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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

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James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific

Three expeditions into the uncharted waters of the Pacific Ocean – and a tragic end on Hawaii. James Cook (1728–1779) was the first to map New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific islands. He formed our modern image of the world and refuted once and for all the existence of a mythical Terra Australis Incognita.
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“A literary survivor from Britain’s dark ages” - The British Library acquires St Cuthbert Gospel

The British Library announces a most spectacular new acquisition: The Library has bought the St Cuthbert Gospel, which is known as the oldest European book to survive fully intact.
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Collecting - J. & F. Harwood of Fenchurch Street

I have long admired those occasionally found sheets of decorative Victorian notepaper – a handsomely engraved view of your place of resort at the head of a folded sheet of letter-paper: enough space to write a full four-page letter – the more leisurely and elegant precursor of the picture-postcard. While they enjoyed their brief spell of fashion in the mid-nineteenth century there were a number of specialist London (as well as local) manufacturers, but the most appealing of them to my mind – a little larger, a little more artistic – employing decent artists like Thomas Abiel Prior and Edward John Roberts, and certainly better engraved – were those produced by the Harwoods of Fenchurch Street, who also produced bound selections of these views printed on heavier paper under a multitude of titles, such as "Harwood's Scenery of Great Britain", "Harwood's Views of Guernsey", "Harwood's Views of Derbyshire", etc.
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Charity Auction – Celebrate UNESCO World Book & Copyright Day with AntiquarianAuctions

When the Mexican wave of ILAB Pop Up Fairs reaches South Africa on 23 April 2015, a very special and generous event dedicated to the ILAB fundraising campaign on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day will come to an exciting end. Cape Town based antiquarian bookseller Paul Mills and AntiquarianAuctions.com are offering a charity item in auction #42 to support the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan.
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Why Did Charles Dickens Write Ghost Stories for Christmas?

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has become a beloved part of the literary canon – and for many an indispensable part of the holiday season. The story embodies the goodwill associated with the Christmas season – and it has the Victorians' favorite elements of a good Christmas story: ghosts. Dickens wrote other Christmas tales that also incorporated phantoms and ghosts, as did his Victorian cohorts. But why this obsession with ghosts at Christmas time?
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Celebrating the Hakluyt@400 Quatercentenary today, 23 November 2016

Today is the 400th anniversary of the death of Richard Hakluyt (1552-1616) and the Hakluyt Society will mark this with an exciting programme of events in Oxford and at Hakluyt's parish of Wetheringsett in Suffolk. Centrepiece of the Hakluyt@400 events will be the two-day international conference Richard Hakluyt and the Renaissance Discovery of the World, taking place in Oxford on 24-25 November .
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