Brief Fling

Started several posts on various different subjects this week, but realised that I didn’t yet know quite  enough about any of them – and in any case too busy doing other stuff.


Soon Over

The week in short – my brief fling with Cefalû was soon over.  She coyly revealed that under her pretty jacket she wore nothing but what appears to be the rather uncommon primary binding in green cloth (as the British Library copy and Durrell’s own copy, for those who are interested).  Oh, so desirable.  She’s now happily married to someone else.

louise bryan

Louise Bryan in Nafplion

From overseas, Anne and daughter Tilly (in an ambassadorial rôle) report that the ABA’s only member in Greece (Mary Louise Bryan) is in fine health and that the shop is much the nicest in the whole of Nafplion – hope to get there myself in October.  In Australia,  Kay Craddock and her colleagues in ANZAAB have just launched their Melbourne Rare Book Week – a series of book-related lectures, exhibitions and events embracing the whole of the local literary community and culminating in the Melbourne Book Fair next week.  An interesting experiment – we wish it every success.

And plenty of “interestingness”, as we say these days, elsewhere.  Not a great deal to read here, but a very rich week for the rare book blogosphere in general.  Links to all of these things in the Blogroll to the right – do pay them a visit.  Simon Beattie’s The Books You Never Knew You Wanted has a new post, The End of Russia.  As a colleague remarked – he just gets better and better.  Always sparkling, roguish and achingly funny is Jonathan Kearns (Adrian Harrington) with his Bibliodeviancy blog.  This week we have part two of The Best Lack All Conviction – Lord knows where he is going, but “effectively we swapped Kate Winslett for this”.  He also keeps the ABA’s own Shelf Fulfillment blog on its toes.

Angus O’Neill (Omega Bookshop) contributes a delightful and whimsical guest piece (with a surprise in its tail) to Tim Bryars’ excellent Unto the Ends of the Earth blog.  See if you can guess it.  The always entertaining Bookride : The Runners, The Riders and the Odds from Any Amount of Books has a piece on Celebrity Collections.  Not quite as recent (end of June) – but very well worth a look – is Brooke Palmieri (Christopher Sokol) with An Introduction to Paper Computers on her 8vo blog.  And look out for Brooke – she is firmly intent on reviving the Bibliomites.  Always good things from Justin Croft – the most recent on the firm of A. Maurice & Co, founded by his great-great-grandfather.  Likewise good things from Laura Massey (Peter Harrington) on The Cataloguer’s Desk.

From farther afield, Lorne Bair in the States (Minivan of the Revolution) has produced a trenchant and interesting FYI: I Am Not A Goddamned Curator – well, we take his point, difficult not to agree, but yet – “Methinks he doth …” and so on – the scholar-bookseller has a long and distinguished pedigree.   Also from the US, Stephen J. Gertz (Booktryst : A Nest for Book Lovers) has a frankly alarming piece on Rats To You: An Unusual Infested Collection.

You can keep abreast of all these things and more by following the ABA on Twitter –  @BooksellersAnon – and of course the highlight of the week is our own Beatie Wolfe performing her debut single, Never Ever – song for the summer – Brighton in the background – video link to the right.

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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