Category Archives: History

More Whipt Syllabub

A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue Anon [Francis Grose] London Printed for S Hooper 1785 First Edition Francis Grose’s ‘Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue’ was first published in 1785, and is a dictionary of slang words. Grose was … Continue reading

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When In Rome

Whenever I travel to Rome or Athens, I always visit ancient ruins and archeological sites. But it can be a bit of a stretch to try and picture what the buildings original looked like and how they were used.  New … Continue reading

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Discovering the Lost Generation in Paris

Decades ago, I made my first biblio-pilgrimage to the iconic Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris. These days it’s not quite the same place now that it has an adjoining café that serves American bagels and brownies. And then there are the … Continue reading

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Virtually Macabre in Philly

Like many folks self-isolating these days, I have been spending way too much time on virtual video tours. I have taken train rides through the Swiss Alps, long car journeys around New Zealand, hikes in Icelands, and much more. Some … Continue reading

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Plague Tales

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio follows ten young people–seven women and three men–who take shelter from the Black Plague outside of medieval Florence. Each day, over the course of ten days, members of the group must entertain the others with … Continue reading

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TGI Frida

Faces of Frida is one of the most extensive curations on the iconic Mexican artist ever assembled and it’s available through the Google Arts and Culture app. Comprised of 800 Frida Kahlo paintings, artifacts, high-resolution images and features, it offers … Continue reading

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Library of Exile

I first discovered the ceramic artist and writer Edmund de Waal through his best-selling book The Hare with the Amber Eyes. If you are not familiar with the memoir, it’s a compelling read that encompasses not only de Waal’s family history, … Continue reading

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Bookmobile with an Italian accent

UNA NUOVA INIZIATIVA PER LA DIFFUSIONE DEL LIBRO proclaims the title at the top of the photo, or, in English, A New Initiative for Distributing Books. The early 1920s bookmobile was actually publisher’s method of selling books to the public, not … Continue reading

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Conquest of Mars

Here is copy number 55 of the first edition of Edison’s Conquest of Mars by Garrett P. Serviss. There were only 1,500 copies in the first edition, and only 1,450 of those were offered for general distribution. Serviss, an astronomer, wrote Conquest in 1898; … Continue reading

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Free Books (really)

h/t to Stanislav and Milen for the extensive links FAMOUS AUTHORS Classic Bookshelf: This site has put classic novels online, from Charles Dickens to Charlotte Bronte. The Online Books Page: The University of Pennsylvania hosts this book search and database. … Continue reading

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