North Sea Crossings: Anglo-Dutch Books and the Adventures of Reynard the Fox

About the exhibition

North Sea Crossings told the story of Anglo-Dutch exchanges through beautiful medieval manuscripts, early prints, maps, animal stories and other treasures from the Bodleian’s collections.

For centuries the North Sea has been a highway connecting Britain with its Dutch neighbours, a mere 133 kilometres away at its closest point.

Focusing on the period from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the Glorious Revolution of 1688, this exhibition explored how exchanges between England and the Netherlands have shaped literature, book production and institutions such as the Bodleian itself, on either side of the North Sea. It also told the story of a very crafty Dutch visitor, Reynard the Fox.

In the aftermath of Britain’s exit from the European Union, this exhibition on the long history of Anglo-Dutch relations has much to tell us about the benefits of international collaboration today.


Sjoerd Levelt, Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol

Ad Putter, Professor of Medieval English, University of Bristol

Anne-Louise Avery, writer and director of the children's educational outreach organisation Flash of Splendour


North Sea Crossings is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund

An outline of crossed fingers

A collaborative project with the University of Bristol.