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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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From the Vault

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Collecting Authors' First Books

Authors' "firsts" -- first appearances, first books, first works of fiction, first novels. The fame of the authors included herein varies widely: some are names virtually everyone has heard; some are writers that few people know of yet. What they share in their first or early appearances in print is that, at the time, they were almost all both relatively young and relatively unknown. The works had to stand on their own merits rather than on their authors' reputations.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Dining Revolutionary Style

On July 4, we traditionally celebrate Independence with fireworks and barbecues. But General Washington and his troops certainly didn't have grilled chicken or barbecue ribs. Soldiers of the colonial era were lucky to receive basic rations, and inadequate nutrition was a significant concern for commanders on both sides of the Revolutionary War.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Chilling Tales from the Icy Wastes

The polar regions have always had a huge attraction for mankind and its explorers. What lay in or beyond those icy wastes? An open sea? The way to Asia? Riches beyond the dreams of avarice? Many set out to find out, never to return. Probably no other field of exploration has brought forth so many heroes, sung and unsung, so much suffering and so many, often unnecessary, deaths. Probably most of the gruesome deaths in the icy reaches will never be known or told, but several made it into print from the 16th to the 20th century. I have picked 10 expeditions at random, my only criterion being that there had to be horrible suffering, death, and, maybe, cannibalism.
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Collecting - Picaresque Authors from Cervantes to Bellow

"Picaresque" derives from the Spanish word "picaresca," which comes from "picaro" ("rogue" or "rascal"). Usually satirical, a picaresque novel follows the exploits of a hero, usually low born, who must survive by his wits as he travels about on various (usually unlooked-for) adventures. The roots of the genre can be traced all the way back to Rome, with works like Petronius' Satyricon and Apuleius' The Golden Ass. Although influential writers like Chaucer and Boccaccio certainly included elements of the picaresque in their writing, the first modern picaresque novel is Lazarillo de Tormes. It was published anonymously in Spain and Antwerp in 1554. Cervantes undoubtedly popularized the genre, which blossomed in the next two centuries all over Europe. Sterling examples Voltaire's hilarious Candide and Henry Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. Here's a look at other great authors who have contributed to the genre of the picaresque.
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In the Press - Employee Held in Paris National Library Theft

Only a few months ago the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) had to report the theft of a considerable number of works by Pieter Bruegel along with rare and valuable maps and atlases. The BnF immediately got into contact with the European libraries and with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). An ILAB security message was sent out to all affiliates worldwide, the theft was announced on the ILAB Stolen Books Database. Now the French police reports that the thief has been caught.
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