A little je ne sais quoi by Beckford’s librarian

A little je ne sais quoi by Beckford’s librarian

6th April 2022

Printed in Meaux, east of Paris (and presumably in limited numbers), this is a copy of the first edition of a rare little book of epigrams by Ange-Denis Maquin (1756–1823), a professor of rhetoric and belles-lettres who subsequently fled across the Channel during the Terror.  Settling at Hastings, ‘he began learning English and supported himself […]

Herrnhut 300

Herrnhut 300

1st April 2022

Paste paper (Kleisterpapier in German) is a type of decorated paper in which coloured paste is brushed onto paper and then manipulated in some way before allowing to dry.  It was especially popular, particularly in northern and eastern Germany, in the second half of the eighteenth century (although the technique itself had already been around […]

Beethoven’s 9th

Beethoven’s 9th

21st March 2022

I realise things have been rather quiet on the blog for the past few weeks, but that’s because I’ve been busy preparing for two book fairs (Edinburgh later this week, New York in April), plus finalising my latest translation, for Pushkin Press (due out in September). However, I thought I’d share the following today as […]

Weimar on the West Coast

Weimar on the West Coast

9th February 2022

The following post was originally published on Engelsberg Ideas. In 1927 the LA Times built a show home for modern high-tech living in the new Los Angeles neighbourhood of Pacific Palisades, updating its readers with weekly progress reports.  Perched in the hills above Sunset Boulevard, Villa Aurora, a large Spanish Colonial Revival-style house, was a mix of both […]

Ladies who lithograph

Ladies who lithograph

24th January 2022

For some time, I’ve been aware that lithography seems to have been a useful medium for amateur women artists in the nineteenth century. I blogged once before about one such artist, Josepha Hart Gulston, and I thought I’d share a couple more examples I recently came across. This volume, entitled ‘Morning Hymn’ on the cover […]

‘The true poet of the Rhine’

‘The true poet of the Rhine’

14th January 2022

Adelheid von Stolterfoth (1800–1875) was best known for her Rhenish poems; Goedeke called her ‘the true poet of the Rhine’. This is a copy of the first edition of The Rhenish Minstrel, published in Frankfurt by Carl Jugel in 1835, a version of her book Rheinischer Sagen-Kreis which Jugel had brought out the same year, […]