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Balliol College: a History
Second Edition,
revised 2005

Balliol College: a History 1263-1939, was first published by OUP in 1988. A second edition, with coverage extended to the nineties, was published in 1997, entitled simply Balliol College: a History. Both editions quickly went out of print. And so another edition, updated and elaborated in numerous small ways, has been produced. The additions and corrections are short of what might be expected in a third edition, and it is not so called; rather it is a “second edition, revised”.

Members who have the second edition will not want a copy of this edition, but those who bought only the first, or neither, may be interested.

The contents page and some comments from reviews of the first edition are given inside.

It is available to members through the College at £35 or $US70 inc p&p (£30 on the spot); the OUP price is £65. Ordering information is given here .



  1. The Foundation of the College
  2. Constitutional Change and Expansion in the Fourteenth Century
  3. The Early Members
  4. The Fifteenth Century
  5. Bishop Fox's Statutes
  6. The Second Chapel and the Reformation
  7. Elizabethan Balliol: College Life and Administration
  8. ‘Suspicion of Papistrie'
  9. The Early Seventeenth Century
  10. The Civil War and Interregnum
  11. Penury and Recovery 1660-1720
  12. People, Life, and Times 1675-1725
  13. The Mastership of Theophilus Leigh
  14. From Obscurity to Pre-eminence 1785-1854
  15. On the Crest of a Wave: Jowett's Balliol
  16. Effortless Superiority 1893-1914
  17. The Great War
  18. Balliol between the Wars
  19. Epilogue, 1939 to the present


  1. Dervorguilla's Statutes
  2. Visitors
  3. Masters
  4. Fellows Elected 1500-1939
  5. Student Numbers
  6. Regional Bias 1600-1900
  7. Sources for the History of the College



From reviews of the first edition:

This book should be read by anyone interested in the development of the British University

Reba N. Soffer, American Historical Review

John Jones … has produced an admirable book, as entertaining as it is erudite, and written with respect but never cloying reverence for the institution on which he has become the greatest living expert. Enthusiasm for Balliol is like Adlai Stevenson's view of flattery: it is all right provided you do not inhale. Dr Jones manages to be an addict without being an inhaler.

Roy Jenkins, Observer

This is an admirably scholarly work, and a good read too. Its illustrations and plans are well chosen … John Jones gives us a great deal of new and detailed information about many aspects of the College's life, and some balanced revisions of traditional judgements. It will remain the standard work for a long time.

Christopher Hill, Balliol College Annual Record

Jones includes some excellent chapters on life and times at various periods of Balliol's long history, succeeding in the difficult task of making visible the tenor of ordinary existence, with eating, and drinking, and even a certain amount of work.

Jasper Griffin , Spectator

John Jones does not aspire to paint on a broad canvas; but he brings a quite exceptional knowledge of a rich college archive, and a shrewd understanding of some recent trends in university history, to make this a refreshingly new book, full of rich detail, learned and affectionate, yet not uncritical … In the foreword Dr. Anthony Kenny very truly says that ‘others besides Balliol men and women will admire and enjoy a narrative so briskly and economically distilled from such a variety of … sources'.

C.N.L. Brooke, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

- John Jones

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Updated 11.viii.14
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