Member Blogs > Tavistock Books

  • 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
  • George Cruikshank: "Modern Hogarth," Teetotaler, and Philanderer

    Fri, 27 Sep 2013 03:17:09 Permalink
    On September 27, 1792, George Cruikshank was born in London. His father, Isaac, was a leading caricaturist of the 1790′s. Both George and his older brother, Isaac Robert would enter that profession as apprentices and assistants to their father. George Cruikshank would come to be known as a preeminent artist of his time, and as Read More
  • Our Own Bright Young Thing Reports from Sacramento

    Wed, 25 Sep 2013 09:36:01 Permalink
    LastMay 29thfound Margueritte Peterson, who hails from Ft Lauderdale FL, walking in the front door of 1503 Webster St, Alameda CA. She had accepted a position with my firm, Tavistock Books, as she had this desire to work in our quaint trade. In my opinion, the trade will most certainly benefit from this inclination of Read More
  • Samuel Johnson: Both Author and Subject of Innovative Biography

    Wed, 18 Sep 2013 12:31:51 Permalink
    September 18 marks the birthday of Samuel Johnson, legendary author, essayist, and lexicographer. Johnson is perhaps best known as the subject of James Boswell’s seminal Life of Johnson, the biography that ushered in a new era for the genre. But before Johnson merited his own biography (indeed, multiple biographies), he got his start by writing Read More
  • Eliza Haywood, Overlooked Authorial Pioneer

    Wed, 11 Sep 2013 03:36:44 Permalink
    Called both the “Great Arbitress of Passion” and insulted as “Juno of majestic size,” Eliza Haywood occupied a complicated place among her contemporaries. The incredibly prolific author wrote novels, plays, and pamphlets, and her writing incited controversy among her peers. Today scholars appreciate Haywood’s role as a feminist writer, and collectors can build an expansive Read More
  • Wed, 04 Sep 2013 12:57:58 Permalink
    Last month Tavistock Books’ fearless Girl Friday, Margueritte Peterson headed out to Colorado Springs to attend the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS). The week-long seminar is led by consummate experts in the field of rare and antiquarian bookselling, librarianship, and bibliography, making it an exceptional learning environment for booksellers, librarians, and collectors alike. Margueritte was Read More
  • A Post-CABS Report from Margueritte Peterson

    Wed, 04 Sep 2013 12:57:58 Permalink
    Last month Tavistock Books’ fearless Girl Friday, Margueritte Peterson headed out to Colorado Springs to attend the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS). The week-long seminar is led by consummate experts in the field of rare and antiquarian bookselling, librarianship, and bibliography, making it an exceptional learning environment for booksellers, librarians, and collectors alike. Margueritte was Read More
  • Rare Books about Baseball Are a Home Run!

    Wed, 28 Aug 2013 09:05:15 Permalink
    The first book devoted exclusively to the sport of baseball was The Base Ball Player’s Pocket Companion, published in Boston in 1859. Since then America’s love of baseball has continued to grow, establishing the sport as America’s pastime. Now baseball is also the most popular subject among collectors of rare books in sports. Because of Read More
  • A Post-RBS Report from Tavistock Books Scholarship Winner Travis Low

    Wed, 21 Aug 2013 03:26:44 Permalink
    This year Tavistock Books was pleased to offer a scholarship to Joel Silver’s excellent course, “Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books,” at Rare Book School (RBS). We found a worthy winner in Travis Low of Ken Sanders Rare Books. Travis started out as a shipping clerk and has taken advantage of numerous opportunities to expand Read More
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