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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Charles Dickens and the Impenitent Prostitute 

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Charles Dickens and the Impenitent Prostitute
    Published since 21 Aug 2014

    Charles Dickens, in many ways, stands for Victorianism; indeed it’s impossible to think of the era without him, and he defined the period in many ways. Yet we cannot assume that Dickens represents his contemporaries in all things. His own upbringing shaped his sense of social justice in ways that did not always reflect the common views of the era. One such topic on which Dickens thought differently than his contemporaries was that of prostitution. Dickens firmly believed that women could (and should want to) reform. Not everyone agreed - including a few women who were prostitutes themselves!

  • [+] More Covent-Garden Ladies - Harris's List & the Linen-Lifting Tribe 

    Covent-Garden Ladies - Harris's List & the Linen-Lifting Tribe
    Published since 14 May 2013

    It’s a common enough problem: you’re a young buck newly arrived in the big city, you’re eager to find a prostitute, but you don’t know where to start — you don’t want to be ripped off and you don’t want to come down with a disease. Enter Jack Harris, the “Pimp General of All England,” with his eminently useful reference book: a guide to London’s strumpets, their specialties, and their fees. Even though prostitution was illegal, both the author and the users would have taken comfort in the fact that there was no organized law enforcement to do anything about it.

  • [+] More Livres à lire d’une seule main - Aristotle’s Master-Piece 

    Livres à lire d’une seule main - Aristotle’s Master-Piece
    Published since 28 Nov 2012

    Probably the most notorious seventeenth-century sex manual bore the strange title Aristotle’s Masterpiece. This book bears a fake author’s name — the Greek philosopher had nothing to do with it — in order to give the work some measure of respectability. The ruse didn’t work; Aristotle’s Masterpiece was banned in Britain until the 1960s. But the prohibition didn’t keep it from circulating: it was one of the most notorious, and widely distributed, sex books in the English language.

  • [+] More The Longest Banned Book? 

    The Longest Banned Book?
    Published since 12 Aug 2011
    The Roman poet Ovid not only had his book, Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) banned, but he himself was banished from Rome for writing it in the year 8 CE. All of his works were burned by Savonarola in his infamous bonfire of the vanities  in 1497.  Christopher Marlowe translated it in 1599, and his translation was banned.  U.S. Customs banned it in 1930 - nearly two thousand years later. This makes it a candidate, if not the winner, of the dubious distinction of being the longest (in time) banned book.