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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Women in Revolutionary Debate. Female Novelists from Burney to Austen

Stephanie Russo is a lecturer at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Her research is focused on the 18th and 19th century novel. Her new book, published by Hes & de Graaf, is a very good read, and a highly important work for everyone who is interested in the history of ideas, culture and society, and, in particular, in the history of women who did not only embroider cushions while waiting in the parlour for Mister Darcy, but who took their opportunities to change their situation and to influence their society by means of literature.
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Article

50 unseen Rudyard Kipling poems discovered

"Kipling scholars are celebrating the publication of lost poems by the author whose exhortations in "If" to "keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you" are regularly voted the nation's favourite poem. Discovered by the American scholar Thomas Pinney in an array of hiding places including family papers, the archive of a former head of the Cunard Line and during renovations at a Manhattan house, more than 50 previously unpublished poems by Rudyard Kipling will be released for the first time next month."
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Article

Celebrating Beatrice Warde

After a short hiatus, we're back on the occasion of typographical scholar Beatrice Warde's birthday. Born on September 20th, 1900, Warde lived during a renaissance in American and British graphic design and was a woman who made a name for herself in the then predominately male world of typography. Warde had an interest in calligraphy and letterforms from a young age, and she was able to nurture and expand this interest after she became assistant librarian at the American Type Founders Company in 1921. Her position allowed her to spend time researching typefaces and printing history, a pursuit which led to the publication of "The Garamond Types, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Sources Considered," an article Warde wrote and published in The Fleuron under the pseudonym Paul Beaujon in 1926. This article cemented Warde's influence as a scholar of typography by tracing the origins of Garamond types and finding that certain types initially attributed to Garamond were, in fact, cut by Jean Jannon.
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Article

The Rare Book Trade - Hit Me Again, Please

Thus the inadequacies of the general used book store concept, circa 1980, led to the development of specialties at Ten Pound Island. Thus the failure of those specialties to meet the economic demands of an escalating real estate market drove Ten Pound Island out of the retail trade in 1993. Thus the computer and the fax machine put an end to TPI's flourishing postcard-driven nautical book search operation, which itself - owing to the need for a place to store the thousands of books accumulated in the course of this evolution – put TPI back in the retail business. Thus the rise of the Internet and the degradation in the value of low end maritime books, which had hitherto been Ten Pound Island's stock in trade, resulted in TPIs penultimate exit from the retail trade. Thus the paradoxical combination of rising cost and increased availability of rare books drove TPI into manuscripts, ephemera and documents. Thus the failure of provincial book fairs, which had hitherto been a major source of sales and stock, forced TPI into further dependence upon the Internet and the cultivation of institutional customers. Thus sales at TPI dwindled from thousands of mid range transactions to hundreds of larger ones. Thus the intervals between cash infusions increased. Thus the owner of TPI woke up one morning at 3 am with his hair on fire, recalling theorem #1 and thinking, "I've got to get more low end stuff out there on the market, to fill in the gaps between big hits.
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Article

Martin Luther - Landmark exhibitions in Germany and the US / Part 2 of 2: German Exhibitions

It has been 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, condemning the corrupt practice of indulgences. This single act marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, a worldwide movement whose legacy can still be felt today, especially in Germany.
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