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

  • [+] More Tracing Copenhagen's literary heritage 


    Tracing Copenhagen's literary heritage
    Published since 24 Aug 2017
    Copenhagen will host the 2017 Presidents' Meeting of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. Presidents from 22 national associations gather at these annual meetings and besides the formal meetings, get a chance to see some of the city's bibliophile treasures and cultural highlights. 
    Below is a list of some of the less known places anyone who is interested in literature, books in general and Denmark's history should explore.
  • [+] More Collecting - The Loneliness of T.H. White, the Man Who Wrote of Kings 


    Collecting - The Loneliness of T.H. White, the Man Who Wrote of Kings
    Published since 03 Jun 2016

    T.H. White is the man best known for writing the King Arthur books; the ones about the young boy who pulls a sword from a stone and creates Camelot with his wizard mentor Merlin. These stories are beloved, retold, and have been reinvented as animated films and full scale musicals, even defining the time in America before the assassination of President Kennedy. Camelot, it seems, is a perfect place, one where there is no trouble, life is easy, and love is pure. White’s life, however, bore no resemblance to such a place, and his battle with alcohol, emotion, and his own natural tendencies influenced his work and led him to live a truly lonely yet remarkable life.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Writers of the Spanish Civil War 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Writers of the Spanish Civil War
    Published since 28 Sep 2015

    Between the World Wars, a “little world war,” as Time Magazine described it, took place from 1936-1939. The Spanish Civil War pitted the Republicans, backed by international leftist allies, against the Nationalists and soon-to-be-tyrant General Francisco Franco. You might know a little bit about the history of the Spanish Civil War and its significance in Europe. Both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany supported the dictator, turning the relatively localized war into a prescient event for the megalomania and political atrocities that have come to define World War II. As the Associated Press described it, the “conflict became a battlefield of ideologies . . . fascism against elected socialists and communists.” How much do you know about the novelists and poets who not only depicted battles through language, but also fought alongside the Republicans in various regions of the country? From Pablo Neruda to Ernest Hemingway to George Orwell, let’s take a relatively quick guided tour through the literary history of the brutal war in Spain.

  • [+] More Collecting History - Two Hundred Years On, Napoleon Is Still Much More Interesting than Arthur Wellesley 


    Collecting History - Two Hundred Years On, Napoleon Is Still Much More Interesting than Arthur Wellesley
    Published since 23 Jul 2015

    Despite astonishing and terrifying the world with his lightning manoeuvres and remorseless expenditure of human lives, Napoleon and Republican France were ultimately crushed. Exhausted by constant total warfare rather than strategically defeated on the battlefield, Napoleon left France economically ravished and decisively toppled from its position as the most powerful European nation. Thus this final battle, Waterloo, is rightly regarded as one of the most pivotal moments in Modern British history, ushering in a century of rapid economic and colonial expansion, and global naval domination. It is perhaps no coincidence then that our recent post-colonial age has seen these wars and their principle players romanticised by novelists such as Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O’Brian, C. S. Forester, and Douglas Reeman. These patriotic pseudo-historical accounts, often based on extensive research, present the British armed forces at their best – fighting as heroic under-dogs for the last time while saving the rest of Europe from French Republican autocracy. Cornwell’s creation, the Richard Sharpe series, is perhaps the most interesting of these, since the eponymous protagonist manages to be present not only at most of the important battles of the Peninsula War in Portugal and Spain, but also at the Siege of Copenhagen, the naval battle of Trafalgar, and of course the coup de grace, Waterloo.

  • [+] More How James Boswell Revolutionized Copyright Law 


    How James Boswell Revolutionized Copyright Law
    Published since 29 Oct 2014

    Born on October 29, 1740 James Boswell is best remembered for his momentous Life of Johnson. Often regarded as the most important biography written in the English language, Boswell's masterpiece is certainly an incredible contribution to the world of literature and books. But during his own lifetime, Boswell was much better known for another contribution: his role in the establishment of new copyright law for the United Kingdom.

  • [+] More A Brief History of Propaganda 


    A Brief History of Propaganda
    Published since 21 Feb 2014

    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.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Byron in Russia. Washington Irving in Germany 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Byron in Russia. Washington Irving in Germany
    Published since 20 Nov 2013

    Washington Irving’s name and fame reached Germany suddenly when in 1819–20 The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. was published in England and America.  Diedrich Knickerbocker’s History of New York (1809), which had appeared ten years earlier and had established Irving’s reputation as a writer, held no appeal for Europe.  Its native satire and its mockery of American politics were incomprehensible to those not intimately acquainted with New York life and its political scene.  But when British journals began to praise this first American man of letters and reprinted authorized or pirated sections from The Sketch Book, German papers and periodicals promptly translated these extracts.  Editions in book form quickly followed, and the reception was enthusiastic.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Inflammatory Swedish History Angered Danes 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Inflammatory Swedish History Angered Danes
    Published since 07 Nov 2013

    Johannes Magnus, Sweden’s last Catholic archbishop, got caught up in the politics of the Reformation but escaped to Italy, where he found time to write a book about the history of the Scandinavian people. Some scholars, Danes in particular, don’t think much of Magnus’ history, though. Magnus was decidedly a Swedish nationalist and didn’t treat the Danish people very kindly in his book. In fact, he suggested that Danes were actually descendants of Swedish criminals who were exiled south of Sweden. His book, Gothorum Sueonumque Historia, ex probatis Anriquorum Monumentis Colleta, & in xxiiij. libros redacta, naturally sparked loud Danish protests, and spate of Danish books refuting Magnus’ conclusions.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Happy Birthday, Gun Maker Samuel Colt 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Happy Birthday, Gun Maker Samuel Colt
    Published since 22 Jul 2013

    July 19th is the birthday of inventor Samuel Colt (1814), who is remembered for the revolver that bears his name. Colt didn't invent the revolver but his designs greatly improved it and his assembly line manufacturing system made mass production of the sidearms practical.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Blood and Laughter 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Blood and Laughter
    Published since 11 Jun 2013

    For a few brief months the journals spoke with the great and unprecedented rage that neither arrest not exile could silence.  At first their approach was oblique, their allusions veiled, and they fell victim to the censor’s pencil.  But people had suffered censorship for too long.  Satirists constantly expanded their targets of attack, demolishing one obstacle after another as they went, thriving on censorship.

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