Sunday, April 12, 2009

Links & Reviews

- In the Boston Herald, a really intriguing glimpse into the infamous Gardner Museum Heist, examining the strange actions of one of the two young guards on duty that night.

- Biographer T. J. Stiles wrote this week and pointed out some interesting discoveries he made when researching his new book (The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt). Among them were some very questionable conclusions drawn by a previous Vanderbilt biographer (Edward Renehan, who we know here as a document thief).

- In the WSJ, Peter Manseau has an essay on the Shroud of Turin and other holy relics, following the release this week of a report from Rome which reveals a document explaining the Shroud's whereabouts from 1204-1353 (it was being kept safe by the Knights Templar). A new documentary on the Shroud is set to air on the Discovery Channel in the UK today, and the Shroud itself is set for a new public exhibition next year. While studying accounts of the Templar trials in the Vatican Secret Archives, Barbara Frale found the testimony of Arnaut Sabbatier, who said that as part of his initiation into the Templars, he was taken to a secret location and shown "a long linen cloth on which was impressed the figure of a man." Frale is the same researcher who in 2003 discovered the Chinon Manuscript, the record of the Templar Trials published in 2007 as Processos contra Templarios. Frale's find casts into (further) doubt the 1988 carbon-dating tests which indicated the Shroud was created in between 1260-1390.

- The new visitor center at Monticello officially opens on 15 April, so there are a few profiles and review: Edward Rothstein for the NYT, Michael Kranish for the Globe. Rothstein adds Jefferson's 'vacation home' of Poplar Forest to his visit.

- Caleb Crain, one of the most thoughtful writers on the Google Book Settlement out there, posted the letter of objection he sent to the court charged with overseeing the settlement this week.

- From the Oxford DNB, Richard Steele's biography, made available this week to mark the 300th anniversary of the release of the first issue of The Tatler (12 April 1709).

- Much hoopla this week about the impending launch of the World Digital Library (21 April).


- In the TLS, Biancamaria Fontana reviews Caroline Moorhead's Dancing to the Precipice: Lucie de la Tour du Pin and the French Revolution.

- McSweeneys 29 is reviewed by Nicholas Blincoe in the Independent.

- In the NYT, Miranda Seymour reviews Andrea Wulf's The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire, and the Birth of an Obsession.

- Another joint review of Drood and The Last Dickens, this one by Jake Kerridge in the Telegraph.

1 comment:

PrivateLibrary said...

The advent of the World Digital Library makes me want to sit down and lovingly peruse one of my handprinted, handbound fine press titles!