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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

GONZALO FERNANDÉZ PONTES - NEW PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS

At the Ordinary General Meeting on 20th September 2016 in Budapest the presidents of ILAB's 22 national member associations voted for Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes (Spain) as new ILAB President. He succeeds Norbert Donhofer (Austria) who served as President from 2014 to 2016; and he will be supported by ILAB Vice‐President Sally Burdon (Australia).
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Booksellers

A Life for Rare Books - W.R. “Bill” Fletcher 1906-1996

"As I stood admiring the book and ruminating on its worth, that wise and shrewd bookseller, Bill Fletcher, doyen of the British trade, and a man some thirty years my senior in both age and experience, came up to me. 'What are you looking at, my son?' he inquired. I told him. 'What's so special about that then? he asked. I explained. 'Then why don't you buy it?' Bill said ... I replied to the effect that were I to buy it with a view to selling it again, I would in effect be trading gold for gold. 'Shall I tell you something, my son?' Bill responded. 'The price of gold [pause] is going up!'" (Anthony Rota, Books in the Blood). Keith Fletcher recounts the life and personality of his father, the doyen of the trade and former owner of H.M. Fletcher Rare Books: Bill Fletcher.
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Article

Bibliographies - Architecture

Online: Dictionary of Scottish Architects (DSA)
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Article

Copenhagen 2017 - ILAB President's Meeting & Scandinavian Antiquarian Book Fair

Every year, the presidents of all 22 national antiquarian bookseller's associations that form the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), meet at the President's Meeting. For 2017, the Danish Antiquarian Bookseller's Association ABF has invited the international rare book trade to Copenhagen. This will be a week of formal meetings with reports and updates from each country, but it is also a week of exchanging ideas with colleagues, networking and a programme to visit some of Copenhagen's cultural and bibliophile treasures!
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Article

ABAA’s First Official Webinar for Antiquarian Booksellers

"It was a pleasurable, fascinating hour and fifteen minutes, with exceptionally detailed answers to many burning questions." Kara McLaughlin of Little Sages Books was one of the 20 participants in the first ABAA Webinar which was held on May 17, 2011. The faculty, namely Sarah Baldwin, George Krzyminski, Brian Cassidy, Sunday Steinkirchner, Janine Moody and Susan Benne, gave an overview of the do's and don'ts of the rare book trade and the benefits of being a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. The second ABAA webinar will take place in late summer. Those who are interested in participating please contact the ABAA or watch the listservs for sign-up information.
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