“I felt strong enough to lift a mountain” declared Alexandre Dumas after a visit to Georgia in 1858.
Presidents of ILAB’s member associations certainly felt equally inspired after a week of meetings in the capital, Tbilisi.
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY. Well, it felt like a story at the time, and not without a whisper of magic. Celtic magic. Book collectors, after all, are irrepressible raconteurs. For every book in their collection, there is a backstory to spin. Here is one of mine:
The UK Guardian has picked up on one of the most significant archival discoveries of recent times; a first folio with hundreds of annotations by John Milton, possibly one of the most important literary discoveries of modern times.
If you were a wealthy New Yorker in the Gilded Age, you spent the summer in the resorts of upstate New York to escape the stifling heat of the city. Upstate New York meant mountains, snow-fed streams, clean air, and luxury hotels. There developed a cadre of physicians and clergy who came to believe that those pristine regions were the perfect place for people suffering from diseases and chronic "delicacy of chest" ailments. Among them was Dr. Joseph W. Stickler, a physician and pathologist at Orange Memorial Hospital in New Jersey. Dr. Stickler was something of an authority on respiratory diseases and he wrote a book, The Adirondacks as a Health Resort, published in 1886. A copy of that book is in the collection of rare and unusual books at Lighthouse Books, ABAA.
I would like to introduce this instalment on Women Travellers with a quote by noted explorer and chauvinist, Samuel Hearne: "Women were made for labour: one of them can carry or haul as much as two men do. They also pitch our tents, make and mend our clothing, keep us warm at night … they do everything, and are maintained at a trifling expense." Not everyone will agree with the bit about trifling expense. But anyone who has ever made a trip with a female companion that involved more than getting into a train or onto a plane, knows what old Sam is on about. And so, without further ado, I introduce to you five stalwart ladies, who sometimes turned out to be even braver than (their) men.
Bangalore's most famous antiquarian bookseller, Madhava Rao, died on March 3, 2013, at the age of 78. Throughout his life, he preferred to have NO publicity, although he ran one of the most beautiful – and typical – rare book stores worldwide. Now Pradeep Sebastian has portrayed this amazing bookseller, his shop, and his legacy in The Hindu.