Member Blogs > Tavistock Books

  • Thomas Dorr's Treasonous Stand for Voting Rights

    Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:26:44 Permalink
    The Rhode Island First Light Infantry Company was formed in 1818 as a state militia company based in Providence. Affiliated with the Second Regiment of the Rhode Island militia, it saw no active duty. Indeed, for the majority of its history the company’s activities were more like those of a social club than of a […] Read More
  • Charles Dickens the Copyright Confederate

    Thu, 13 Mar 2014 09:26:57 Permalink
    In 1854, Sigmund H Goetzel arrived in Mobile, Alabama and immediately got to work setting up a bookstore. A German immigrant who’d been naturalized as a US citizen, Goetzel was intent to establish himself as a prominent member of the city and a vital member of the publishing community. During the Civil War, Goetzel’s publishing […] Read More
  • A Collection of Confederate Literature

    Tue, 11 Mar 2014 04:11:17 Permalink
    On March 11, 1861, delegates from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas gathered in Montgomery, Alabama. Their purpose: to ratify the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. The document was–not unsurprisingly–similar to the US Constitution, even using some of the same language. But the Confederate Constitution gave the states much more autonomy […] Read More
  • Preserving Antiquarian Photographs and Photo Albums

    Fri, 07 Mar 2014 09:54:39 Permalink
    Collectors of rare and antiquarian books are well aware that they must take specific measures to preserve and protect their collections. Condition directly impacts value, but perhaps more importantly, condition dictates how intimately you can experience the items in your collection; items that have deteriorated cannot be handled and studied with the same freedom as […] Read More
  • Portrait of a Bluestocking: Hannah More

    Tue, 04 Mar 2014 02:36:59 Permalink
    Prolific author Hannah More made her way to the most prestigious literary circles of eighteenth-century England, establishing herself as a true Bluestocking. But she’s better known for her moralist writings. Hannah More was born on February 2, 1745. Her father, who’d been raised Presbyterian, had turned to the Church of England. He’d aspired to a […] Read More
  • L Frank Baum's Forgotten Foray into Theatre

    Thu, 27 Feb 2014 02:00:27 Permalink
    Though L Frank Baum is best known as the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the famed author had a rich and varied career. His accomplishments include trade magazines and newspapers, along with an oft-forgotten play based on his sequels to Wizard of Oz. Early Literary Aptitude Born on May 15, 1896, Lyman Frank […] Read More
  • The Ins and Outs of Collecting Serial Fiction for Children

    Tue, 25 Feb 2014 09:00:58 Permalink
    By the 1890′s, dime novels were all the rage. They sold millions of copies each year. Teens and young adults were hardly immune to the allure of the often sensational stories. An ambitious author, Edward Stratemeyer saw an opportunity in publishing inexpensive novels especially for children and young adults. Stratemeyer had been around the publishing […] Read More
  • A Brief History of Propaganda

    Thu, 20 Feb 2014 02:40:24 Permalink
    The term “propaganda” has come to have a negative connotation in much of the English-speaking world. But in some places, the word is neutral or even positive. Why this difference? The reasons can be traced through the word’s etymology and the way that this strategy of communication has evolved over the centuries. Roots in the […] Read More
  • The Magic Ring: A Forgotten Inspiration for JRR Tolkien

    Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:19:13 Permalink
    When The Magic Ring was published in 1813, it met with instant success. Its author, Friedrich Heinrich Karl Freiherr de la Motte Fouqué, has largely faded from popular awareness, remembered occasionally for Undine (1811). But JRR Tolkien owes an extraordinary debt to Fouqué for his portrayal of the One Ring and his pioneering work in […] Read More
  • 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
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