Tag Archive: 0literary hoaxes

In blind-stamped velvet

In blind-stamped velvet

15th May 2019

In anticipation of Firsts, we thought we would highlight one of our favourite ‘firsts’: a first edition, first issue of Chroniques Françoises de Jacques Gondar (Paris, Firmin Didot for Louis Janet, 1830), in a stunning blind-stamped velvet binding…

The first English translation of Russian verse, or a literary forgery?

The first English translation of Russian verse, or a literary forgery?

3rd March 2017

One rare item I shall have with me next week at the New York book fair is this: It’s a work I’d never heard of before: the first edition (there was also a reissue, with a cancel title-page, in 1816) of supposedly a translation of a poem, in which ‘a Russian Boyar adopts the son of […]

Curses! Or, stopping the book thieves

Curses! Or, stopping the book thieves

22nd May 2012

Sooner or later, as a bibliophile, you are bound to come across the curse found in the library of the Monastery of San Pedro in Barcelona: ‘for him that stealeth a book, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him, let him be struck with palsy and all his members blasted, […]

Goethe’s Ossian

Goethe’s Ossian

8th May 2012

This is the very rare edition of Ossian produced by Goethe (still only 23) and his friend, Johann Heinrich Merck, in Frankfurt in 1777.  The following year Goethe published Die Leiden des jungen Werthers, perhaps the greatest Ossian reader of all, and the success of Macpherson’s work in Germany was assured.  As Henry Crabb Robinson […]

Conspiracy theory

Conspiracy theory

18th January 2012

Umberto Eco’s latest novel, The Prague Cemetery, sees its main character write an anti-Semitic book called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  The novel may be fiction, but the Protocols really did, and still does, exist.  The book, first published in 1905 and much reprinted, also circulated in manuscript, although only one early handwritten copy is […]