I hope you've all had lovely and restful holidays, filled with good books and good cheer. I'm back in Charlottesville now after a trip home upstate New York, and am spending the last days of 2013 tidying up and trying to close out the year on an organized note. Here are some end-of-year links and reviews for your enjoyment:
- Rachel Donado reported on the political aspects of the Girolamini thefts scandal in the NYTimes on 22 December, focusing on former Italian senator Marcello Dell'Utri.
- An American judge has ruled that Sherlock Holmes (or at least anything featured in any Holmes stories published prior to 1 January 1923) is no longer protected by U.S. copyright law. Read the full opinion.
- New in the "Bright Young Librarians" series, Colleen Theisen of the University of Iowa.
- To mark the centenary of A.N.L. Munby's birth (which occurred on 25 December), the Cambridge Incunabula Project blog noted some of the many donations of incunabula and other rare materials Munby donated to the Cambridge libraries during his lifetime.
- Photographic negatives from the 1914-17 Shackleton Antarctic expedition were recently found by a New Zealand team. See the photos.
- In The Guardian, writers comment on their favorite ghost stories.
- Art historians in China have concluded that a calligraphic scroll sold by Sotheby's as the work of Su Shi (1037-1101) is, rather, a 19th-century fake. The work sold for $8.2 million in September. Sotheby's says it stands by its attribution, but will investigate.
- Over on the Houghton blog, a look at the first book published in Antarctica, Aurora Australis.
- From October, but new to me (via Sarah Werner and John Overholt), from the MSU Provenance blog, "What Counts as Provenance Evidence?"
- William Shakespeare and Others: Collaborative Plays; review by Gary Taylor in the Washington Post.
- Kevin Peraino's Lincoln in the World; review by Stephen Budiansky in the Washington Post.
- William Seale's The Imperial Season; review by Fergus Bordewich in the WSJ.