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.

People Like Me

Just back from a summer book-hunting safari, mainly around what we might loosely call the English Mid-West, with a few stops closer to home on the return leg. Some thirty bookshops or other outlets on the itinerary, if we include … Continue reading

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The Chaucer Bookshop

Quite a while since I was last in Canterbury, but what a pleasant spot it remains.  Beautiful old houses akimbo.  And right at the heart of it, just a short walk from the Cathedral, a pleasant bookshop – the Chaucer … Continue reading

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Illustrations by A. J. Macgregor / Verses by E. M. Coghlin

A guest post by Gillian Neale. Gillian has an MA in the History of the Book from the University of London and is spending time with Ash Rare Books to gain some inside experience of the rare book trade. “Creating … Continue reading

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Percy Heath (1803?-1838)

I had been doing some unrelated work on the engravers James Heath (1757-1834) and his son Charles Heath (1785-1848) – both fine engravers, both well-known and comparatively well-documented – when I received and enquiry from a customer about a steel-engraving … Continue reading

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Boutell’s First Editions of To-Day

Having a bit of a clear-out and I came across this: First Editions of To-Day and How to Tell Them, by H. S. Boutell, published by Elkin Mathews & Marrot in 1928.  A copy given to E. A. M. Norie … Continue reading

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Designer Bookbinders Prize-Giving 2018

Invariably a pleasure to go along to the annual Designer Bookbinders prize-giving evening.  Always interesting work to be seen and interesting people to talk to.  I had already been fortunate enough to have seen and been able to handle most … Continue reading

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W. L. Walton

Given that his work is found in all the major collections and that it includes some of the most defining and memorable images of the nineteenth century, it is in a way surprising that no-one has ever thought to establish … Continue reading

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Victorian Opulence

I acquired a nineteenth-century London guide-book a few weeks ago – nothing much unusual in that.  Something I have been doing routinely, almost reflexively, for more years than any of us care to remember.  What was unusual was that it … Continue reading

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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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