Member Blogs > Tavistock Books

  • A Look Back at Long-Lost Manuscripts

    Fri, 14 Feb 2014 09:09:26 Permalink
    On February 13, 1991, Sotheby’s made an incredible announcement: the auction house had Mark Twain’s long-lost manuscript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The manuscript bore edits in Twain’s own hand and had scenes not included in the published novel. The discovery and subsequent authentication sparked an argument over who had rights to the manuscript. […] Read More
  • The Rare Books of Valentine's Day

    Tue, 11 Feb 2014 03:46:39 Permalink
    Valentine’s Day is upon us. If this day of hearts, candy, and warm fuzzies isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you’re not alone! Here’s a look at our three best less-than-romantic rare books for the holiday. Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography and First Romance The title of this work is quite misleading; the events have no […] Read More
  • Jane Bigelow, the First Celebrity Stalker?

    Thu, 06 Feb 2014 09:07:27 Permalink
    When Charles Dickens arrived in Boston for the first time, he was greeted with incredible fanfare. He would fall in love with the city and be lured back there in 1867. By this time, Dickens had established himself as a preeminent author of the age, and he undertook a whirlwind reading tour. His fans’ adulation […] Read More
  • How the "Dickens Controversy" Changed American Publishing

    Tue, 04 Feb 2014 02:58:43 Permalink
    “Is it tolerable that besides being robbed and rifled, an author should be forced to appear in any form – in any vulgar dress – in any atrocious company – that he should have no choice of his audience – no controul [sic?] over his distorted text – and that he should be compelled to […] Read More
  • Collecting Antiquarian Diaries, Journals, and Correspondence

    Thu, 30 Jan 2014 02:03:40 Permalink
    In this age of electronic communication, the practice of keeping a journal or diary has largely fallen by the wayside, as has the art of letter writing. But in past centuries, keeping a diary was the only means of creating a written record of one’s life, the only way to look back at one’s personal […] Read More
  • Randolph Caldecott, Legend of Children's Literature

    Tue, 28 Jan 2014 02:33:42 Permalink
    Yesterday the winners of this year’s Newbery and Caldecott Awards were announced. The latter was named for Randolph Caldecott, an accomplished painter and sculptor whose various attainments are often eclipsed by his brilliant carer as an illustrator. Along with figures like Kate Greenaway and Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott was truly one of the most gifted […] Read More
  • Famous Figures in Nursing (Part Two)

    Wed, 22 Jan 2014 09:40:27 Permalink
    The history of nursing is filled with illustrious figures like Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton. But there are plenty of women whose contributions to this noble vocation are overlooked. Elizabeth Fry A Quaker and Christian philanthropist, Elizabeth Fry came to be known as the “angel of prisons.” At eighteen years old, Fry was moved by […] Read More
  • Famous Figures in the History of Nursing (Part Two)

    Wed, 22 Jan 2014 09:40:27 Permalink
    The history of nursing is filled with illustrious figures like Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton. But there are plenty of women whose contributions to this noble vocation are overlooked. Elizabeth Fry A Quaker and Christian philanthropist, Elizabeth Fry came to be known as the “angel of prisons.” At eighteen years old, Fry was moved by […] Read More
  • AA Milne: Legendary Children's Author and Ambivalent Pacifist

    Thu, 16 Jan 2014 02:37:55 Permalink
    Alan Alexander Milne came to regret that his beloved Winnie-the-Pooh series overshadowed his other works. Yet some of his most interesting pieces were never even attributed to him. An outspoken pacifist during World War I, Milne secretly served in Britain’s M17b unit, writing pro-war propaganda. But by World War II, Milne’s views on war had […] Read More
  • Irwin and Erastus Beadle, Innovators in Publishing Popular Literature

    Tue, 14 Jan 2014 12:34:49 Permalink
    Toward the middle of the nineteenth century, the story papers started giving way to a new publication format: the dime novel. Though a number of American publishers capitalized on the trend, Irwin and Erastus Beadle were likely the most successful. The fruits of their publishing company include numerous series, constituting a unique category of collecting. […] Read More
  • Fra Paolo Sarpi, Scholar, Priest, and Heretic

    Thu, 09 Jan 2014 09:37:15 Permalink
    The Counter-Reformation began with the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and lasted a full century, until the close of the Thirty Years’ War (1648). The movement sparked conflict all over Europe, challenging the very foundations of people’s daily lives. As nationalism fermented, states like Venice began to assert their autonomy–and the Catholic Church often took drastic […] Read More
  • Three Pioneering Authors Who Used Pseudonyms

    Tue, 07 Jan 2014 04:19:53 Permalink
    In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In Numerous authors have taken that sentiment to heart, choosing to publish under pseudonyms for a host of reasons. Charles Dickens famously wrote as “Boz,” and Samuel Clemens is better known as Mark Twain. Here’s a look at […] Read More
  • Of Sammelbands and Sheet Music

    Thu, 02 Jan 2014 04:23:19 Permalink
    Music has always played a powerful role in cultures around the world. Now sheet music provides a glimpse at people’s daily lives and illustrates changes in fashion, dress, and even behavioral expectations. Collecting sheet music isn’t just for music lovers; it’s an engaging pursuit that frequently intersects with history and literature. The first music to […] Read More
  • Looking Back at 2013, and Looking Forward to 2014!

    Tue, 31 Dec 2013 09:18:22 Permalink
    This year has been a terrific one here at Tavistock Books, and we have you to thank for that! We appreciate your being a part of our community, and we look forward to building that community with you in the coming year. To that end, here’s a look back at the ten most popular blog articles […] Read More
  • Irving and Dickens: The Authors Who Saved Christmas

    Wed, 18 Dec 2013 10:28:13 Permalink
    When Clement Clarke Moore published “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” anonymously on December 23, 1823 in the Troy Sentinel, he couldn’t have known that it would become an international phenomenon. But the poem not only gave names to Santa’s eight reindeer. The illustrations of the poem’s reprints significantly impacted our perception of Santa Claus. Caricaturist […] Read More
  • Announcing 100 for $100 (or Less!)

    Wed, 11 Dec 2013 07:36:36 Permalink
    The holidays are just around the corner. Santa is filling his bag, polishing his sleigh, and ensuring the reindeer are getting plenty of cardio in advance of the big night, December 24th. And perhaps that ‘big gift’ for your loved one(s) is already secreted away in the closet or a drawer, but stocking stuffers, accompaniments […] Read More
  • Edith Cavell, Nurse, Humanitarian, and Traitor?

    Wed, 04 Dec 2013 03:31:32 Permalink
    It’s not unheard of for nurses to serve in extraordinary ways, but Edith Cavell went far beyond her nursing duties during World War I. The British nurse and patriot was executed for treason during World War I. Both the British and American governments would propagandize her death to bolster support for the Allied cause. Cavell […] Read More
  • Why Did Charles Dickens Write Ghost Stories for Christmas?

    Tue, 26 Nov 2013 01:00:49 Permalink
    Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has become a beloved part of the literary canon–and for many an indispensable part of the holiday season. The story embodies the goodwill associated with the Christmas season–and it has the Victorians’ favorite elements of a good Christmas story: ghosts. Dickens wrote other Christmas tales that also incorporated phantoms and […] Read More
  • Why Did Charles Dickens Write Ghost Stories for Christmas?

    Mon, 25 Nov 2013 01:00:49 Permalink
    Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has become a beloved part of the literary canon–and for many an indispensable part of the holiday season. The story embodies the goodwill associated with the Christmas season–and it has the Victorians’ favorite elements of a good Christmas story: ghosts. Dickens wrote other Christmas tales that also incorporated phantoms and […] Read More
  • Famous Figures in Nursing (Part One)

    Thu, 21 Nov 2013 08:20:49 Permalink
    We all know Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton are major figures in the history of nursing, but they were certainly not the only women in the history of nursing who made an important mark. During the Civil War, a number of important historical figures turned their attention to nursing. Today we’ll look at Louisa May […] Read More
  • Charles Dickens Does Boston

    Wed, 13 Nov 2013 03:43:27 Permalink
    We’re ready for a cross-country voyage to Boston for the 36th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend! Boston is a city steeped in literary tradition, and it was the first city in the New World to emerge as an enclave of authors and publishers. It’s no wonder that Charles Dickens chose it as […] Read More
  • The Rare Books of Boston

    Wed, 06 Nov 2013 02:20:19 Permalink
    November 15, 2013 kicks off the 36th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair! The city has played a vital role in America’s history, and in the history of the book. Here’s a look at some items in our collection that tie in with Boston’s rich past. Red Sox Memorabilia Few sports fans are more loyal […] Read More
  • Wed, 30 Oct 2013 11:36:02 Permalink
    Edgar Allan Poe was the first American writer to earn a living completely by his pen–though that living wasn’t always enough to live on. The legendary author redefined the genre of horror and is rightly called the father of the modern detective novel. But these legacies are the result of a more visceral one: Poe’s […] Read More
  • Edgar Allan Poe: Creator of Enduring Terror and Literary Masterpieces

    Wed, 30 Oct 2013 11:36:02 Permalink
    Edgar Allan Poe was the first American writer to earn a living completely by his pen–though that living wasn’t always enough to live on. The legendary author redefined the genre of horror and is rightly called the father of the modern detective novel. But these legacies are the result of a more visceral one: Poe’s […] Read More
  • Flights of Fancy: Collecting Vintage Airline Posters

    Wed, 23 Oct 2013 04:02:58 Permalink
    Summer is long gone, and with it have gone the days of leisurely summer vacations. But collectors can recapture these moments and explore the history of aviation with vintage airline travel posters. The earliest aviation posters, which date to the mid nineteenth century, did not advertise air travel, but the exploits of hot air balloonists. […] Read More
  • Oscar Wilde, Dickens Detractor and "Inventor" of Aubrey Beardsley

    Wed, 16 Oct 2013 04:13:52 Permalink
    “I’ll be a poet, a writer, a dramatist. Somehow or other I’l be famous, and if not famous, I’ll be infamous.” –Oscar Wilde Born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Ireland, Oscar Wilde is perhaps remembered more for his sparkling wit, larger-than-life personality, and historic trial than for his literary achievements. But the author made Read More
  • Maurice Boutet de Monvel and His Ingenius 'Jeanne d'Arc'

    Thu, 10 Oct 2013 03:49:43 Permalink
    Born into a “family of gilt-edged artists,” it’s no wonder that Maurice Boutet de Monvel eventually established himself as a premier portrait painter and watercolorist. When the artist turned his attention to illustrating children’s books to support his family, his illustrations were magnificent enough that he’s considered one of the great figures of the Golden Read More
  • The Literature of Nobel Laureates

    Tue, 08 Oct 2013 08:42:36 Permalink
    This week the winners of the 2013 Nobel Prizes are announced! Since the prizes were first awarded in 1901, they’ve recognized the best minds in science and literature. Nobel laureates are historically a prolific bunch, leaving us a rich chronicle of their contributions. Argon, a New Constituent of the Atmosphere (1896) John William Strutt, Lord Read More
  • Chapbooks: Short Books with Long History

    Wed, 02 Oct 2013 09:14:05 Permalink
    Scholars debate over the etymology of the term “chapbook.” Some argue that “chap” is derived from “cheap,” surely an accurate description of chapbooks, since they were indeed cheap little publications. But the more widely accepted explanation is that “chap” comes from the Old English “cap,” meaning “barter” or “deal.” Peddlers came to be known as Read More
  • Chapbooks: A [Short] List for September

    Sat, 28 Sep 2013 03:17:19 Permalink
    Chapbooks. A meanly produced publishing phenomena, Carter & Barker, in the 8thABC, describe them thusly: “Small pamphlets of popular, sensational, juvenile, moral or educational character, originally distributed by chapmen or hawkers, not by booksellers.” If one dips into Neuberg’sCHAPBOOKBIBLIOGRAPHY, we find this genre had “by 1700, [become] an important part of the [chapman's] stock-in-trade … Read More
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