Sortie to the Sea (1)

Marrin's Bookshop

Marrin’s Bookshop

The First Lady decrees a quick sortie to the coast to blow away the Christmas cobwebs.  Lovely walk by the sea on Monday – the weather so mild we could enjoy a night-cap on the balcony of our hotel at midnight looking out over a clear sea.

But she could hardly have envisaged the head-down tramp from the station into the teeth of hail and gale as we sought out Patrick Marrin (Marrin’s Bookshop) in Folkestone on Tuesday.   Cobwebs blasted to smithereens rather than blown away.

Open Fires

Open Fires

All warm and welcoming within as we peeled off our sodden coats to dry ourselves out by the delightful open fires – coffee served up (as it should be) in ABA mugs.  A crammed and various stock to view – wonderfully rich in local topography, but with so much else to see.

Crammed Within

Crammed Within

Natural history, modern firsts, illustrated books, naval history,  travel, art, architecture, children’s books, general antiquarian, some fine maps, prints – even some impressive local watercolours – a thick and well illustrated catalogue just about to be posted out.  And at least one other serious customer prepared to brave the weather to get there on the first trading day of the year.

Patrick Marrin

Patrick Marrin

Select a miscellaneous group of books, maps and prints – including two exquisite eighteenth-century views of Hampstead and Highgate after Jean-Baptiste Claude Chatelain (the larger ones, which I can’t recall ever having bought before).  The weather has by now abated so we have a brief stroll around the rather deserted and forlorn town centre (the perils of pedestrianisation), but don’t linger over long (although long enough for the First Lady to point out numerous instances of silly women in Uggs).  Back on the somewhat pretentious high-speed train to London (Ebbsfleet International? – what’s that about?)  to complete the drying-out process.   A further sortie planned for Friday.

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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3 Responses to Sortie to the Sea (1)

  1. A true 21st century Humphry Clinker touring the realm.

  2. Patrick Marrin says:

    Thank you for your kind words. It was a dreadful day but it was a pleasure to host you and the First Lady. Incidentally, the ‘other serious customer’ was Jools Holland!

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