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.

December 2019

Rome anti-fascist bookshop will not reopen after fires
"We do not view this choice as a defeat: the work undertaken, of which we are very proud, in our two and a half years of being open, has set in motion new energies and new projects that will not be lost", the owners Danilo Ruggeri and Alessandra Artusi posted on a GoFundMe page which has accumulated donations of more than 17,000 Euros ... more  Add a comment

Evelyn Waugh letters shed light on his abandoned first novel
In correspondence going to auction this week, the writer describes how he burned a manuscript titled The Temple at Thatch ... more  Add a comment

Christie’s presents benefit auction Quentin Blake: Not in Books
After the resounding success of 2018's Quentin Blake: A Retrospective, Christie's is delighted to offer another collection of works from the artist's studio, sold to benefit two charities close to Sir Quentin Blake's heart: Greenpeace and Survival International. ... more  Add a comment

250-year-old Robert Burns songbook up for sale in Scotland
A rare 250-year-old first edition of a collection of Scots songs written mainly by Robert Burns has gone up for sale in Scotland after languishing in the stock of a defunct bookstore in the US ... more  Add a comment

Earliest known photographic record of Norfolk goes under the hammer
A rare collection of photographs of Victorian Norfolk is going under the hammer at Keys Auction House in Aylsham. The book, Norfolk Photographically Illustrated, was published in 1865 and is the earliest known photographic record of the region ... more  Add a comment

Elizabeth I revealed as the secret scribe of historic manuscript
A manuscript written by Queen Elizabeth I has been discovered after lying unnoticed for more than a century. A literary historian from the University of East Anglia made the startling find in Lambeth Palace Library in London ... more  Add a comment

Oddest book title prize
The Dirt Hole and Its Variations might be a serious guide to hunting and trapping foxes, coyotes, bobcats and raccoons, but the double entendre has helped it land the Diagram prize for the oddest book title of the year ... more  Add a comment

Research overturns consensus that Molière did not write his own plays
For at least a century, scholars have argued that the supposed lack of education of Molière, the French playwright responsible for seminal masterpieces including Tartuffe and Le Misanthrope, means he could not have written them. Now academics say they have resolved the controversy once and for all, using an algorithm to find that Molière – born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin in 1622 – was the author of all his plays ... more  Add a comment

Mozart childhood portrait sold for 4m Euros at Paris auction
A rare portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart aged 13 has fetched 4m Euros (£3.4m) at a Christie's auction in Paris - far more than had been expected ... more  Add a comment