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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Women

Women's Work: women in Economics, Politics and Philosophy | New blog from Peter Harrington

Published on 01 Nov. 2016
The contribution of eminent male thinkers to intellectual and public life is well documented: we all know our Kant from our Keynes, our Wittgenstein from our Wilberforce. It's no secret that women and women's issues have historically been granted less space on the political, philosophical and economic stages, and this deficit is unfortunately reflected in publishing history.
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Women

Collecting - America's Gibson Girl: the Good Years

Published on 15 Dec. 2015
The period from 1900 to the First World War (what historian Walter Lord called "the good years" in America) was a rare time after plumbing and before the federal income tax was reintroduced, when Americans lived with confidence. Perhaps the epitome of that era was the Gibson Girl, an ideal of American feminism created by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson. She was beautiful, intelligent, sturdy and unruffled. She was created before the turn of the century and held sway for more than two decades.
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Women

Rare Book Selling - a Man’s World?

Published on 16 Jan. 2015
"Women have less bite and competence", are "prone to self-doubt" and "fear of losing their livelihood". Women have a different time management system and "cannot handle large sums of money". Women are part-time booksellers and specialise in children's books, they "have a rich partner in the background", or they work in the profession until "Mr. Right" comes along and marries them. Good old prejudices – they still exist ...
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Women

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Betty Smith

Published on 05 Dec. 2014
December 15 is the birthday of writer Betty Smith (1896), whose first novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943), became an instant bestseller. The semi-autobiographical book chronicles the struggles of an Irish-American family in New York City in the early part of the 20th century. The title is a reference to the Tree of Heaven, an invasive species from China that is found on vacant lots in New York. Its struggles for survival are the central metaphor of the book.
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Women

How Elizabeth Gaskell Saved Charlotte Brontë's Reputation

Published on 28 Nov. 2014
Brontë's 1847 novel, Jane Eyre, earned the ire of critics for its frank depiction of passion in a woman - a governess, no less. Brontë was maligned as "unwomanly" and "unchristian." Poet Matthew Arnold wrote, "Miss Brontë has written a hideous, undelightful, convulsed, constricted novel... one of the most utterly disagreeable books I've ever read." The Quarterly Review asserted that Jane Eyre revealed "tone of mind and thought which has overthrown authority and violated every code human and divine." The novel had its share of defenders as well, not the least of which was fellow novelist Elizabeth Gaskell.
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Women

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Louisa May Alcott

Published on 15 Sept. 2014
Louisa May Alcott (1832) is best remembered for her novels Little Women (1868), Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886), a trilogy set in Concord, Massachusetts, in the late 19th century. The books were loosely based on Alcott's life with her three sisters. Alcott never set out to write a trilogy but the books are linked by characters who appear in all three.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Short Story and The Private Library (Part I)

Given the tremendous demands on one's time in modern industrialized societies, we have always thought it interesting that more book collectors do not have a number of collections of short stories on their bookshelves. This literary form, born of oral storytelling traditions, is less complex, with fewer characters and plot devices, and appears far better suited to the pace of modern life, than its wordier cousins, novels and novellas. Short stories are just the right length for consumption during a subway ride, or a break during a hectic day, or the hour before dawn when one's household (hopefully) is still abed.
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Article

Pop Up at the Oxford Book Fair on 23 April 2016

Nearly 100 British booksellers in Oxford harness the Power of 1,800 colleagues Worldwide on UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day. On Saturday April 23 nearly 100 booksellers in Oxford will take part in a unique worldwide event. For 24 hours a worldwide chain of rare book events will occur. Starting on the East Coast of Australia running through Asia and Europe and ending on the West Coast of the United States, booksellers in 15 countries and nearly 30 locations will hold quick and often quirky events that celebrate rare books, autographs and manuscripts, maps and other paper items. Booksellers will show and talk some of the rarest and most interesting items they own while raising funds for literacy.
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Article

Bibliographies - Aldus Manutius

Online: Aldines - Schück, Aldus Manutius and the printers of his time
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Article

New Trends in the International Antiquarian Book Trade

We all blame the internet for dramatic changes in the rare book trade. But have our problems really changed within the last decades? Reading Anthony Rota's lecture given in Tokyo in 1990 you could be inclined to say: No! He writes: "Booksellers, like the collectors and librarians they serve, are conservative creatures. By their very nature they are resistant to change; yet they are caught up in the changes that beset us today, and if they do not welcome them they must at least learn to adapt to them if they are to flourish. The antiquarian book trade has managed to cope with changes over a number of centuries now, and I do not doubt for a moment that it will continue to do so."
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Article

Bibliographies - Places of Printing

Online: Emil Ottokar Weller, "Die falschen und fingirten druckorte" - CERL Thesaurus - Graesse, Orbis Latinus - Cathedral Libraries Catalogue - Latin Place Names
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