Shelf:Life

Shelf:Life - Links to what's new in the world of old, rare, and collectable books, insights into book collecting, the news stories that matter, and occasional comments by TheBookGuide.  Archived Stories.

August 2017

18.08.17.
'England hath need of thee': appeal to save Milton's Paradise Lost cottage
Pointing to Wordsworth's comment more than 200 years ago that "Milton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour. / England hath need of thee", a charity has launched an "urgent" appeal to the public to help it preserve the 16th-century Buckinghamshire cottage where John Milton completed Paradise Lost, 350 years ago ... more  Add a comment

Collection of Yeats family treasures to go on display for first time
A treasure trove of Yeats family material, including hundreds of passionate, rueful and philosophical letters from the poet William Butler to the first of his many loves, and the desk at which he wrote them, will go on public display for the first time in Dublin and London in September, before being sold in a Sotheby's auction in London ... more  Add a comment

Citizen returns priceless manuscripts he kept safe, to Mosul university
A citizen has returned priceless manuscripts to Mosul University after he had kept them in hiding from Islamic State saboteurs, the university said Tuesday. The returned contents include 700 books and manuscripts which the citizen withheld in safety at his home in Kafa'at neighborhood during Islamic State's occupation of the city, said the university's media service ... more  Add a comment

Strange fascination: The best David Bowie books
There are surprisingly few good books about the late star - but, as a new collection of reminiscences by friends is published, we pick out the heroes of the Bowieography ... more  Add a comment


17.08.17.
London's floating bookshop
London is a city rich in canals and waterways. If you take a walk down the Regent's Canal, just behind King's Cross train station, you might bump into a boat covered in ivy and books. It's the home of book enthusiast Jonathan Privett, who has been bringing literature to unexpected places for most of his life ... more  Add a comment

Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn: a meeting of like minds (book review
The two great recorders of Restoration England shared a fascination with the arts and sciences, and were lifelong friends ... more  Add a comment

Performers to stage 11-hour reading of Paradise Lost
The event will take place on Sunday (20th August) at the Grade I-listed museum in Buckingham, the only surviving home of the poet and parliamentarian, to mark 350 years to the day since Milton's publisher Samuel Simmons registered copyright for the poem with Stationers' Hall ... more  Add a comment


16.08.17.
A good secondhand shop is where the minds of people long dead are made to live again
Some people have drug habits; some a gambling addiction; some, illicit sex. What I do, though, when I want to distract myself by spending money I can ill afford to spend, is go to second-hand bookshops, and buy something old. Glamorously old ... more  Add a comment


14.08.17.
The KoKo collection of detective novels proves that crime does pay
A rare and unusual collection of historically important crime novels goes under the hammer in September, proving for once that crime does pay. David Barnett is the gumshoe on the case ... more  Add a comment

Ultra-rare Wonder Woman comics slated for auction
Three of the oldest and most historically important Wonder Woman comic books will soon be auctioned off on eBay. The comics are being sold by Darren Adams, collector and owner of Washington-based store Pristine Comics. A portion of the proceeds will go to Trafficking Hope, an organization that works to combat human trafficking ... more  Add a comment

Paolozzi's Tube mosaic designs to be sold at auction
An iconic design by a popular Scots pop artist which features on the London Underground is to be sold at auction. The colourful mosaic on the Northern and Central line platforms at Tottenham Court Road tube station by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi is expected to fetch up to £30,000 ... more  Add a comment

Asia’s Harry Potter obsession poses threat to owls
The Harry Potter phenomenon has broken publishing and cinema box-office records and spawned a series of lucrative theme parks. But wildlife experts are sounding the alarm over a sad downside to JK Rowling's tales of the troubled young wizard. The illegal trade in owls has jumped in the far east over the past decade and researchers fear it could endanger the survival of these distinctive predators in Asia ... more  Add a comment


11.08.17.
John Lennon's letter to first wife sells for £23,100 at auction
The note, in which the late Beatles star dismisses rumours Yoko Ono ended his marriage in 1968, sold as part of an RR Auction online event on Wednesday. Lennon wrote: "As you and I well know, our marriage was over long before the advent of L.S.D. or Yoko Ono... and that's reality!" ... more  Add a comment


9.08.17.
'Printer's Error' is a hilarious romp through publishing history
Authors and rare book specialists J.P. and Rebecca Romney put an amusing narrative spin on the history of publishing that could, in lesser hands, be rather dry. Printer's Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History takes a chronological look at some of the more interesting elements of the history of the printed word, from the earliest criticisms of the medium by 15th century Benedictine monk Trithemius through to the micro presses of the early 20th century ... more  Add a comment

Can secondhand book shops survive in digital age?
In the digital age, is there still a place for the secondhand book shop? David Herkt talks to some New Zealand bookshop owners who are keeping the love alive ... more  Add a comment


7.08.17.
Goats, bookworms, a monk’s kiss: The hidden history of ancient gospels
Behind locked doors in one of the oldest libraries in Europe, two dozen scholars mill around a conference table where rare medieval manuscripts perch on lecterns, illuminated by natural light streaming in from floor-to-ceiling windows. Most scholars simply look at these precious books while librarians turn the pages for them. But evolutionary biologist Blair Hedges, wearing gray rubber gloves, approaches one book with a mini-cotton swab. He gently dabs the circumference of a hole in the original white leather binding of a rare 12th century copy of the Gospel of Luke ... more  Add a comment

Nazi-looted books found in German libraries
Sensational finds of art works make headlines in provenance research, but books were also looted by the Nazis. Looking for them in small libraries is the goal of a new project ... more  Add a comment


5.08.17.
Photograph soars away at auction sale
She was one of the pioneers of aviation and a signed photograph of Amy Johnson was snapped up at auction in Shrewsbury ... more  Add a comment

Stanley Matthews' first ever £5-a-week contract is up for auction
When Matthews was 17, he signed a professional five-year contract with Stoke which consisted of a weekly £5-per-week pay packet. The Stoke Sentinel are reporting that the contract signed by the England legend, who scored 51 goals for the Potters from his outside-right position, is now up for grabs at sports memorabilia auction Hansons auctioneers, Derbyshire, on August 22 ... more  Add a comment

The Book of Miracles: 16th-century apocalyptic visions - in pictures
ediscovered a few years ago, an illustrated manuscript from 1550s Augsburg, Germany, shows awe-inspiring tales of the Old Testament, the Book of Revelation and contemporary events. Taschen's new edition adds historical context ... more  Add a comment

Collector hands 129-year-old books to owners' family
Lesley Handley bought the 129-year-old books in the early 1980s at a boot sale and was fascinated by the child's drawings inside with the names Ada, Lucy, Ethel and Lily Dobell inscribed ... more  Add a comment


3.08.17.
viaLibri now searches Shopify and WooCommerce websites
Over the last several years much of our energy has been focused on trying to find new and better ways to connect viaLibri directly with the websites of individual booksellers ... more  Add a comment

Marilyn Monroe's last photoshoot up for auction
The last professional images ever taken of Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe are set to go on auction as part of a larger collection of memorabilia and artwork curated by Paddle8, a leading online auction house ... more  Add a comment

Forgotten novels feature the adventures of a boy named Baron Trump
The internet has been sent into a frenzy after several prcient books written more than 100-years-ago have reemerged about the adventures of a boy named Baron Trump. Ingersoll Lockwood, an American political writer and novelist, wrote two children's books titled 'Baron Trump's Marvelous Underground Journey,' and 'Little Baron Trump and His Wonderful Dog Bulgar,' as well as an ominously titled political tome, 'The Last President' ... more  Add a comment

On the trail of books stolen by the Nazis
Books stolen from Jewish owners in Paris by the Nazis ended up in Minsk. Here's how they got there - and whether they will ever return to France ... more  Add a comment


1.08.17.
Iconic Einstein 'tongue' photo brings in $125,000 at auction
United Press International photographer Arthur Sasse took the picture on March 14, 1951, while covering Einstein's 72nd birthday party given by his colleagues at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Einstein had tired of smiling for photographers at the party, and when Sasse renewed the request, the scientist instead stuck out his tongue ... more  Add a comment

Designer Bookbinders International Bookbinding Competition 2017
The prizewinning bindings ... more  Add a comment

DNA of long-dead cows read from pages of Medieval books
You could call it reading behind the lines. When medieval scribes sat down to preserve the literature and records of their day, they often wrote on parchment - a paper-like material made from animal skins. What they didn't know was that the parchment holds DNA that can provide information about medieval life - and might even hold clues on how to preserve the ancient documents more effectively ... more  Add a comment