Category Archive: Bookseller

The return of satire

The return of satire

18th November 2021

Sometimes, as a bookseller, you get the chance to buy back a book you have sold before. This happened to me just recently, and here is the book, a wonderful collection of caricatures of leading lights in contemporary Russian theatre, ballet, and opera, from 1916. I sold this copy in 2015 and have not seen […]

Advertising in Latin

Advertising in Latin

12th November 2021

Earlier this week, a tweet of mine received more attention than most: As well as the retweets, I even got a comment from Siemens themselves, saying this was the only time they’d ever produced anything in Latin (unsurprisingly, perhaps). Speyer Cathedral is the largest surviving Romanesque church in the world (and now a UNESCO World […]

Autumn blues

Autumn blues

20th October 2021

I’ve been dipping into a book by Franz Reitinger called Die blaue Epoche: reduktive Farbigkeit im Rokoko (2016), which explores the fashion, between about 1730 and 1765, for printing mezzotints using blue ink. It wasn’t something I’d really been aware of before, but I have always found the colour, Prussian blue, quite captivating. I only […]

Old books, new books (and new music)

Old books, new books (and new music)

14th October 2021

Attentive readers will have noticed that there was no blogpost last week. I was in York, teaching at YABS, the York Antiquarian Book Seminar: three-and-a-half days talking about books and bookselling to some wonderfully engaged students keen to know more. It’s always an enjoyable few days, and this year particularly so as going away to […]

A Scot in the American Revolutionary War

A Scot in the American Revolutionary War

23rd September 2021

Printed in Jedburgh in 1821, these poems were written by a Andrew Scott (1757–1839), a Scottish a shepherd boy who enlisted at the outset of the American War of Independence and served for the duration of the campaign.  Of the many poems he penned there, most were lost, but ‘The Oak Tree’ survived and is […]

Derbyshire on Dunstable

Derbyshire on Dunstable

16th September 2021

The town of Dunstable is not too far away from here in Chesham, just over half an hour’s pleasant drive through the northern part of the Chilterns, near where I grew up and past the wonderful Ivinghoe Beacon (the name of which is the source for Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe). While not a Buckinghamshire book, I […]