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Thomas Jefferson Hogg’s Aesop’s Fables

As Trinity Term drew to a close, the Librarian took a trip into the Oxfordshire countryside to collect a very interesting donation. We had received an email offering the Library a book with a connection to Thomas Jefferson Hogg, an Old Member of the College.

Best known for being the student sent down from Univ with Percy Shelley, Hogg matriculated in February 1810. Shelley didn’t arrive in Oxford until October of that year, but once the two men met, they became friends. Hogg and Shelley were both sent down in March 1811 for refusing to answer the Master’s questions about authorship of the pamphlet, The Necessity of Atheism.

As can be seen in the image, below, Hogg has marked his ownership of the volume by signing the end-leaf ‘T: Jeffn. Hogg, Univ. Coll. Oxon.’ The book contains Aesop’s fables in Greek, with an introduction and extensive notes in Latin. On another end paper, a different hand has noted the provenance:

“This copy formerly belonged to James [sic[ Hogg, the poet & biographer, friend and biographer of Shelley.”

(click for larger image)

(click for larger image)

This donation is particularly pertinent to the College as the book was printed in the same year that Hogg came up to Univ. We can imagine that, finding his Greek a little rusty, the 18-year-old Hogg may have bought a copy of Aesop’s familiar fables in order to improve his Greek. There is no evidence, however, that Hogg used the book – the margins are completely clear of notes or underlining.

We were very pleased to receive the donation of a volume formerly belonging to Thomas Jefferson Hogg, and would like to thank the estate of F. Norman for their very generous donation.

You can read more about Thomas Jefferson Hogg and Percy Shelley at Univ in previous Treasures Tales from the Library: Shelley and Univ and Tales from the Archives: Shelley and Univ.

Further selected Univ Treasures are detailed below or explore the whole collection on our News and Features Treasures pages.

Published: 28 September 2023

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