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.

September 2013

No news today ...
I'm away for a few days, so no news until October 3rd.  Add a comment

Kate Moss Collection auction raises over 1.6 million
As one of the most photographed models in the world, Kate Moss gave her blessing to the sale, which, unsurprisingly, "attracted worldwide attention and admiration" according to Philippe Garner, Christie's international head of photographs ... more  Add a comment

Dante may have suffered from narcolepsy
Divine Comedy author's obsession with sleep suggests he had neurological disorder narcolepsy, believes Giuseppe Plazzi ... more  Add a comment

Irish government to ask for 900-year-old manuscript back
The Annals of Inisfallen - believed to have been written in Tipperary beginning in 1092 - have been kept at the Bodleian Library for more than 250 years ... more  Add a comment

Jungle Book author's home for sale
The Elms, a five-bedroom detached house which lies at the heart of the village of Rottingdean, East Sussex, was home to the author of The Jungle Book between 1897 and 1902, according to the Rottingdean Preservation Society ... more  Add a comment

Browsing the bookshop of the future
On Monday shop owners gathered at the BA's annual conference to discuss what "the bookshop of the future" will look like ... more  Add a comment

Norman Rockwell masterpieces coming to auction
His iconic paintings are loved for their nostalgic portrayal of American life. So it's perhaps little wonder that a selection of Norman Rockwell's paintings are expected to fetch millions when they go up for auction ... more  Add a comment

Jane Austen's ring to stay in Britain
The ring, made from gold and turquoise, had been in the Austen family for 200 years following the author's death and was sold at auction last year. It was originally purchased by singer Kelly Clarkson, an avowed Austen fan, who hoped to take it to the US ... more  Add a comment

Rare opera manuscript turns up in Madrid
Spain's national library said on Wednesday it had discovered a rare fragment of an opera score handwritten by 19th century Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini lying within its archives ... more  Add a comment

Tiny books on display
A book no bigger than a grain of rice is part of a new exhibition of miniature books at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh ... more  Add a comment

Lord Lucan's medical notes up for auction
Medical notes detailing plastic surgery performed on Lord Lucan are to be put up for auction ... more  Add a comment

1,200 year old manuscript of Quran found in Turkey
An ancient copy of the Holy Quran was found in a historical mosque in the region of Bodrum in Turkey ... more  Add a comment

Professor spared 8,557 library fine
A university professor has been spared a fine of more than £8,500 after discovering he was in possession of a library book that was 47 years overdue ... more  Add a comment

Man shot for critique of Kant
An argument over the theories of the 18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant ended in a man being shot in a grocery store in southern Russia ... more  Add a comment

Mystery map exposed
It's a mystery of history akin to the Shroud of Turin or the Dead Sea Scrolls. And since 1965 when Yale University announced the discovery of an alleged 15th century Vinland map that detailed an 11th century exploration of the New World by Norsemen hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus, its validity has been a source of controversy ... more  Add a comment

White House autograph book up for auction
He was the head doorkeeper at the White House from 1869 to 1909, and some very famous people crossed his path to meet with presidents. Major Charles Loeffler's autograph book is up for auction in Vancouver ... more  Add a comment

Children's bedtime stories on the wane
Stress and lack of time cited as poll finds only 13% of parents read to their kids at night every day of the week ... more  Add a comment

Manuscripts reveal the history of humankind
The Manuscript Library at Topkapi Palace was reopened yesterday by the Culture Minister,  following a period of restoration. The library is home to 21,438 manuscripts, the minister said, adding that the manuscripts belong to all humanity and that they should be shared with everyone ... more  Add a comment

Secret paintings hidden in books
At first glance, the 200-year-old books are handsomely bound, with the edges of their pages painted in gilt. Look more closely, however, and you will see a beautiful and intricate painting hidden on the edges of the pages. Known as 'fore-edge paintings' (the fore-edge is the opposite of the spine), their existence at all has lain a secret to many since the practice began centuries ago. ... more  Add a comment

Shakespeare folios sale called off
We are delighted to report that the Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, Prof. Sir Adrian Smith, has called off the proposed sale of the four Shakespeare folios. He is quoted as saying: "The university has decided to focus its attention on examining alternative ways of investing in the collection. The money raised from any sale would have been used to invest in the future of the library by acquiring major works and archives of English literature."
    We are very pleased that the University has taken into account the opinion of the international academic community and members of the public, and preserved these volumes in accordance with Sir Louis Sterling's bequest. They are of enormous value to researchers and we are delighted that they will remain accessible to all rather than potentially being sold into private hands.
     We are very grateful to everyone who signed this petition, contacted the University directly, and made their opinions known through other media. We will be issuing a formal statement in due course, which will be published on our web site.
     With our sincere thanks,
The Bibliographical Society  Add a comment

Shakespeare Folios petition
The Director and Trustees of the University of London's Senate House Libraries are proposing to sell copies of the Library's first four Shakespeare folios. Although a "public consultation" is planned, it is understood that the books are already with Bonhams the auctioneers, with a sale scheduled for November ... more  Add a comment

Frederik Pohl dies aged 93
US science fiction writer Frederik Pohl - best known for his classic 1977 award-winning novel, Gateway - has died in Chicago at the age of 93 ... more  Add a comment

Books as artifacts
David Mason has been selling books, in different locations, since that first triumph half a century ago, and (full disclosure) I confess that I count myself among his contented customers, having bought from him more than my fair share of books. His just-published memoir, The Pope's Bookbinder (Biblioasis, 2013) is like the man: boisterous, endearing, and engagingly blunt. It is a book to delight that endangered species, the book collector, ever on the prowl for the elusive "must-have" title ... more  Add a comment

Residents rally to the rescue of elderly bookshop owner
This summer, Bart Clark and a determined squad of Cleburne residents have rallied to the rescue of "Mr. Bill", who was forced out of his ramshackle building in May by a lengthy list of city building, fire and health code violations ... more  Add a comment

'Uncle Tom's Cabin' Inspired By Fugitive Slave
A Clemson University professor is convinced that Harriet Beecher Stowe might not have written "Uncle Tom's Cabin" if it were not for a fugitive South Carolina slave she harbored for a night before starting the history-making novel ... more  Add a comment

Bodleian chiefs asked to return historic manuscripts
Ireland is calling for one of its oldest manuscripts to be handed back by Oxford University's Bodleian Library. Inscribed on vellum by monks at Innisfallen Abbey over a 300-year period, the Annals of Inisfallen document the history of Ireland between AD 433 and AD 1450 ... more  Add a comment

A bookworm's lament
For a brush with the unknown and a taste of real adventure, it is to the secondhand bookshop that we must turn ... more  Add a comment