Member Blogs > Tavistock Books

  • 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
  • The Benefits of Bibliography

    Wed, 14 Aug 2013 09:55:52 Permalink
    For new collectors, the idea of “books on books” may seem like a strange one. However, within this genre of books lies one specific category known as bibliographies, which are an incredible resource for collectors of virtually all levels and interests. Using a bibliography to direct your collecting efforts is an excellent way to eliminate Read More
  • A Brief History of True Crime Literature

    Wed, 07 Aug 2013 03:44:35 Permalink
    True crime literature is unique because, in the words of Joyce Carol Oates, the genre has “always been enormously popular among readers…[and] appeals to the highly educated as well as the barely educated, to women and men equally.” The popularity of true crime literature extends to the rare book world. The literature of true crime Read More
  • Meet Dr. Erin Blake, Curator of Art & Special Collections at the Folger!

    Wed, 31 Jul 2013 10:45:32 Permalink
    This week we’re pleased to welcome our friend and colleague from Rare Book School, Dr. Erin Blake. Dr. Blake is the Curator of Art and Special Collections at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. She was kind enough to sit down with us to talk about her journey to the Folger and her evolving Read More
  • Are You Ready for the Pasadena Antiquarian Book Fair?

    Wed, 24 Jul 2013 11:54:51 Permalink
    Photo: Bustamante Shows On August 10 and 11, over 60 exhibitors will come together at the Pasadena Center for the 14th Annual Pasadena International Antiquarian Book, Print, Photo, and Paper Fair. Visitors will find a wide variety of antiquarian, rare and modern first edition books, prints, posters, vintage photographs, and a variety of unique ephemera. Read More
  • Astronomy, Astrology, Potato, Po-tah-to?

    Wed, 17 Jul 2013 08:18:52 Permalink
    Since the Neolithic age, humans have attempted to track lunar cycles and understand their relationship with natural phenomena like the changing tides. From these rudimentary attempts, the fields of astrology and astronomy were eventually born. The two disciplines evolved together, but our changing understanding of the universe has relegated astrology to the world of superstition Read More
  • Elias Samuel Cooper: Renowned and Controversial Surgeon

    Wed, 10 Jul 2013 04:31:05 Permalink
    The nineteenth century was a time of exploration and discovery in the field of medicine. One man who made significant contributions to the field in America was Elias Samuel Cooper, a surgeon whose aspirations stretched beyond building a successful private practice. Dr. Cooper founded the first medical college in San Francisco, where his techniques drew Read More
  • Rare Books in History: The Revolutionary War

    Wed, 03 Jul 2013 03:09:57 Permalink
    Tomorrow the United States celebrates Independence Day, the commemoration of the American colonies’ declaring their intention to gain independence from British rule. The New York Public Library has placed its copies of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights on display, and the widespread interest in these items illustrates the significant role that books Read More
  • Meet Art Conservator Extraordinaire, Karen Zukor!

    Wed, 26 Jun 2013 09:37:32 Permalink
    This week we welcome special guest Karen Zukor to our blog! Zukor is the senior conservator at Zukor Art Conservation. She’s been a professional paper conservator for more than thirty years and is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation. She’s been responsible for many collections, both public and private, trains both pre- and Read More
  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

    Wed, 19 Jun 2013 01:47:32 Permalink
    Summer is officially underway, and the season is synonymous with family vacation, road trips, and carefree adventures. Though the ways we travel have evolved over time, the thrill of the journey endures. Planes Since the beginning of time, humans have been obsessed with flight. At first, their attempts were based on the way birds flew. Read More
  • Caring for Your Rare and Antiquarian Maps

    Wed, 12 Jun 2013 12:57:03 Permalink
    Rare book collectors often encounter maps, which present special challenges because they’ve usually been folded (and unfolded and refolded again) as part of their original use. They also make wonderful display pieces, so collectors may have to consider preservation and conservation for maps as hanging art. Handling Antique Maps When the oils and salts on Read More
  • A Warm Welcome to Margueritte Peterson

    Thu, 06 Jun 2013 03:51:57 Permalink
    We’re thrilled to announce that Margueritte Peterson has joined the team at Tavistock Books! Margueritte lends a hand with cataloguing, answering customer inquiries, and many other functions. Margueritte graduated in 2012 from the University of Florida, where she majored in English Literature. Her specialization was children’s literature, and she completed her honors thesis on A Read More
  • The Two Endings of Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations'

    Tue, 04 Jun 2013 03:00:12 Permalink
    Surely Charles Dickens took many secrets to his grave, but one of those secrets didn’t last long. Dickens made a significant change to the ending of Great Expectations–and in the nick of time! He’d already sent his manuscript off to the publisher when he decided on the change. Dickens’ indecision means that collectors have a Read More
  • A Brief History of Broadsides

    Wed, 29 May 2013 09:15:46 Permalink
    “Broadsides are the most legitimate representatives of the most ephemeral literature, the least likely to escape destruction, and yet they are the most vivid exhibitors of the manners, arts, and daily life, of communities and nations. They imply a vast deal more than they literally express, and disclose visions of interior conditions of society, such Read More
  • Alexander Pope's Legacy of Satire and Scholarship

    Tue, 21 May 2013 08:21:41 Permalink
    On May 21, 1688 Alexander Pope was born to Alexander and Edith Pope. Despite all odds, Pope would blossom into a preeminent British poet of the eighteenth century. Pope left behind an ingenious translation of Homer’s Iliad, along with a robust body of poetry and criticism. Though history has not always been kind to Pope, Read More
  • The Man Behind the Beloved Freddy Series

    Wed, 15 May 2013 03:42:32 Permalink
    George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945) is synonymous with talking animals, but Orwell wasn’t the first to populate a novel with anti-establishmentarian, anthropomorphic animals. Walter R Brooks created the beloved Freddy the Pig and his friends on Bean Farm almost two decades earlier. Though Brooks’ Freddy books aren’t as overtly political as Orwell’s work, they do Read More
  • Rare Books a Mother Could Love

    Wed, 08 May 2013 04:47:27 Permalink
    This Sunday the United States celebrates Mothers Day, and many of us are still searching for the perfect gift ideas. If your mother has a predilection for rare books, choose the perfect volume for her personal library. Evoke Childhood Memories Classic children’s books give Mom an opportunity to reminisce about her youth–and to share a Read More
  • The Millerites and the Great Disappointment

    Wed, 01 May 2013 10:06:21 Permalink
    The Seventh-day Adventist Church rose from what most would consider an epic failure. William Miller predicted the return of Christ–inaccurately, and his followers broke into multiple sects, of which the Seventh-day Adventist Church was one. The literature and ephemera of the Millerite community offers a fascinating look at religion and spirituality in the mid-1800′s. A Read More
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