38th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair - An Update
The annual fall gathering for bibliophiles, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, will return to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s Back Bay area from November 14-16, 2014. A record-breaking 134 dealers from the United States, England, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia and The Netherlands will exhibit and sell rare, collectible and antiquarian books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, modern first editions, photographs, and fine and decorative prints. There will be 15 first-time exhibitors and 27 international dealers at this year’s event, bringing a broad and diverse selection of items of interest to the serious collector or casual book-buyer.
One of the oldest and most respected antiquarian book shows in the country, the Fair is an event that offers the ‘crème de la crème’ of items that are available on the international literary market. Whether browsing or buying, the Fair will offer something for every taste and budget — books on art, politics, travel, gastronomy and science to sport, natural history, literature, music and children’s books.
Among the highlights this year are rare and first editions of works by Charles Dickens, Betty Friedan, George R.R. Martin, and Charles Darwin; George Washington’s 1789 proclamation declaring Thanksgiving a national holiday (valued at $8.4 million); a complete set of the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Holmes & Watson stories in the Strand Magazines; a very rare first edition of the first novel by an African-American woman, Harriet E. Wilson’s 1859 book Sketches from the Life of a Free Black; the first baseball book, Mike Kelly’s Play Ball; Mick Jagger’s handwritten lyrics for his 1987 song War Baby; and the first four volumes of artist Marc Chagall’s complete catalogue of lithographs.
Attendees are invited to bring in their own books for free appraisal on Sunday, November 16 from 1:00-3:00pm and for readers wanting to start a collection without breaking the bank, several dealers will be offering ‘Discovery’ items, including a selection of children's books and decorative cloth bindings, priced at less than $100. And, on Saturday, an expert panel will give tips on the best ways to start a collection.
Seminars and events will punctuate the weekend, including talks by the Massachusetts Historical Society’s Peter Drummey and Fruitlands Museum’s Michael Volmar, as well as The Annual Ticknor Society Roundtable, a panel discussion of collectors talking about their collections. For up to the minute details, visit www.bostonbookfair.com.
The Fair runs from Friday, November 14th to Sunday, November 16th — hours on Friday are from 5pm to 9pm, Saturday from Noon to 7pm, and on Sunday from Noon to 5pm. Opening night tickets are $20.00 and valid for the entire weekend. On Saturday and Sunday tickets are $10.00 or free with valid student identification. The Hynes Convention Center is located at 900 Boylston St. in Boston. For more information, call 617-266-6540.
California International Antiquarian Book Fair
The world’s preeminent celebration of the written and printed word returns to Northern California next year at a new venue in downtown Oakland. The 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair will run from Friday, February 6 through Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the Oakland Marriott City Center.
Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the three-day event is the world’s largest antiquarian book fair with more than 200 booksellers from ...more
The Crusader Bible is one of the most extraordinary illuminated manuscripts ever created, renowned for its unrivaled and boldly colored illustrations and for its fascinating history. The work brings Old Testament stories to life in bright images replete with medieval castles, towns, and battling knights in armor, all set in thirteenth-century France. On view beginning October 17, this exhibition offers visitors the rare opportunity to view over forty folios from the disbound manuscript, the work of seven unknown artists who were clearly masters in their day. The exhibition runs through January 4, 2015.
The provenance of the Crusader Bible is as intriguing as its artistry, and includes a trail running from France to Italy, Poland, Persia, Egypt, England, and finally, New York. Additionally, a selection of period artifacts and armor, on special loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will offer visitors tangible evidence of the objects depicted so dramatically in the book.
Within the context of other artistic commissions as well as the crusading activities of King Louis IX of France, a body of circumstantial evidence points to his patronage of the Crusader Bible. Stylistic and iconographic parallels occur in the decorative program of the Gothic Sainte-Chapelle, which Louis built to house the relics of Christ’s Passion. The biblical kings are especially emphasized in both the imagery of the Crusader Bible and at the Sainte-Chapelle; they are also intentionally shown in crusader armor. ...more
At our Christmas party this past December one of our friends said if we should ever decide to put our house up for sale he’d pay us twenty percent more than the asking price with only one condition – we’d have to move out all our stuff in two weeks. I really can’t imagine there’s much chance of that happening – any of our friends know perfectly well we could never do it in two months. ...more
The Morgan is home to some of the world's greatest collections of medieval manuscripts, printed books and bindings, literary manuscripts, private letters and correspondence, and original music. Treasures from the Vault, an ongoing exhibition series, features works drawn from these diverse collections in the sumptuous setting of Pierpont Morgan's 1906 Library. In addition to illuminated manuscripts, music scores, and personal correspondence from the Morgan’s collection, this rotation — on view from September 9, 2014 through January 11, 2015 —features a selection of important American documents ...more
You get some strange looks, and some strange responses, when you tell people that the book you are currently reading is Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. It helps when you say that it wasn't actually your choice; it just happens to be this month's selection for Reggie's Book Club. But even so. The looks, and sometimes the comments, imply: What are you, an apparently decent retired old gentleman, doing reading such filth? Do you really get off on this stuff? Can we ever again leave you alone in a room with our twelve-year old daughter? Further inquiry teases out the admission that no, your interlocutor has never actually read Lolita, but ...more
Since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Americans may have noticed news articles referring to struggles between Sunni and Shia Iraqi Muslims, an internal clash that sharply escalated after 2007. Americans can be forgiven for not being terribly interested in these bloody rivalries.
In 2011, however, the Syrian conflict slowly grew, starting first as a peaceful protest but soon escalating into all-out civil war pitting the governing Alawite minority (around 17% of the population) against the Sunni majority (about 70%). Iran, Russia and the Lebanese group Hizballah (Shia, by the way) sought to strengthen the regime of Bashar al-Asad whilst the Sunni majority ...more
Ogilvy, Alexander. Oor Wully: The Scotsman who wrote William Shakespeare's plays. (Kincardine Press, Edinburgh 2014).
On the Shakespeare bandwagon, which publishers on both side of the Atlantic have trundled out this year to celebrate William's 450th birthday, there are two new books of particular interest to me, and probably to you too, if you love a good yarn, involving secondhand bookdealers hitting paydirt – or possibly not – but certainly doing their best to spin their straw into gold. ...more
The Great Library of Alexandria was the largest and probably the most important library of the ancient world. Its mandate to gather all of the world’s knowledge in one place was carried out by a vigorous acquisition program involving extensive book-buying trips around the Mediterranean. Prominent destinations for the curators of the Library were the well-known book fairs of Rhodes and Athens and in addition Egyptian officials were not shy about confiscating books on every ship arriving into port, keeping the originals and giving copies back to the owners. ...more
Standing at the tram stop, I saw a poster advertising Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor. Two performances only, one performer only: his name, Bernd Lafrenz. I'd never heard of him, but I'm a sucker for one-man shows (how on earth will he manage to keep my attention for an hour or more? And play a dozen different characters?) and I’m a sucker for Shakespeare. What's more, I know The Merry Wives of Windsor pretty well: at least in its original English version. I once played the part of Doctor Caius, the mildly lascivious French physician who has set his sights on Anne Page, teenaged daughter of one of the merry wives. She, quite understandably, will have none of him. ...more
The literature of the Nakba (expulsion and dispossession of the Palestinian people, starting on or about May 15, 1948) is extensive. There are many published personal narratives such as Sari Nusseibeh’s Once Upon a Country (NY, Farrar, Straus, 2007) and Karl Sabbagh’s Palestine, A Personal History (NY, Grove Press, 2007), unsparing historical accounts such as Israeli historian Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford, OneWorld, 2006), and countless books and essays focusing on various aspects of the struggle. ...more
I'm back in Melbourne! In the nine months since I was last here, there have been a few changes. Lonely Planet, for instance. The world's largest travel-book publishing company, begun in Melbourne in the 1970s and sold to the BBC in 2007, has changed hands yet again. ...more
Is climate change and global warming really happening? Robert Kemp thought so in 2005 and points out that change being the only real constant, a better question would be is it a good or bad thing?
The entire subject has become so politicized these days that reasonable discussion has become almost impossible. I happen to think that part of the issue is that people conflate the problem of pollution of the air (and water) with global warming and climate change, when they ought to be considered as distinct realities that are not always connected. ...more
Randolph Adams’ essay Libraries as Enemies of Books made something of a splash in academic and bookish circles when it appeared in Library Quarterly back in 1937. His main complaint was centered on the trend in libraries and among librarians to de-emphasize books in favor of library house-keeping matters – called “library economy” at the time, later on “library science”. Of course Adams would say that – he was mainly a scholar and political historian and later became the first director of the William Clements Library at the University of Michigan where he also served as a professor of history. ...more