Sunday, September 21, 2008

Links & Reviews

- The FBI has recovered the second book stolen from the Hayes Library, according to media reports. Word now is that the Freeman Code was found in Texas, not in England as originally thought (although authorities aren't saying how it got there). Also from these reports we learn that the Maxwell Code, the other item stolen from the library, was defaced by the thieves: the title page containing Hayes' signature was torn off and has not been found.

- Much more information is emerging about the much-disputed plan to sell off books in the collections of the Cardiff Library. One of the opponents, Andrew Prescott, has a lengthy blog post on the topic, and Ian Gadd passed along some relevant URLs to the SHARP list (see here, here, here and here). Sounds like a real mess to me.

- Ed notes the latest volley in the Poe Wars, fired by Baltimore's ABC affiliate.

- A lawsuit brought by several groups, including the American Historical Association and Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, has resulted in a finding [PDF] that the Vice President is, in fact, part of the executive branch and that his office, the EOP, and the National Archives must "preserve throughout the pendency of this litigation all documentary material, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof created or received by the Vice President, his staff, or a unit or individual of the Office of the Vice President whose function is to advise and assist the Vice President, in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the Vice President, without regard to any limiting definitions that Defendants may believe are appropriate." This is a good thing. More from Jeanne at Spellbound Blog, and the NYTimes.

- Laura is off on her trip to London for her book history course, which sounds tremendously exciting. Before she gets there, though, she's visiting Ireland, and offers some wonderful pictures from Cahersiveen. I know we all look forward to reading more dispatches from across the pond.

- The Guardian's Poem of the Week is William Blake's "Mock on, Mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau."


- Patricia Cohen reviews Annette Gordon-Reed's The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family in the NYTimes. The same book is reviewed by Edmund and Marie Morgan in the new NYRB and also by Jill Lepore in the New Yorker.

- In the Times, Peter Ackroyd reviews two recent books on magic in England: Steve Roud's London Lore and Alec Ryrie's The Sorcerer's Tale.