Author Archives: Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

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 first introduced in 1997 (and its recent update), 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, the National Library of Scotland and at Gresham College and Stationers' Hall. He teaches annually at the London Rare Book School, 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”. Essays on the British map trade are also appearing 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. He also 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.

James Reynolds and his Transparent Diagrams

September again, so off for my annual visit to the York Book Fair last weekend.  For once I’ll gloss over the startling inadequacies of both my riverside hotel and the Italian restaurant nearby, because it remained a thoroughly enjoyable couple … Continue reading

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Posted in Antique Maps, Book Collecting, Book Fairs, Engravers, London Map Trade, Mapsellers, Printsellers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ribble Ramble

A brief excursion northwards last week.  In truth, much more of a mini-break than a serious book-hunting expedition – but we did hire a car and spend one day on the book trail.  First stop was a warm welcome at … Continue reading

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Memory Lane

A friend and former neighbour recently asked me a question about a book I sold on her behalf years and years ago – not a question I could answer from memory.  I descended to the cellar to comb through a … Continue reading

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Posted in Book Collecting, Booksellers, Bookshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Confessions of a Book-Hunter – 1926

“I belong to that class of unfortunate beings who are addicted to a habit which it is not easy to break off.  This sounds alarming, but let me assure you that neither drug nor dram is the cause of my … Continue reading

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Posted in Book Collecting, Libraries | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

John Lothian (1802-1846)

Always a delight to come across an old print depicting a bookshop, particularly if it can be readily identified.  Here is a steel engraving of the “East Side of St. Andrew’s Square, Edinburgh”, engraved by James Johnstone of Edinburgh from … Continue reading

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Deal Done

A couple of posts ago, I featured a picture of an Edinburgh binding from the website of Nick McConnell (McConnell Fine Books).  It brought to mind that I hadn’t been down to Deal on the Kent coast to see him … Continue reading

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Posted in ABA, Book Collecting, Book Fairs, Bookbinders, Booksellers, Bookshops | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strabo’s “Geographica” in a Sixteenth-Century Dust-Jacket

Another fascinating guest post from Mark Godburn A copy of Strabonis de Situ Orbis Libri XVII (Lyon: Gabriel Coterius, 1559) has come to light in a contemporary dust-jacket.  The book is bound in limp vellum with quasi-yapp edges and remnants … Continue reading

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Two Dundee Bindings

I’m not quite sure what the opposite of carrying coals to Newcastle may be, but that’s certainly how I felt when coming away from the recent Edinburgh Book Fair, bringing back to London two Scottish bindings.  Ian Marr had brought … Continue reading

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Priscilla Mary Warner (1905-1994)

I noted in passing in the previous post that Frank Ford was first cousin to the children’s writer and illustrator Priscilla Mary Warner (1905-1994) – and as there does not seem to be a great deal of information about her … Continue reading

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Posted in Book Collecting, Forgotten Artists, Forgotten Authors | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Frank Ford

No-one with even a passing interest in British twentieth-century first editions will fail to recognise the work of the artist and cartoonist Frank Ford, if only for the series of dust-jackets he produced for the fiction of P. G. Wodehouse … Continue reading

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Posted in Book Collecting, Dust-Jackets, Forgotten Artists | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments