Sunday, December 06, 2015

Links & Reviews

Attention this week mostly went to the Pirie sale at Sotheby's, which certainly seemed from my Twitter feed to be the most tweeted-about book auction in recent memory. It was great to see so much interest from around the bibliosphere for this important auction. The total as reported by Sotheby's is $14,908,379, though that does not include after-sale purchases.

- Just hours after the sale, the Folger Shakespeare Library posted a list of their acquisitions: thirty on the floor and another eighteen later.

- The National Library of Ireland was the high bidder on a manuscript and subsequent typescript of Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock, which made $187,500.

- For once, two pieces of good news about the Boston Public Library: the rare books department has reopened following a mold cleanup, and a map stolen by E. Forbes Smiley (but not one of those he admitted to) was returned to the library after being identified by the BPL's map curator. This raises yet more questions about just how forthcoming Smiley really was and how many more maps he stole are still out there.

- The Boston Globe has a long report on the ongoing debate over the so-called "Gospel of Jesus's Wife."

- December's Rare Book Monthly is out, with a report on the recent Boston fairs by Bruce McKinney, a look ahead at this week's Bergé sale, and a piece by Michael Stillman on Richard Stanley Haugh.

- On the Perne & Ward Libraries blog, Ann Eljenholm Nichols posts about the "Cambridge Fish Scribe," who "consistently 'signed' his work by drawing a fish around the catchword(s) written on the last folio of each quire."

- Eve Kahn reports for the NYTimes on Yale's purchase of the Ege collection of manuscripts and fragments.

- Kent-based bookseller Michael Kemp is selling his large collection of works by Mervyn Peake.

- In the November/December issue of Humanities, Richard Brodhead writes about the origins of the NEH and a way forward for the humanities in "On the Fate and Fortunes of Public Goods."

- Duke archivist Tracy Jackson writes about the very amusing collection of material from the Perkins Library suggestion book from the early 1980s.

- James Everest writes for the Royal Society's Repository blog about Robert Hooke's book collection and how he and other early Royal Society members dealt with the works of Athanasius Kircher.

- Jennifer Schuessler reported for the NYTimes about the (re)discovery of a first state King James Bible at Drew University.

- For fans of M.R. James, there's a BBC radio play, "The Midnight House," available now that bears a strong connection to James' story "The Mezzotint" in some respects. And five James stories are also available now for your listening pleasure.


- Taschen's new The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic and the Morgan Library's Graphic Passion; review by Peter Mendelsund in the NYTimes.

- Flora Fraser's The Washingtons; review by Annette Gordon-Reed in the NYTimes.

- Jon Meacham's Destiny and Power; review by Steve Donoghue in the CSM.

- Harold Holzer and Norton Garfinkle's A Just and Generous Nation; review by Howell Raines in the WaPo.

- Antonia Fraser's The Pleasure of Reading, Rebecca Rego Barry's Rare Books Uncovered, and Robert Calasso's The Art of the Publisher; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo. Rare Books Uncovered is also reviewed by Pradeep Sebastian in The Hindu.

- The Meaning of the Library, edited by Alice Crawford; review by Alberto Manguel in the TLS.

- Umberto Eco's Numero Zero; review by Terry Eagleton in the TLS.

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