As you’ve seen from some of my previous posts, books can turn up in odd places, even within the confines of a museum, shop, or library. Greenock’s Watt Library in Scotland has recently made quite a discovery within their own walls. Neil Dickson, an archivist, was working his way through the museum’s holdings when he came across an old cupboard, which was obscured by a chest and appeared to have been shut for the last thirty years. Dickson was amazed to see the untouched cupboard and he was dumbfounded when he carefully opened it and saw the books it contained. (more…)
Archive for July, 2012
Yale University provides incredible online access to a number of introductory courses through the Yale Open Courses program. The goal of the program is to “expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.” Course are free and offer virtual students a full set of class lectures and any other relevant materials. The course offerings are varied and cover a number of disciplines. I, as I suspect many readers of this blog would be, was particulariy interested in the English courses, which include Introduction to Theory of Literature, Milton, Modern Poetry, and The American Novel Since 1945.
A class that caught my particular attention was Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitgerald, taught by Professor Wai Chee Dimock. The course examines major works by the three authors, “exploring their interconnections on three analytic scales: the macro history of the United States and the world; the formal and stylistic innovations of modernism; and the small details of sensory input and psychic life.” I’ve included the course introduction after the jump.
Kudos to Yale for offering this wonderful open learning experience to all! (more…)
Random House announced that it will be starting a new television division to develop scripted programs based on its books. This is not Random House’s first foray into the movie and television industry. Unbeknownst to me, and probably many others considering it has only released two films thus far, the publishing house entered the movie business in 2005 with the launch of Random House Films. Random House Television will follow the model established by their film division, which works with Random House editors, authors, and author’s agents to obtain dramatic rights to titles in addition to working on
potential movie projects with authors. (more…)
The very rare first edition of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which I previously posted about, brought in £30,000 ($46,737) at auction in London last week. The book was inscribed by ‘Jack’ Lewis and was originally estimated to be worth £19,000 ($29,600.10).
One publishing house is trying to ride the wave of erotic fiction that broke with the overwhelming popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey by producing erotic rewrites of classic literature. Jane Eyre, Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea are just a few tomes that will get the erotic treatment from UK publisher Total-E-Bound. Dubbed “Clandestine Classics“, the publisher writes that in these reworked novels:
“The old fashioned pleasantries and timidity have all been stripped away, quite literally. You didn’t really think that these much loved characters only held hands and pecked cheeks did you? Come with us, as we embark on a breathtaking experience—behind the closed bedroom doors of our favourite, most-beloved British characters. Learn what Sherlock really thought of Watson, what Mr Darcy really wanted to do to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and unveil the sexy escapades of Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre. We’ll show you the scenes that you always wanted to see but were never allowed. Come on, you know you can’t resist…open the pages and delve inside.” (more…)
There’s a great article in this morning’s NY Times about Rare Book School, check it out!
ABAA members James Bryant of Carpe Diem Fine Books in Monterey, CA and Edward Nudelman of Nudelman Rare Books in Seattle, WA recently received some attention in the press. Carpe Diem was written about by Cynthia Haven of Stanford University who dubbed the shop “the best bookstore I’ve never seen”, and Rebecca Rego Barry of Fine Books & Collections magazine interviewed Ed Nudelman in a very interesting profile.
Congrats to James and Ed!
The first English edition of Niccolo Machiavelli’s seminal work The Prince, dated 1640, was recently discovered during a collection evaluation in Norfolk, UK. Andrew Bullock, the head of the book department at Keys auction house was combing through a late collector’s books when he was drawn to a particular shelf. “The Machiavelli was on a shelf hidden amongst a number of Common Prayer books, but some sort of sixth sense asserted itself, and I took it down to take a closer look,” Bullock said.
No matter what ‘sixth book sense’ brought Bullock to his discovery, he and many collectors are very happy that it did. Bullock called it an “extremely exciting find” as “it is very rare for an English first edition of such an important work to come to auction.” The book is 300 pages long and measures only 14.5cm x 9cm (5¾in x 3½in), but is expected to bring in £25,000 to £30,000 ($30,992 to $46,488) when it is auctioned this Thursday, July 26.
Stephen Colbert’s manuscript for his recently published children’s book I Am a Pole (And So Can You!) will be on display at the Rosenbach Museum and Library and will reside next to James Joyce’s manuscript for Ulysses. (No, I’m not kidding.) Colbert conceived of the book during an interview with Maurice Sendak earlier this year. Coincidentally, the Rosenbach is the major repository for Sendak’s works. As one ABAA member commented, “If you are a James Joyce fan, you will cringe”, and yes, I did cringe a little, but the video is hilarious. Besides, any talk of rare books and manuscripts in popular culture is pretty awesome.
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Who’s Honoring Me Now? – Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library|
The New Orleans Public Library and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) have partnered to open the largest culinary library in the South. The two organizations have been in talks about the project since 2010, but the museum had to be “mature enough to acquire a building”, said SoFAB president Liz Williams. The museum currently has over 9,000 cookbooks, menus, recipes, archival documents, and literature about food, all of which will be housed at the new library. In addition, there will be a collection of children’s materials related to the culinary arts, food, and nutrition. Library director Charles Brown said that, once completed, this children’s culinary collection will be the most comprehensive of its kind. Brown also stated the library’s intention to (more…)