Badgers in Ancient Greece


Eight eminent Englishmen eagerly examining Europe.

An image and caption from illustrator Nicola Bayley’s book One Old Oxford Ox. This is a birthday card from 1981, which I’ve always kept. At the time I’d never seen such a fantastic thing – cards were usually emblazoned with ‘YOU ARE 10!’ or ‘IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY HAVE A GREAT DAY!’ or ‘GREETINGS GRANDSON!’.

Today I can’t pass a decent card without buying. They never get sent but hoarded instead, and it started with this card.

I think my brother bought it on a day trip to Oxford, and Oxford seemed to me like a magic city of bookshops and music shops and galleries, so a collection of fantastical academic badgers fits the bill.

I still think it’s a work of art, quirky and witty and beautifully composed. What a wonderful illustrator – it springs from the era of Kit William’s Masquerade, colourful, detailed and rich in atmosphere…

And the card company logo is a nice bit of 70s design too.


4 thoughts on “Badgers in Ancient Greece

  1. forestfae

    This is a wonderfull card! I would have kept it too for all these years, and yes I am a bit of a card and postcard hoarder too.

  2. Same here – I buy cards and never send them! Love this one – she was very popular at the time I remember. You are making me want to explore all my hoarded things as well as bringing back lots of memories with all these posts..

  3. Add me to the list of card hoarders here too! Like Diana, you’ve also made me want to go exploring amongst all my tucked away “treasure boxes” to unearth all those postcards, cards (received and unsent) and trinkets from past days. They’re like little time portals, giving us the chance to hold memories in our hands; to relive moments and to wander amongst all the associations they evoke…

    This is such a fantastic picture. Truly special!

    …There’s a particular magic in the pictures that really seize our imaginations during childhood… they’re so alive somehow, and never lose that power to transport and transfix…

  4. thewitchspromise

    It’s beautiful. I kept a birthday card from the 1970s, but it’s a birthday book. A card with many pages, I never see them now.

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