Sunday, February 01, 2009

Links & Reviews

- In the Globe this morning, a rundown of the dire straits faced by Boston-based publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as textbook sales plummet.

- Ed's got the latest roundup of Poe War coverage, and notes that he'll be appearing on 3 February at Lehigh University to read "The Raven" alongside Lehigh's elephant folio version of Audubon's raven.

- Today's Raymond Scott news: he tells The Sun that he may follow Oscar Wilde's example when he goes to court this month and stay completely silent: "Maybe on this occasion I will learn a lesson from history. I have absolutely nothing to hide. I know I am entirely innocent of both charges. But much though I’d like the chance to protest my innocence, I might just stay silent." Somehow I don't see that happening.

- An update to the Pennsylvania replevin case first reported here back in October: state court judge Dan Pellegrini has ruled that the dispute, between antiques dealer Edward Marshall and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, must go to trial. Both parties had requested an immediate ruling from the judge, but Pellegrini said that the state must prove its claim (that a prison record book now owned by Marshall was stolen).

- Via Joyce and others, news that Chronicle Books will be releasing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a "re-telling" of Jane Austen's story by Seth Grahame-Smith.

- From BibliOdyssey, eclipse images from Cyprian Leowitz's Eclipses luminarium summa fide et accurata diligentia supputatae, ac figuris coloribusque suis artificiose depictae, quarum rationes ab anno domini 1554. usque in annum domini 1600. se extendunt et ad meridianum Viennae Austriae referuntur ("Accurate coloured depictions of solar and lunar eclipses covering the years 1554 to 1600 with Vienna, Austria as the point of reference").

- Forbes profiles Arthur Schwarz, whose collection of materials related to Henry VIII will go on exhibit at the Grolier Club in March as "Vivat Rex! Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Accession of Henry VIII." The show will run at the Grolier Club until May, and will be displayed at the Folger Library next year. [Edited to add: as Mr. Schwarz mentions in comments, many of the items in the exhibit are from the "collections of the Folger, Houghton, and Morgan Libraries, plus five additional lenders."]

- Tim rolled out some new LT features this week, including the ability to add books via Twitter, and a new "Dead or Alive" meme, which prompted a marked upswing (to put it mildly) of Common Knowledge contributions.

- At PBS' Mediashift, Bryan Murley writes on how the economic downturn has begun to affect college newspapers. [h/t]

- MIT recently received 37 prints from Audubon's Quadrupeds, and they're on display through through 19 February in MIT's Maihaugen Gallery.

- Mike Widener writes on the Yale Law Library blog about the "rest of the story" behind an 1830 edition of Blackstone the library received by donation last fall.

- Paul Collins found a very amusing trick bass viol lurking among the patent files.

- Patricia Cohen writes in today's NYTimes on a growing brouhaha over the transcripts of Nixon tapes as published in Stanley Kutler's 1997 book Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes. A group of authors and historians led by Peter Klingman have submitted a paper to the American Historical Review charging that Kutler selectively edited the transcriptions to indicate a more-benevolent-then-warranted role for John Dean. Kutler says that any mistakes made were accidental.


- In the Boston Globe, Richard Eder reviews Marjorie Garber's Shakespeare and Modern Culture, which he describes as "not preaching so much as pirouetting to the academic choir."

- Desmond and Moore's Darwin's Sacred Cause and Adam Gopnik's Angels and Ages are reviewed by Christopher Benfey in the NYTimes.

- Michael Dirda reviews Kitty Burns Florey's Script and Scribble in the WaPo.

- Leah Price reviews the two new Samuel Johnson bios (by Martin and Meyers) for the NYTimes. She concludes: "Johnson said of Paradise Lost that 'none ever wished it longer,' and the same could be said of both biographies."

- Marilyn Stasio reviews Lepore and Kamensky's Blindspot in the NYTimes. She liked it rather more than I did.