Monday, January 25, 2010

Book of the Week

The National Sports of Great Britain. With Descriptions in English and French. A New edition. by Henry Alken

Published: New York, D Appleton & Co, 1904
Edition: Reprint
Binding: Red half leather cover with red boards

100pp + plates :: 50 full colour plates :: 490mm x 310mm (19" x 12") :: 50 full-page engraved hand-coloured plates on subjects including hawking, hunting, horse-racing, shooting, fishing, baiting, and combating animals. Rare, VG : in very good condition without dustwrapper. Some rubbing and scuffing to leather cover. Top and tail of spine frayed. Top of spine with horizontal tear. Uncut pages. Teg. Slight foxed in places throughout the book on pages with text. Small section of worming at top of page from contents page through to the end of the preface which does not impinge on the text. All plates clean with tissue guards. Small tear to two of the endpapers (not affecting text or plates)
Stock number: L0403.

£ 1560.00 ( approx. $US 2553.10 )

From the stock of Barter Books.

You can view more books on shooting here, on hunting here, on birds of prey here, and horse racing here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Poems, stories, food and fun

Fund-raiser weekend for the York Literature Festival 22nd- 24th January 2010 at St Martin’s, York (next door to the City Screen)

Fund-raiser weekend for the York Literature Festival featuring poets, storytellers, York author John Gilham, ‘open mic’ sessions, and raffles of goods donated by York businesses and writers.

All proceeds will help stage the York Literature Festival (which is 18th-28th March 2010).
Come and join us for the whole weekend, or drop in when you have time.

For further information contact:
Pauline Kirk

or Rose Drew
Tel. 07914 271871 or 01904 733767

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mary Russell Mitford Lecture

Fellow's Lecture - Mary Russell Mitford (Born in New Alresford Hampshire,1787) is perhaps best known in Austen circles as the woman who repeated the gossip about Jane Austen that called her both ‘the prettiest, silliest most affected husband-hunting butterfly’ and ‘the most perpendicular, precise, taciturn piece of “single blessedness” that ever existed... a poker—but a poker of whom every one is afraid’.

Less often remembered is Mitford’s passionate defence of, and engagement with, Austen’s novels, shown in her letters (especially those of the 1840s to Elizabeth Barrett Browning), her literary autobiography Recollections of a Literary Life (1852), her Our Village stories (1824-32) and Belford Regis (1835). In this lecture, Dr Katie Halsey University of Stirling will focus primarily on the ways in which Mitford deploys her reading of Austen and other writers to position herself within contemporary literary and feminist debates.

To view the event poster click here (PDF).

Lecture Tickets: £10 & £7.50 for friends/students
6.30pm Reception with wine
7.00pm Lecture
To book, or for more info, call 01420 541010 or email

To view the Chawton House website click here.

Ibooknet sellers stock many books on Jane Austen: you can view her works, as well as books about Jane Austen including literary criticism and biography.

This post illustrated by books from the stock of Stella and Rose's Books.

i. Mary Russell Mitford., Illustrated by C.O.Murray & William Henry James Boot.
OUR VILLAGE Published: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington., 1879
First Edition. Hardback. Stock number: 987187.
£ 50.00 ( approx. $US 81.83 )

ii. Mary Russell Mitford BELFORD REGIS Published: Richard Bentley., 1835 First Edition .
Hardback. Three volumes. Three-quarter green leather binding. Raised bands and gilt titles to spines. Marbled boards., Book condition VG, No half-title in Volume 1 but not sure it was ever present. Final blank leaves present in all three volumes. Spines very slightly faded but overall a handsome set of this rare first edition. Stock number: 576025.
£ 1000.00 ( approx. $US 1636.60 )

Friday, January 15, 2010

Croatian Tales of Long Ago

Croatian Tales of Long Ago by Marijana Dworski

I am much too old to have loved or even been scared by Roald Dahl's B.F.G. My childhood giant was Regoč, and on our long summer-holiday car journeys from Britain to Yugoslavia I pestered my father to tell and re-tell the story of that kindly giant's adventures with Kosjenka, his little fairy friend.

The Giant and The Shoemaker's Apprentice.

Regoč is just one of the fantastical characters dreamed up by the Croatian writer, poet and children's author, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić. At home she was hailed as the Croatian "Andersen" and her stories have delighted children for generations. She was even twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in the early 1930s. Her most famous works internationally have been: 'The Brave Adventures of Lapitch', also translated as 'The Marvelous Adventures and Misadventures of Hlapić the Apprentice' (Čudnovate zgode i nezgode Šegrta Hlapića) and 'Croatian Tales of Long Ago' (Priče iz davnine).

Ivana Brlic Mažuranić

Ivana Mažuranić was born into an elite, highly educated and politically powerful family in Ogulin, Croatia in 1874 and through her marriage she became part of the prominent and influential family Brlic. Their family home was at Slavonski Brod (in Slavonia, Croatia) where much of both families’ vast library and archives is still stored. Writing and being published was second nature to her, as to all her family. However, it was not until the publication of “The Brave Adventures of Lapitch” in 1913 that she achieved real popularity and fame. Sadly, despite her success, her impressive literary career, her many children and privileged family background, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić was dogged by depression and ended her own life in 1938. But her name lived on and she has remained popular both in former Yugoslavia and abroad.

F. S. Copeland's Translation

Although I was brought up on my father's retold versions and sometimes loose translations of Brlić-Mažuranić's stories, I was lucky enough recently, and at some expense, to find the F. S. Copeland 1924 English translation of her tales. It was published in London by Allen and Unwin under the title of 'Croatian Tales of Long Ago', with the author's name transcribed as Iv. Berlic-Mazuranic. This is a sumptuous children's book, very much of its time, bound in bright yellow cloth, red ruled and decorated. The brown wrappers are printed in blue and feature a Kirin colour plate as an on-lay. The ten tipped-in plates as well as the numerous head and tail pieces and thirteen in-text illustrations are also all by Vladimir Kirin.

Vladimir Kirin

Although little known outside former Austria-Hungary, Kirin (1894-1963), a prolific artist and illustrator, who spent some time in London in the nineteen twenties, could well be called the Central European Rackham. Indeed his spiky representations of dwarf and wizard, fairy and imp, gnarled and twisted trees, seascapes and magical landscapes must certainly be influenced by Arthur Rackham, but also there are many hints that he knew the works of the Russian book illustrators of the time: Nicolas Roerich in particular and though stylistically different, many of his themes are shared with that most popular of Russian illustrators, Ivan Bilibin. Kirin collaborated on many of Ivana Brlić Mažuranić's publications and his works are still much collected both in former Yugoslavia and abroad.

Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić Today

My own connections with Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić stem from the marriage between my great- uncle Viktor Ružic and Ivana's daughter, Nada. So although not a 'blood' relative, her name has always been part of my life. It is in great part thanks to Viktor and Nada's son, a second Viktor Ružic, that her name has been kept alive and her works translated into more than 40 languages. To many of her foreign readers it was not clear that these 'fairy tales' were not just adaptations of the Slavonic myths: Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić 's Croatian tales and her other stories were all of her own manufacture although inspired and influenced by the rich folklore and history of the South Slavs. In the early 1970s the popular British children's television programme 'Jackanory' ran a series of her tales 'retold', understanding they were folktales and under no copyright obligations. Thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of Viktor Ružic II, the true origins of Croatian Tales were clarified and Ivana's works continue to be published under her own name. An adaptation by the Croatian editor Bulaja on CD-Rom is now available and apparently a computer game, too.

Ivana's great-granddaughter, Matilda, along with her family, continues Viktor's work in promoting her great-grandmother as well as care-taking the 8,000 volume library, vast archives and numerous antique artefacts and pieces of furniture inherited from the Mažuranić and Brlić families. These, along with an impressive collection of framed Vladimir Kirin originals, can be viewed at the Villa Ružic in Rijeka, Croatia. If you can't get there physcially, then do, please, visit virtually here and for more on Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić see here.

Some books available on the net by Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić and other members of her family:

MAZURANIC, Ivana-Berlic: Croatian Tales of Long Ago: Allen and Unwin, London 1924. 1st English edition. Illustrated by Vladimir Kirin, translated by F. S. Copeland. Colour on-lay to dustjacket, 259pp., colour tipped-in plates, b/w in-text illustrations, (This is a very rare children's book and very collectable both in the English speaking market and the Croatian one. Only one imperfect copy lacking a dust-wrapper available on the net at the moment).

MAZURANIC, Matija: Pogled u Bosnu, ili kratak put u onu krajinu, ucinjen 1839-40. (A Glance into Bosnia, or a short journey to that land, completed 1839-40) xi+80pp., original printed card covers, Zagreb, 1842. Original edition, short print run. (This book is very rare in its first edition and sought after in Croatia and amongst any collectors of original travel writing in the Balkans. It was reprinted in the 1930s and it has also been translated into English)

MAZURANIC, Matija: Pogled u Bosnu, ili kratak put u onu krajinu, ucinjen 1839-40. (A Glance into Bosnia, or a short journey to that land, completed 1839-40) xi+80pp., printed card covers, Zagreb, 1938 Facsimile.

BRLIC-MAZURANIC, Ivana: Cudnovate Zgode Segerta Hlapica. (Original Croatian edition of The Marvellous Adventures and Misadventures of Hlapić the Apprentice) Zagreb 1921 reprint. Illustrated cover by Vladimir Kirin, 86pp. Early edition of this important children's story.

MAZURANIC, Ivan: The Death of Smail Aga. Translated by J Wiles, Allen and Unwin, London 1925, 1st English edition. Original printed wrappers, 63pp.. In very good condition, unusually so for a softback of this age.

MAZURANIC, Ivana Brlic: Fischer Palunko und seine Frau. Vienna, c. 1970. Illustrated chidlren's book, quarto. Nice copy.Miscellaneous translations of Ivana Brlic Mazuranic's childrens' stories published in 1970s by Mladost, Zagreb. (The stories were translated into a variety of languages)

Mazuranic, Ivana Brlic. The Brave Adventures of Lapitch: H. Z. Walck, New York, 1972. With dust-wrapper. Into English by Lorna Wood, with illustrations by Harold Berson.

You can view more books on Croatian language and literature here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Val McDermid wins the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger 2010

Bestselling author Val McDermid has been named as the recipient of this year’s prestigious CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, which honours outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing. The announcement has been made by the Crime Writers’ Association in recognition of Val’s work over more than 20 years.

The CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger is the latest accolade in a highly successful career which last year saw Val inducted into the Hall of Fame at the ITV3 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, whose partners include the CWA.

In 1995 she won the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year for The Mermaids Singing, which first introduced her readership to Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, and went on to become an international bestseller. Fever of the Bone is the sixth novel of this series which inspired Wire in the Blood.

She has won many awards internationally, including the LA Times Book of the Year Award. In 2007, she won The Stonewall Writer of the Year Award.

Val is a top 10 bestseller who has been translated into 40 languages, with more than two million copies sold in the UK and 10 million worldwide. She has written 23 bestselling novels and the popular ITV series Wire in the Blood, starring Robson Green, was based on her books and ran for six series. A three-part ITV drama of Val’s A Place of Execution was broadcast in the autumn of 2007.

Margaret Murphy, chair of the CWA, said, “The CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger award acknowledges the work of an author who has made an outstanding contribution to the genre.

“Val McDermid is a worthy winner whose work has entertained and thrilled millions of readers as well as many more who have enjoyed the TV adaptations her books have inspired.

“The recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award is chosen by the members and committee of the CWA and is very much an honour awarded by the author’s peers and thus makes it special.”

The prize will be presented at a ceremony yet to be confirmed.

Val McDermid's website is here. In February, the paperback of Val’s bestselling hardback Fever of the Bone will be published by Little, Brown.

You can view books by or about Val McDermid here and crime fiction here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Edward Fox in 'An Evening with Anthony Trollope'

Edward Fox in 'An Evening with Anthony Trollope'
National tour of theatres

22nd January - 28th March 2010

An evening with one of Britain's most loved and most prolific authors Anthony Trollope . Edward Fox takes on the mantle of the novelist and brings alive some of his most loved characters for an evening no fan of Trollope's work will ever forget.

22nd Jan 2010 : Chipping Norton Theatre
27th Jan 2010 : Winchester Theatre Royal
28th Jan 2010 : Bishops Stortford Rhodes Centre
31st Jan 2010 : Stamford Arts Centre
2nd Feb 2010 : London Middle Temple
4th Feb 2010 : Lichfield Garrick Theatre
7th Feb 2010 : Keswick Theatre by the Lake
17th Feb 2010 : Bungay Fisher Theatre
18th Feb 2010 : Epsom Playhouse
20th Feb 2010 : Greenwich Theatre
25th Feb 2010 : Jersey Opera House
2nd Mar 2010 : Lincoln Drill Hall
3rd Mar 2010 : Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal
4th Mar 2010 : Basingstoke Haymarket Theatre
12th Mar 2010 : Barton on Humber Ropewalk Theatre
13th Mar 2010 : Richmond Georgian Theatre Royal
14th Mar 2010 : Mold Theatr Clwyd, Flintshire Festival
21st Mar 2010 : Kingston upon Thames Rose Theatre
25th Mar 2010 : Brecon Theatr Brycheiniog
28th Mar 2010 : Bath Theatre Royal - 2.30pm and 7.30pm

For tickets please contact the venue direct.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Book of the Week

The Brontë Family with Special Reference to Patrick Branwell Brontë by Francis A. Leyland

Published: London: Hurst & Blackett, 1886.
Edition: First edition
Binding: Hard Cover

Two volumes complete. A highly regarded biography. Hard-to-find in this, the original, edition. Aims to redress the balance of previous literary portraits of Branwell in particular. Makes reference to other biographers, such as Mrs Gaskell, but the author's original research and interviews with those still living makes for much original and interesting material. Bound in original cloth. Internally very good, inner hinges starting to split but still firm. The edges of the cloth have some rubbing, the worst being along the top half of the rear outer hinge of volume 1, which is splitting. Both volumes are firm. Boards have bevelled edges with black borders; gilt titles to spines. Good+, sound copy.
Stock number: 4006.
£ 135.00 ( approx. $US 220.94 )

From the stock of C L Hawley.

You can view more books on the Brontes here, more books on Haworth here here and more books on Victorian novelists here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

PBFA Book Fairs


The PBFA York book fair scheduled for Saturday 9th January HAS BEEN CANCELLED due to severe weather conditions. The PBFA apologises to anyone who had planned to visit.


This fair will go ahead as planned on Sunday 10th January

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Leave at home all your guineas, ye who enter here

A look at a Victorian bookshop by Orangeberry Books.

I have recently been reading Oliver Wendell Holmes' 'Our One Hundred Days in Europe' which I have had in my library for a long time, unread. In 1886 at the age of 77 Holmes accompanied his daughter Amelia on a tour of Europe, most of which was spent in England and Scotland and large part of that in London. One passage which I enjoyed was a description of his visit to Bernard Quaritch in Piccadilly - I do not know if it is well known but, anyway, here it is :

From 'Our One Hundred Days in Europe' published in 1887.

One thing, at least, I learned from my London experience: better a small city where one knows all it has to offer, than a great city where one has no disinterested friend to direct him to the right places to find what he wants. But of course there are some grand magazines which are known all the world over, and which no one should leave London without entering as a looker-on, if not as a purchaser.

There was one place I determined to visit, and one man I meant to see, before returning. The place was a certain book-store or book-shop, and the person was its proprietor, Mr. Bernard Quaritch, I was getting very much pressed for time, and I allowed ten minutes only for my visit. I never had any dealings with Mr. Quaritch, but one of my near relatives had, and I had often received his catalogues, the scale of prices in which had given me an impression almost of sublimity. I found Mr. Bernard Quaritch at No. 15 Piccadilly, and introduced myself, not as one whose name he must know, but rather as a stranger, of whom he might have heard through my relative. The extensive literature of catalogues is probably little known to most of my readers. I do not pretend to claim a thorough acquaintance with it, but I know the luxury of reading good catalogues, and such are those of Mr. Quaritch. I should like to deal with him; for if he wants a handsome price for what he sells, he knows its value, and does not offer the refuse of old libraries, but, on the other hand, all that is most precious in them is pretty sure to pass through his hands, sooner or later.

"Now, Mr. Quaritch," I said, after introducing myself, "I have ten minutes to pass with you. You must not open a book; if you do I am lost, for I shall have to look at every illuminated capital, from the first leaf to the colophon." Mr. Quaritch did not open a single book, but let me look round his establishment, and answered my questions very courteously. It so happened that while I was there a gentleman came in whom I had previously met,--my namesake, Mr. Holmes, the Queen's librarian at Windsor Castle. My ten minutes passed very rapidly in conversation with these two experts in books, the bibliopole and the bibliothecary. No place that I visited made me feel more thoroughly that I was in London, the great central mart of all that is most precious in the world.

Leave at home all your guineas, ye who enter here, would be a
good motto to put over his door, unless you have them in plenty and can spare them, in which case Take all your guineas with you would be a better one. For you can here get their equivalent, and more than their equivalent, in the choicest products of the press and the finest work of the illuminator, the illustrator, and the binder. You will be sorely tempted. But do not be surprised when you ask the price of the volume you may happen to fancy. You are not dealing with a _bouquiniste_of the Quais, in Paris. You are not foraging in an old book-shop of New York or Boston. Do not suppose that I undervalue these dealers in old and rare volumes. Many a much-prized rarity have I obtained from Drake and Burnham and others of my townsmen, and from Denham in New York; and in my student years many a choice volume, sometimes even an Aldus or an Elzevir, have I found among the trumpery spread out on the parapets of the quays. But there is a difference between going out on the Fourth of July with a militia musket to shoot any catbird or "chipmunk" that turns up in a piece of woods within a few miles of our own cities, and shooting partridges in a nobleman's preserves on the First of September. I confess to having felt a certain awe on entering the precincts made sacred by their precious contents. The lord and master of so many _Editiones Principes_, the guardian of this great nursery full of _incunabula_, did not seem to me like a simple tradesman. I felt that I was in the presence of the literary purveyor of royal and imperial libraries, the man before whom millionaires tremble as they calculate, and billionaires pause and consider. I have recently received two of Mr.
Quaritch's catalogues, from which I will give my reader an extract or two,to show him what kind of articles this prince of bibliopoles deals in.

Perhaps you would like one of those romances which turned the head of Don Quixote. Here is a volume which will be sure to please you. It is on one of his lesser lists, confined principally to Spanish and Portuguese works:--

"Amadis de Gaula ... folio, gothic letter, FIRST EDITION, unique ... red morocco super extra, _double_ with olive morocco, richly gilt,
tooled to an elegant Grolier design, gilt edges ... in a neat case."

A pretty present for a scholarly friend. A nice old book to carry home for one's own library. Two hundred pounds--one thousand dollars-will make you the happy owner of this volume.

But if you would have also on your shelves the first edition of the "Cronica del famoso cabaluero cid Ruy Diaz Campadero," not "richly gilt," not even bound in leather, but in "cloth boards," you will have to pay two hundred and ten pounds to become its proprietor. After this you will not be frightened by the thought of paying three hundred dollars for a little quarto giving an account of the Virginia Adventurers. You will not shrink from the idea of giving something more than a hundred guineas for a series of Hogarth's plates. But when it comes to Number 1001 in the May catalogue, and you see that if you would possess a first folio Shakespeare, "untouched by the hand of any modern renovator," you must be prepared to pay seven hundred and eighty-five pounds, almost four thousand dollars, for the volume, it would not be surprising if you changed color and your knees shook under you. No doubt some brave man will be found to carry off that prize, in spite of the golden battery which defends it, perhaps to Cincinnati, or Chicago, or San Francisco. But do not be frightened. These Alpine heights of extravagance climb up from the humble valley where shillings and sixpences are all that are required to make you a purchaser.

You can view more Oliver Wendell Holmes books here, and more books on Victorian London here.

This post is illustrated with DOROTHY Q Together with A Ballad Of The Boston Tea Party and Grandmother's Story Of Bunker Hill Battle by Oliver Wendell Holmes and illustrated by Howard Pyle. From From the stock of Stella & Rose's Books. Stock number: 712241. £ 38.00 ( approx. $US 62.19 )

Monday, January 4, 2010

Book of the Week

THE WOMBLES OF WIMBLEDON - The Wombles at Work and The Wombles to the Rescue by Elisabeth Beresford

Published: Ernest Benn, London, 1976,
Edition: 1st thus,

1st thus, 134pp, frontis and numerous in text line drawings by Barry Leith and Margaret Gordon, pale green cloth lettered in gilt at spine, pictorial dustwrapper, an ominibus edition of 'The Wombles at Work' and 'The Wombles to the Rescue', a little rubbed and lightly bumped at extrems., edges sl. dusty, dustwrapper: unpriced, a little rubbed at extrems., repaired tear head of upper hinge, faint stain lower flap, very good in a good plus dustwrapper.

Stock number: 34615. ISBN: 051009600X
£ 16.00 ( approx. $US 26.19

From the stock of A Book for all Reasons.

You can view more Elisabeth Beresford books here.
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