Category Archives: History

Graphic Lessons on the Twentieth Century

When Dr. Timothy Snyder’s powerful book  On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century was published in 2017, I was a vocal evangelist for the book and its message. Now, the Yale history professor has released an updated and illustrated … Continue reading

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The Great American Novel ?

During this week in 1851, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick was first published as The Whale in three volumes by Richard Bentley in London. Almost one month later in November, the first American edition was published in New York by Harper & Brothers. Although many think of … Continue reading

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A Perfect Time To Visit The Haunted Bookshop

  What better time of the year to visited The Haunted Bookshop than at the Halloween season. Located in Cambridge, England and fittingly found down a dark, spooky alleyway, the diminutive bookstore more than lives up to its name. Packed … Continue reading

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Glooskap the Divinity

There are some of the great illustrations to be found in The Algonquin Legends of New England (1884). The collection of Algonquin folk tales presented in the book is a result of the collecting efforts of folklorist Charles G. Leland … Continue reading

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One Hundred Seconds to Midnight

One Hundred Seconds to Midnight is a new collection focusing on the literary and scientific history of climate change dating back to the fifteenth century.  The innovative exhibition will go on display at the London Frieze Masters Art Fair this month … Continue reading

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Why Fall Into Autumn

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about why we English speaking folks in North America use both Fall and Autumn to describe the season between Summer and Winter. Why does it have two acceptable and apparantly interchangable names? And why do British speakers of English … Continue reading

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Who doesn’t love the Wizard of Oz

Here we are at the final day of the annual Banned Books Week and I just discovered that the beloved American children’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a banned book. In fact, for decades it was one of the most … Continue reading

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The one where I compare myself with Leo Tolstoy

You may be dubious that a humble blogger, bookseller, and failed author could possibly have anything in common with the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, but hear me out. Both Tolstoy and I have roots in Czarist Russia. The legenday … Continue reading

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The Great Bibliohoax

I love a good prank, especially if it is at the expense of the pretentious. While bibliophiles and antiquarian booksellers are not known for their hijinks, back in 1840 an infamous bibliohoax was perpetrated on wealthy collectors, librarians and booksellers … Continue reading

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Book of Hours

In my ongoing deep-dive into obscure books, today we have the amazing 15th century Codex Rotundus.This medieval book of hour takes its contemporary name from its odd circular format. It was created in Flanders and is written in Latin as … Continue reading

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