BIBLIOGRAPHY WEEK happens each year in New York City at the end of January when the principal national organizations devoted to book history have their annual meetings. Other groups plan interesting events, too, since so many bibliophiles are in town. Some events (not noted here) are open to members only, but mostly you are encouraged to show up everywhere: get a sense of what is going on in the book world, hear some interesting papers, schmooze over cocktails ...
This catalogue, consisting of 34 pages, printed on plain paper in June 1921, for us is just like a "Number One Dime", a Disney's good luck charm at the beginning of a long series of publications. The index of subjects is already quite significant: next to fine arts, philosophy, Italian literature and religions, we find, as a matter of fact, unusual entries, such as "anecdotes", "curiosities", "erotica" and "freemasonry". Going through the pages of this family, but also historical, treasure, 90 years after its publication, is really touching. The delicate pages yellowed with dignity, its simple cover in light green wrappers, a little worn out and with a few brown spots, the border surrounding the title - that would have remained as the graphical design for some years to come - make this "elderly and distinguished gentleman" closer to the dust-jacket first editions of the beginning of the century, which are now for sale on the shelves of the bookshop, than to the modern and colourful recently published "colleagues".
Back in 400 BCE, Dionysus the Renegade was a Stoic philosopher and student of Zeno of Citium. He wanted to humiliate his rival Heraclides and decided to forge a work of Sophocles. Dionysus inserted the acrostic "Heraclides is ignorant of letters," which quickly led to the discovery of Dionysus' fraud - but not before he'd achieved his aim of embarrassing Heraclides. Since then, the literary hoax has played a fascinating and engaging role in history. In Part One, we focused on the Ossian poems, The English Mercurie, and Thomas Chatterton's Rowley poems. Now, delve into William Ireland's spurious Shakespeare, Davy Crockett's attempts to combat false autobiographies, and more.
The Travelling Handkerchief has come to town, Fairburn's Map of the Country Twelve Miles Round London by E. Bourne, printed on calico, 590 x 540 mm, in 1831, a scarce, early handkerchief map. The map is circular, and reaches Teddington in the south west, clockside to Norwood, Harrow on the Hill, Chipping Barnet, Dagenham, Purley and Kingsston, wherever they are. I'm in Los Angeles, clockside to Westwood, harrowing on Barrington, Pico and Sepulveda; what do I know? This cartographical Kleenex™ is decorated by vignette views of Chelsea and Greenwich Hospitals in the bottom corners, and a banner heralding the title is held aloft in an eagle's beak.
It all started because my wife Millie wanted to visit her old homestead in Flat Lick, Kentucky, a tiny community founded before 1784 in the southeastern part of the state. She hadn't been back for many years, so how could I refuse the request? However, being a true bookman, I immediately started thinking about how I could combine book adventures with family visiting.
The idea that the ABA could organize book fairs to give provincial antiquarian booksellers (of which there was still at least one in most of Britain's market towns in the 1950's) a temporary shop window in London came from a small group of booksellers who, in the summer of 1957, rented one of Sotheby's galleries in Bond Street during the auctioneer's closed season and offered their books for sale on some simple shelving.