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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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1 - 8 / 26

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Book Trade in Austria and the First World War

In 2014 numerous books and articles were written, numerous TV documentations were broadcasted about the First World War and its impact on cultural, political, social and economic history. Besides the groundbreaking historical changes, there were manifold changes in every day life, and also the book trade was affected. How did the trade react to the circumstances caused by the war? Soldiers wished to read, but during the war it became more and more difficult for the printers to publish the books. Paper shortage and the fact that most employees had to fight as soldiers were only to decisive problems. Professer Murray G. Hall, ILAB Patron of Honour, describes the situation of the book trade in Austria during the First World War and the difficult conditions publishers and booksellers had to overcome.
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Article

Edmund Smyth - English Explorer (1823-1911)

The only existing account of his life beyond his travels is an obituary in the Royal Geographical Society, New Series 1882: Edmund Smyth travelled in the company of John Hanning Speke and Richard Burton, and he made a secret expedition to Tibet and the Brahmaputra with Robert Drummond and Thomas W. Webber. Webber's report "Forests of Upper India" was rejected by Sven Hedin, who "dismissed the account as worthless and riddled with inconsistencies, devoting six pages of his Southern Tibet to demolishing Webber's claims". Why? Hedin had recently returned from Tibet and claimed the discovery of the source of the Brahmaputra as his own.
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Booksellers

Poul Jan Poulsen, Honorary Member of the Danish Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABF)

Congratuliations! For his outstanding efforts and commitment to the antiquarian book trade, Poul Jan Poulsen - ILAB Treasurer for more than two decades - has been elected honorary member of the Danish Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABF), as the only still active bookseller ever, and as the third in the entire history of ABF, which was founded in 1920. During the 90 years that ABF has been in existence, Poul has done more for the association than any other member. For many, many years, he has formed the back-bone of ABF, which would hardly be imaginable without him.
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Article

A day out for the rare book trade - St. Bride

We're planning a really festive and utterly splendid day out for the book trade on Thursday 13th December – an afternoon of activity, followed by the legendary ABA Christmas Party (none of this restricted to ABA members). The venue is to be the St. Bride Foundation in Blackfriars – and what a fine choice it is. The First Lady and I were there the other day for a preview of what's in store, at the invitation of the Chief Executive of the Foundation, the very amiable Glyn Farrow. Most booksellers are in thrall with their work, of course, but how nice to meet someone else so enthusiastic, so energetic and so palpably in love with his.
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Article

Bibliotour

The last couple of weeks have seen me in Germany and America, visiting book fairs, customers, and libraries. I have always enjoyed the international nature of the book trade. As regular readers of this blog will know, I have a particular interest in the cultural history of France, Germany, and Russia, especially in how these cultures interact with the anglophone world. So it was a pleasant surprise to find the following, two weeks ago, in Frankfurt ...
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