To Say Nothing of the Dog, Or, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

To Say Nothing of the Dog, Or, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

Book - 1998
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
From Connie Willis, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, comes a comedic romp through an unpredictable world of mystery, love, and time travel...

Ned Henry is badly in need of a rest.  He's been shuttling between the 21st century and the 1940s searching for a Victorian atrocity called the bishop's bird stump.  It's part of a project to restore the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid over a hundred years earlier.  

But then Verity Kindle, a fellow time traveler, inadvertently brings back something from the past.  Now Ned must jump back to the Victorian era to help Verity put things right--not only to save the project but to prevent altering history itself.

Baker & Taylor
The year is 1888, and Ned Henry is shuttling between the 1940s and the modern day while researching Coventry Cathedral for a patron interested in rebuilding it, but when the time continuum is interrupted, Ned must scramble to set things right. Original.

& Taylor

Ned Henry shuttles between the 1940s and the twenty-first century while researching Coventry Cathedral for a patron interested in rebuilding it until the time continuum is disrupted

Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 1998
ISBN: 9780553575385
Branch Call Number: PB FANTASY WIL
Characteristics: 493 p. ;,18 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 05, 2017

I quite enjoyed this book, with its humor, adventure, and slight romance, and would definitely recommend it. The characters were all quite likable, and the notion of time travel simply added to the fun. I would not, however, recommend reading this while tired, as it detracts from being able to follow the plot.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Dec 29, 2016

Have you ever fallen in love with a book slowly? You might read the first 50 pages and think, "This is amusing, but I have no idea what is happening", and yet by the end you are laughing out loud on every page and wishing that every book were like this one. Well, that was me, reading this book, because it's brilliant. The biggest struggle for me, as an insanely fast reader, was to be patient and just slow down, because this isn't a book you can race through -- for one thing, you'll get hopelessly confused with all the time travel stuff (which, honestly, I was still somewhat confused by even at the end) and, more importantly, this book has a very high joke density, and you'll miss a lot of the humor if you try to speed through it. I don't know how to describe this novel other than to say it's a time travel romantic comedy (emphasis on the comedy) -- at times it has the feeling of a Wodehouse-esque farce, but Willis manages to keep it light and funny while still getting the reader deeply invested in Ned and Verity and their relationship. This is so many of my favorite things bundled into 500 pages and it felt like a gift to me, the whole time I was reading it.

melwyk Sep 24, 2014

Readers who enjoy a retake on a classic, and love humour and imaginative settings will likely enjoy this novel. Inspired by Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat, Willis takes our time-travelling characters on a wild ride from the future, back into the Victorian Age, on a search for a rare object, the Bishop's Bird Stump.

bkilfoy Dec 19, 2013

A delight from start to finish, I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a time travel novel more. With fantastic comedic moments, excellent historical descriptions of both England during the Blitz and the Victorian era, and a complex mystery that sits at the core of the novel, the novel never lulls. While loosely connected to Willis' previous novel, Doomsday, it isn't necessary to read the first to truly enjoy this novel and those who have are in for a surprise at the massive shift in tone. If you like time travel stories or even if you just want a good historical read, this book shouldn't be missed.

Jun 12, 2012

fascinating time travel

Apr 11, 2011

Fun and funny. Time travel, spoiled heiresses, butlers, and dotty Oxford professors.

Northbrook_Eric Jan 12, 2011

Ned, an historian in the future is sent back to Victorian times to retrieve a mysterious object, a "Bishop's Bird Stump", in order to keep appease a wealthy university benefactor (Lady Shrapnel) and along the way keep history from going completely out of whack. Written with a fine sense of character and wit, Willis richly portrays the foibles of both the past and the future. This is something of a sequel to The Doomsday Book and is perhaps slighly better paced and certainly a lot funnier.

Jan 06, 2011

Funny, well-written time travel romp.

BurlieTest Dec 10, 2010

My favourite book by Connie Willis. All of her books are different, but they're all great.

Oct 12, 2010

Fantastic time-travel romp full of dotty Oxford professors, Victorian matriarchs and the origin of the Jumble sale.

View All Comments


Add a Summary

Nov 10, 2008

One of the most pleasantly surprising reads I've ever come across. Don't be put off by the Sci Fi designations. This is a fun, suspenseful book with something that few books ever seem to have...a terrific ending.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at FVRL

To Top