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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Thomas Mann Villa Opening
Literature

Opening of the Thomas Mann Villa in Los Angeles

Published on 26 July 2018
On June 18, 2018, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier inaugurated the Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles. More than 250 guests from the worlds of culture, science, politics and the media gathered in the house on San Remo Drive in Pacific Palisades, a borough of Los Angeles. 
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Literature

Collecting - Postwar Germany in the Works of W.G. Sebald

Published on 15 Aug. 2016
Whose role is it to write postwar German fiction? Since World War II ended, numerous writers of great acclaim have come out of West Germany and the GDR, and later from reunified Germany. For instance, you might be familiar with the works of the West German novelists Heinrich Böll and Günter Grass, or with the GDR literature of Christa Wolf. While many writers of the immediate postwar period returned to the rise of Nazi Germany and its aftermath in their works, W.G. Sebald is a bit of an interesting case.
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Literature

Collecting - Ten Facts About Caldecott Winner, James Thurber

Published on 05 Aug. 2016
James Thurber was a short story writer, cartoonist, and humorist. Much of his work was published in The New Yorker, where he began working as an editor in 1927. His most famous short story is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, recently adapted to film. Combining his talents for writing and illustration, Thurber had a successful career writing children's books, and won the Caldecott Medal for the book Many Moons. Below, read ten facts about Thurber's fascinating life and career.
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Literature

‘I never have any luck with my books’ – Collecting the works of Friedo Lampe

Published on 21 July 2016
Lampe was born on 4 December 1899, in the northern city of Bremen, a place which would exert a particular influence on his writing. At the age of five, he was diagnosed with bone tuberculosis in his left ankle and was sent to a children's clinic over 100 miles away, on the East Frisian island of Nordeney; he spent a total of three years there, away from his family, before being pronounced cured, but it left him disabled for the rest of his life. As a teenager, Lampe was a voracious reader (E.T.A. Hoffmann, Kleist, Büchner, Rilke, Thomas Mann, Kafka, Boccaccio, Cervantes, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe) and an insatiable book buyer: 'It really is an illness with me. I just have to buy every book, even if I don't have the money.'
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Literature

Collecting - The Life of the Great Creator of Sherlock Holmes

Published on 21 July 2016
On the 7th of July, 1930, Arthur Conan Doyle died at age 71 from a heart attack. On this the 86th anniversary of his death, we'd like to look at this famous author, spiritualist & physician and his lifetime contribution to so many different fields! Conan Doyle (as he is often called, though Conan Doyle is a combination of his middle and last names, as Conan is not a surname, as people often think!) was not born under auspicious circumstances. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was an alcoholic and when Arthur was only 5 years old he and his siblings were dispersed to live with family and friends across Edinburgh. A few years later the family moved back together and for numerous years lived in near-poverty. Luckily, Doyle had wealthy family to support him and to send him to Jesuit boarding school in England for seven years beginning when he was nine years old. Despite a difficult home life and upbringing, Doyle apparently struggled leaving home for school – as he was incredibly close with his mother (and would remain so throughout his life) and cherished the stories she would tell him during his childhood. It is even said that his favorite part of school was writing letters home to his mother, and telling stories to his schoolmates that she had once told him!
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Literature

Collecting - The Russian taste for Edgar Allan Poe

Published on 14 June 2016
'"Edgar Poe - the underground stream in Russia." So the Russian Symbolist poet Aleksandr Blok noted in his journal for November 6, 1911, a topic for a future critical study. The article was never written, but the prospect has remained an enticing one. For Poe's fame, however clouded by conflicting interpretation, is of long standing in Russia' (Joan Delaney Grossman, Edgar Allan Poe in Russia: a study in legend and literary influence, p. 7).
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Literature

Collecting – Arthur Conan Doyle: Social Justice Warrior

Published on 07 March 2016
Arthur Conan Doyle was hardly a meek man, nor one prone to seeking diplomatic solutions when dramatic alternatives were available. When he attempted to enlist in the military forces he wrote that "I am fifty-five but I am very strong and hardy, and can make my voice audible at great distances, which is useful at drill." This audible voice proved to be very significant for two individuals in particular; George Edalji and Oscar Slater. My interest in these two men was sparked by our recent celebration of "Arthur Conan Doyle Week" at the end of May in honour of his birthday. Fortunately or otherwise, the Olympia bookfair has prevented me from typing up some of the more fascinating aspects of Doyle's life that I discovered during that week.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Case of the First Mystery Novelist

Conan Doyle? Wilkie Collins? Émile Gaboriau? "Reader, never mind whether the butler did it. Here's a real mystery for you: Who wrote the first detective novel?" Paul Collins reveals the rare book mystery in his New York Times article.
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Article

Schrödter (Shoe-Maker), Taurinius (Printer), Damberger (Cabinet-Maker) - One Author, Three Travel Books

Ray Howgego is currently working on a bibliography of invented, imaginary and apocryphal voyages which will be published by Hordern House. This is his most recent article about the ficticious voyages of three (three?) authors: "Christian Friedrich Damberger, whose real name was possibly Zacharias Taurinius, is the pseudonymous author of, or collaborator on, three cleverly contrived hoax narratives of travel, the first published under the name of Joseph Schrödter, the second under the name of Taurinius, and the third under the name of Damberger. Because of their bibliographic relationship and probable common authorship, the three books are considered here together."
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Article

The Worth of Rare Books - An Interview with ILAB President Arnoud Gerits in the Hong Kong Economic Times

The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers does not encourage collecting books for investment purposes. We can tell what the price of a book was in the past, how that price has developed, we can tell what it will cost now to own a copy, but we cannot predict what its future price will be. Our advice is always: buy what you like, what pleases you, what interests you, what fits within your areas of collecting or interest, buy the best copy available (and affordable to you) at the moment you want to buy the book. The reason for collecting is love and interest in the subject, the author, the period, what the book represents, the love and desire to own the original or best edition of a particular book. Books may have an added value through an important dedication or provenance, or because of an exceptional binding, or because it has the signature of an important previous owner. But while one man may think a 1.000 US$ for a particular book is very expensive, the collector who has been looking for that same book for a long time may feel the 1.000 US$ is a bargain, if it fills an important gap in his library or collection. If, and I say if, it is an investment, than it is a long-term investment, a savings account, and you use money that you're sure you won't be needing for a long, long time, and nobody guarantees you anything. If you're looking for a quick return on investment, forget it. The bottom-line is: don't buy them as an investment: it is the wrong angle to look at books. Buy them because you love books, you love a subject, a historical figure, a period. Build a collection and become the expert on the subject. ... It is the voyage that will give you incomparable pleasure, not the arrival at the destination. If you must invest, invest in yourself: enrich yourself: not your bank account.
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Article

Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction and The Private Library

One of the most popular components of a private library is the mystery genre, which comprises a vast array of sub-genres such as detective fiction. The genesis of the detective fiction sub-genre may be traced to a short story penned by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841 titled The Murders in the Rue Morgue. All the elements of what we today recognize as the essential characteristics of the sub-genre are found in this short story: a brutal murder; baffled police; an independent investigator that solves the case through superior intelligence, humbling the police in the process.
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Article

Paris 2017

The Paris International Rare Book & Fine Art Fair - A Major Event in the World of Rare Books.
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