PART I: THE BULK OF THE BOOK CONSISTS OF A JANUARY-DECEMBER LISTING, DIVIDED BY MONTH AND THEN BY DAY. EACH MONTH BEGINS WITH INFORMATION, FOR EXAMPLE ETYMOLOGY OF THE NAME AND QUOTATIONS, DEALING WITH THE MONTH IN GENERAL, AND EACH DAY CONTAINS INFORMATION ON HOLIDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES, SAINTS AND THEIR LEGENDS, HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL CUSTOMS, AND RELEVANT QUOTATIONS FROM HISTORICAL AND MODERN TEXTS. PART I ENDS WITH A DISCUSSION OF SEASONS, MONTHS, TERMS, WEEKS, AND DAYS IN GENERAL, A SECTION ON THE WESTERN CHURCH AND THE ORTHODOX CHURCH YEARS, AND FINALLY SECULAR HOLIDAYS NOT TIED TO A SPECIFIC DAY (E.G. THANKSGIVING). ; PART II: A MORE TECHNICAL SECTION ON CALENDARS, THROUGHOUT HISTORY AND ACROSS THE WORLD, AND CHRONOLOGY, INCLUDING COMPUTUS.
Bonnie Blackburn, a musicologist, received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1970. She has written articles and books on Renaissance music, and is General Editor of the series Monuments of Renaissance Music (University of Chicago Press). She is a member of the Faculty of Music at Oxford University. Leofranc Holford-Strevens, a classicist, received a D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1971. The author of Aulus Gellius (1988), he is a desk-editor with Oxford University Press. He has had a long-standing interest in calendars and chronologies.
'Effective ....This is one of the few books you will never get fed up with reading. Focus, January 2000 'Never, indeed, have reference books been better produced, more amply illustrated and often more accessible than ever before. A beautiful example is the Oxford Companion to the Year ... the ultimate millennium calendar.' The Express on Sunday, 5.12.99 'Superbly and magisterially survey's man's attempts to order time by measuring it.' - Iain Finlayson, The Times, 9.12.99 Superbly and magisterially surveys man's attempts to order time by measuring it, dividing it neatly and giving significance to its parts. * Ian Finlayson *