Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams

26th November 2020

This Sunday is Advent Sunday, a day which marks an important step in my composing. As I wrote back in the summer, I wrote my setting of Rowan Williams‘ poem ‘Advent Calendar’ in 2006. Two years later, on Advent Sunday 2008, it was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 by the Choir of St John’s College, […]

An 18th-century pocket library

An 18th-century pocket library

18th November 2020

With the Boston book fair now behind me, I’ve now got time to focus on cataloguing some recent acquisitions and thought I’d share one with you. This is a rare eighteenth-century perspective view depicting a miniature contemporary library, complete with library users reading, discoursing, or simply admiring the shelves.  Such Guckkastendioramen (or ‘peepshows’ as they […]

In the pink

In the pink

12th November 2020

Later today, the Boston Virtual Book Fair will go live. Regular customers will already have received a copy of my fair list, to get a sneak peek at what I shall be showing. I thought this week on the blog I’d write about one of those books. Published in Budapest in 1922, this is a […]

Bless this house

Bless this house

5th November 2020

I am currently cataloguing some new material in preparation for the Boston Virtual Book Fair next week. Here’s one such item: ‘This elaborate house-blessing [which measures 412 × 325 mm], issued in the 1820s by Johann Ritter and Company of Reading … provides a unique poetic blessing rather than the common prose versions and the shorter […]

John Sims Reeves, English tenor

John Sims Reeves, English tenor

29th October 2020

This is a copy of the first edition of My Jubilee or Fifty Years of Artistic Life (1889), the published memoirs of John Sims Reeves (1818–1900), one of the leading English tenors of the nineteenth century.  ‘He made his début at La Scala in 1846 as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor [featured in one of the plates […]

Rolling up my sleeves

Rolling up my sleeves

22nd October 2020

I thought I’d write about something slightly different today. It’s not about books, it’s not about translation, it’s not about music, but something else which is important to me, and something which I have done all my adult life: giving blood. I’ve been a regular blood donor ever since I went to university, so over […]