Sunday, September 16, 2007

Links & Reviews

- The week's must-read is Jill Lepore's excellent and provocative New Yorker review essay of Edward Larson's A Magnificent Catastrophe, a new book out on the election of 1800.

- From the NYTimes, an essay by David Oshinsky on gleanings from the "rejection files" at the Knopf archive at the University of Texas.

- Paul Collins points out his latest New Scientist article, which he calls "the most disturbing article I think I've ever written." "In perhaps the least-known American medical scandal of the 20th century, tens of thousands of woman in the 1920s through 1940s -- and the number might even reach into the 6 figures -- received X-ray radiation to their faces and arms" for the purpose of removing unwanted hair. "By 1970, US researchers were attributing over one-third of radiation-induced cancers in women to X-ray hair removal."

- The BBC covers a new bright-light technology that might allow scholars to 'read' unrolled scrolls or other works too fragile to open.

- BibliOdyssey sends roses, by Pierre-Joseph Redouté.

- Lew Jaffe's got a bookplate tale for us.

- Travis has more on the Transylvania thefts, pointing out that "masterminds" doesn't quite describe the thugs who carried out that heist. He also offers a brief update on the Jay Miller case; he suspects there's a plea deal in the works.

- Ed comments - aptly - on the latest effort to claim Shakespeare didn't write the plays.

- From The Scotsman, a celebration of the five-hundredth anniversary of printing in Scotland, and a column by Stuart Kelly on the recent flood at the National Library, "an accident that acts on the bibliophile part of my brain like salt on a slug."

- Michael at Book Patrol has some really neat images by Briony Morrow-Cribbs, and also offers a sneak peek at the design for Prague's National Library of the Czech Republic (which looks like something out of "SpongeBob Squarepants" to me).

- In The Guardian, Andrew Lycett draws on recently-available letters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to piece together a long-unclear "marital dilemma."

- Megan Marshall gives Linda Colley's The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh a quite-positive review in the NYTimes.