Quite lively in Weston on a Saturday night. We can probably gloss over the evening’s activities, except to say that The First Lady showed perfect taste and judgement in disengaging me – pretty sharpish – from a posse of lady pirates on a hen night.

Across Quantocks in search of a remote and apparently non-existent bookshop, said to be open on Sundays. Perhaps it is, but all we found was a rather fine parrot in a window. Dropped in to the Cobbles Bookshop in Dunster – one of the tidiest bookshops we have encountered. A handful of things purchased.

Jane the sat-navigator let us down rather badly by insisting that Rothwell & Dunworth were situated in the middle of a muddy field at the top of a narrow track on a hill so steep that the car could only continue by jettisoning the presidential bulk. Gravitas is one thing. Gravity another. Orderly retreat and Rothwell & Dunworth found in Dulverton where they have always been.

Just as I took a book off a shelf there, a mighty clap of thunder seemed to be a message from the gods. But all it betokened was a return to drenching rain for the remainder of the day. One would have thought it impossible to cross Devon from one side to the other without encountering a cream tea, but somehow we contrived it.

A French woman once told me that she regarded the cream tea as England’s single greatest contribution to civilization. I muttered something about books, art, science, etc., but in my heart I knew she was right. We shall give Devon a second chance tomorrow, after a Cornish morning in Liskeard and Launceston.

About Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

Laurence Worms has owned and run Ash Rare Books since 1971. He represented the antiquarian book trade on the (British) National Book Committee from 1993 to 2002 and has been six times an elected member of the Council of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association. He was largely responsible for drafting the Association’s Code of Good Practice introduced in 1997, served as Honorary Secretary of the Association from 1998 to 2001 and as President from 2011 to 2013. He is a former member of the Council of the Bibliographical Society and continues to serve on the Council of the London Topographical Society. He writes and lectures on various aspects of the history of the book and map trades, and has lectured at the universities of Cambridge, London, Reading and Sheffield, as well as at the Bibliographical Society, the Royal Geographical Society, the Warburg Institute and at Gresham College. He teaches annually at the London Rare Books School and also organises the monthly Book Collecting Seminars at Senate House, University of London. Published work includes the compilation of fourteen ‘lives’ for the “Oxford Dictionary of National Biography”, a number of articles for “The Oxford Companion to the Book” and the chapter on early English maps and atlases for the fourth volume of “The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain”. A major essay on the same subject also appeared in “The History of Cartography” published by the University of Chicago Press. His long-awaited “British Map Engravers, co-written with Ashley Baynton-Williams, was published to critical acclaim in 2011”. More recently, he contributed the numerous biographical notes to Peter Barber’s hugely successful “London : A History in Maps”, co-published by the British Library and the London Topographical Society in 2012.
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2 Responses to Gravity

  1. jessamyworms says:

    I can’t decide which image makes me laugh more; you are using wireless with a laptop (I presume) or you and mum sat in a car using a sat nav! The world really has gone mad! I assumed you wouldn’t be blogging while away so I haven’t been checking! Sounds like great fun! I wouldn’t rush back to London – looks hideous! P.S spell check on this blog site doesn’t recognise the word “blogging” – oh the irony! x x

    • ashrarebooks says:

      Very grateful, Miss Jessy, for your touching faith in your parents’ ability to interact with the twenty-first century. I had a computer well before you were born, thank you very much. And you had to be able to programme them yourself to get them to do anything in those days. Duck to water with this dongle lark. Love you much. Dad. xx

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