseudonym, or pen name, Lewis Carroll. It tells of a young girl named Alice who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by strange and colourful creatures and characters.
The story has achieved lasting, global popularity with adults as well as with children and its characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature.
The dodo is one of a number of iconic characters in the book. In real life this flightless bird was extinct by 1681 but Charles Dodgson and Alice Liddell, viewed the remains of a dodo in The Oxford University Museum of Natural History which inspired the character.
The Robert James workshop specialises in creating bronze sculptures inspired by story book characters. The range of Alice in Wonderland inspired figures demonstrate the continuing, widespread popularity of characters from the story.
What is it?
This is a model depicting two dragons fighting in the sky. It is made of sculpted and painted clay on a wire framework or armature. The Story Museum commissioned the sculpture from the model maker and animator, Eve Bannister, a student at the Bristol School of Animation, University of West England in 2019. It was designed to illustrate a particular scene within the story of Lludd and Llefelys and was commissioned for display in the Tree of Dragons in the Whispering Wood gallery.
What’s the story?
The story of Lludd and Llefelys is taken from the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh stories compiled in the 12th and 13thcenturies from earlier oral traditions.
The tale tells how shortly after inheriting the kingship of Britain, King Lludd is faced with solving three plagues that are blighting his land. The second of these is a horrible scream that comes every May Day, causing women to miscarry. His brother, Llefelys, helps identify the cause, a red dragon of Wales embroiled in conflict with a white dragon from other parts. Lludd sets a trap for the fighting dragons, at the exact centre of the country, believed to be Oxford. He catches them in a hole there, subdues them and then buries them in a stone chest in Dinas Emrys, a hillock in north west Wales.