Isaac Newton And The Buy-6-get-1-free Offer
By Tim / 30/09/2019

An Interesting Book With An Interesting Pedigree My enthusiasm for poring over lists of subscribers is probably almost as great as that of the original subscribers themselves. I am currently pondering what prompted Sir Isaac Newton to splash out on six copies of  Richard Bradley’s ‘A philosophical account of the works of nature’, published by…

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Restoration Comedy: The Highs & Lows of Bookbinding
By Tim / 28/11/2017

Cherish your bookbinders: it’s even harder than it looks.

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For Your Convenience – the first queer city guide?
By Tim / 16/09/2016

Back in April I wrote about a Gay-Z map of London, published by the Man to Man bookshop in Notting Hill c. 1977. It remains the earliest example of a separately published LGBT map of London I’ve seen, and I’m pleased to say that it will feature in a forthcoming publication (to accompany the British…

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1616 saw the death of WS and M de C
By Pinda Bryars / 19/04/2016

On 23 April the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers will, for the second time, promote a worldwide series of “pop-up book fairs“. In 2015 this initiative, based around UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day, raised over 10,000€ to support child literacy in South Sudan (and helped generate publicity for old books, too); this year, they…

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William Morris announces his ‘pocket cathedral’: a specimen leaf from the Kelmscott Chaucer
By Tim / 09/02/2015

The Kelmscott Chaucer lends itself to superlatives. The first page is perhaps the most celebrated example of typography in English. It’s certainly the most famous in the context of of private press books, inspired by the skills and craftsmanship of the early printers. However, we’re not looking at a page in a book, not even…

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Spot the difference (again…)
By Tim / 26/01/2015

Roman love poetry this week. These two quarto volumes bound in vellum are both examples of the 1708 Broukhusius edition of Albius Tibullus published in Amsterdam by Johann Heinrich Wettstein – one of the better separate editions (Tibullus was often lumped together with Catullus and Propertius).   The collation is exactly the same: same format,…

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A bibliophile’s Theocritus
By Tim / 21/01/2015

Greek bucolic poetry this week, and an absolute joy it is, too. The works of Theocritus in quarto, published in Paris in 1561 by Guillaume Morel, who had succeeded Turnebus as King’s Printer in Greek in 1555. The woodcut Basilisk device (a play on the Greek “Basileus”) is on the title-page. Our copy is red-ruled – always an indication that…

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Charles Henry Sanford’s cartographic book plate
By Tim / 20/12/2014

1892 The Land of the Almighty Dollar, a critical account of the United Sates chiefly based on the author’s travels in New York and Chicago.   I’ve been dipping into it and the text is worthy of a post in itself, but I’m determined to stick to the point. I bought this copy as it is inscribed…

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Festivals, Signings & Cake
By Tim / 18/10/2014

So, the eagerly awaited (by its authors, certainly) A History of the 20th Century in 100 Maps by Bryars & Harper has now hit the shops, published by the British Library here in the UK and by the University of Chicago Press in the US. Here’s what 100 copies looks like: You can imagine how…

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The speeches and writings of MK Gandhi – the earliest anthologies
By Tim / 21/06/2014

It is almost a century since M.K. Gandhi returned permanently to India, in 1915. He was a London-trained lawyer in his mid forties, already possessing an international reputation after twenty years in South Africa, where he developed his theories of non violent civil disobedience. He was feted by Indian nationalists on his arrival. The shabby…

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