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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Americana

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Thomas Paine

Published on 13 Nov. 2014
January 29 is the birthday of early American political activist Thomas Paine (1737), whose pamphlet Common Sense (1776) credited with inspiring American colonists to embrace the idea of independence from Great Britain. The American Revolution had already started but the work served to spur volunteers for the Continental Army. It was widely distributed throughout the colonies, read aloud in taverns, and unabashedly pirated. Some scholars say it was the first American bestseller.
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Literature

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Secret Life of Harper Lee

Published on 29 April 2014
This week we celebrate Nelle Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee was born on April 28, 1926 in the sleepy town of Monroeville Alabama. As a girl, she became friends with another future writer: Truman Capote. The two were outsiders among their peers but discovered an affinity for each other. According to Capote biographer, Gerald Clarke, "Nelle was too rough for most other girls, and Truman was too soft for most other boys."
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Religion

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Fra Paolo Sarpi, Scholar, Priest, and Heretic

Published on 17 Jan. 2014
The Counter-Reformation began with the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and lasted a full century, until the close of the Thirty Years' War (1648). The movement sparked conflict all over Europe, challenging the very foundations of people's daily lives. As nationalism fermented, states like Venice began to assert their autonomy – and the Catholic Church often took drastic measures in response. In the case of cleric and statesman Fra Paolo Sarpi, they even hired a hitman. Though Sarpi consistently stood up to the Church in an official capacity, he also chose to publish his greatest work, The History of the Council of Trent, under a pseudonym.
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Women

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Marie LaFarge was convicted of murder

Published on 16 Jan. 2014
It is the birthday of murderess Marie LaFarge (1816), whose 1840 trial for poisoning her husband with arsenic became a cause célébre throughout France, with the public deeply divided over her innocence or guilt. She was the first person convicted by direct forensic evidence, and the case was one of the first followed closely by the public with daily newspaper reports. The trial was a spectacle attended by people from all over France. It included all the twists and turns of a good whodunit, including a celebrated expert witness and setbacks for both the prosecution and the defense. Marie LaFarge wrote her Mémoires(1841) while in prison. The novel The Lady and the Arsenic (1937) was based on the case as was the French film L'Affaire Lafarge (1938).
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Mimeo

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Irritable Tribe of Poets

Published on 26 Nov. 2013
Only three issues of Theo were published, but it still took me a couple of years to track down a complete set. I'd been fascinated by the magazine ever since I first ran across a copy of number 2, which has a rather unique design; the covers are stapled off center, so that the fore edge is layered; the front wrap ends before the first leaf, so that the name of each contributor is visible, and the rear wrap extends past the text block.
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1 - 8 / 127

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Book Scouting - Adventures in Kentucky

It all started because my wife Millie wanted to visit her old homestead in Flat Lick, Kentucky, a tiny community founded before 1784 in the southeastern part of the state. She hadn't been back for many years, so how could I refuse the request? However, being a true bookman, I immediately started thinking about how I could combine book adventures with family visiting.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Moscow reads New York

1927 saw two Russian translations of The Color of a Great City (1923), Dreiser's classic memoir of early twentieth-century New York: this one (Gosizdat's), by Pyotr Okhrimenko, and one for "Mysl'" (Kraski N'iu-Iorka) by V. P. Steletsky. What was particularly nice about this copy was that it still had its original dust-jacket.
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Booksellers

Karl Hartung died in Munich (Germany), aged 98

On Friday, 26th October 2012, Karl Hartung died peacefully at the age of 98. He was the oldest member of the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VDA), and he was the ideal and guide for generations of younger colleagues. In many ways Karl Hartung was one of the most distinguished personalities of our profession and one of the oldest active professional booksellers in the world. Until the end, he was not only mentally alert, but funny, charming and almost omniscient.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Rousseau and Women

Today is the 300th birthday of the great philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, so I thought I'd post this book from 1792, 'On Rousseau's connections with women', by Carl Gotthold Lenz (1763–1809), described by one bibliography as 'a rarity of the very first order' (which it is).
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Article

Sid Lapidus and Jay and Jean Kislak - ABAA and ILAB Patrons of Honour

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America is delighted to announce that Sid Lapidus and Jay and Jean Kislak have been awarded the ABAA and ILAB Patron of Honor. The ABAA feels these individuals demonstrate how the printed word materially affects history, scholarship, and cultural intelligence and the importance of collections to institutions and the public.
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Article

BREXIT IMPORT / EXPORT - Update

Message from the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, UK upon leaving the European Union
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