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

  • [+] More Women's Work: women in Economics, Politics and Philosophy | New blog from Peter Harrington 


    Women's Work: women in Economics, Politics and Philosophy | New blog from Peter Harrington
    By Rachel Chanter (Peter Harrington) Published since 01 Nov 2016
    The contribution of eminent male thinkers to intellectual and public life is well documented: we all know our Kant from our Keynes, our Wittgenstein from our Wilberforce. It’s no secret that women and women’s issues have historically been granted less space on the political, philosophical and economic stages, and this deficit is unfortunately reflected in publishing history.
  • [+] More Collecting - America's Gibson Girl: the Good Years 


    Collecting - America's Gibson Girl: the Good Years
    Published since 15 Dec 2015

    The period from 1900 to the First World War (what historian Walter Lord called “the good years” in America) was a rare time after plumbing and before the federal income tax was reintroduced, when Americans lived with confidence. Perhaps the epitome of that era was the Gibson Girl, an ideal of American feminism created by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson. She was beautiful, intelligent, sturdy and unruffled. She was created before the turn of the century and held sway for more than two decades.

  • [+] More Adventurous Ladies - Seven courageous women and their amazing travels. A new catalogue by Charlotte Du Rietz 


    Adventurous Ladies - Seven courageous women and their amazing travels. A new catalogue by Charlotte Du Rietz
    Published since 24 Nov 2015

    Explorette? Explorene? There is no English word for a female explorer, as far as I know, but there should be, as Charlotte du Rietz has proved so ably in her latest list. She has focused on seven renowned women, from the 18th to  the 20th century ...

  • [+] More Collecting French Philosophy - Simone de Beauvoir, Feminist and Philosopher 


    Collecting French Philosophy - Simone de Beauvoir, Feminist and Philosopher
    Published since 18 Nov 2015

    Simone-Lucie-Ernestine-Marie de Beauvoir is remembered as an eminent French philosopher, writer, and feminist. She is best known for her books, She Came to Stay (1943), The Second Sex (1949), and The Mandarins (1954). Beauvoir is also famous for her lifelong relationship with legendary dramatist Jean-Paul Sartre.

  • [+] More Rare Book Selling - a Man’s World? 


    Rare Book Selling - a Man’s World?
    Published since 19 Jan 2015

    “Women have less bite and competence”, are “prone to self-doubt” and “fear of losing their livelihood”. Women have a different time management system and “cannot handle large sums of money”. Women are part-time booksellers and specialise in children’s books, they “have a rich partner in the background”, or they work in the profession until “Mr. Right” comes along and marries them. Good old prejudices – they still exist ...

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Betty Smith 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Betty Smith
    Published since 05 Dec 2014

    December 15 is the birthday of writer Betty Smith (1896), whose first novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943), became an instant bestseller. The semi-autobiographical book chronicles the struggles of an Irish-American family in New York City in the early part of the 20th century. The title is a reference to the Tree of Heaven, an invasive species from China that is found on vacant lots in New York. Its struggles for survival are the central metaphor of the book.

  • [+] More How Elizabeth Gaskell Saved Charlotte Brontë's Reputation 


    How Elizabeth Gaskell Saved Charlotte Brontë's Reputation
    Published since 28 Nov 2014

    Brontë's 1847 novel, Jane Eyre, earned the ire of critics for its frank depiction of passion in a woman - a governess, no less. Brontë was maligned as "unwomanly" and "unchristian." Poet Matthew Arnold wrote, "Miss Brontë has written a hideous, undelightful, convulsed, constricted novel... one of the most utterly disagreeable books I've ever read." The Quarterly Review asserted that Jane Eyre revealed "tone of mind and thought which has overthrown authority and violated every code human and divine." The novel had its share of defenders as well, not the least of which was fellow novelist Elizabeth Gaskell.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Louisa May Alcott 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Louisa May Alcott
    Published since 15 Sep 2014

    Louisa May Alcott (1832) is best remembered for her novels Little Women (1868), Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886), a trilogy set in Concord, Massachusetts, in the late 19th century. The books were loosely based on Alcott's life with her three sisters. Alcott never set out to write a trilogy but the books are linked by characters who appear in all three.

  • [+] More In the Press - 9 Muses Who Inspired Incredible Literature 


    In the Press - 9 Muses Who Inspired Incredible Literature
    Published since 28 May 2014

    As there were nine muses in Ancient Greece, Sally O’Reilly portrays nine examples of notable literary muses throughout history for the Huffington Post: Dante fell in love with Beatrice Portinari; Aemilia Lanyer was Shakespeare’s “Dark Lady”; His unrequited love for Fanny Brawne drove John Keats to write some of his best poems; Charles Dickens was inspired by Nelly Ternan, Charles Baudelaire took his inspiration from Jeanne Duval; Zelda Sayre became F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife and muse; Vivienne and T.S. Eliot’s marriage was stormy and unhappy;  the troubles in Yeats’ life began when he met Maude Gonne; and Jack Kerouac's muse was one of the icons of the Beat Generation: Neal Cassady.

  • [+] More The Strange Suicide of an Early 20th C. Female Rare Book Binder 


    The Strange Suicide of an Early 20th C. Female Rare Book Binder
    Published since 12 Feb 2014

    On Sunday morning, December 29, 1913, at 11:30AM the body of Mary Effingham Chatfield, 42, an art bookbinder with work commissioned by many of New York's most eminent book collectors and private libraries, was discovered flung across a couch in her studio on the sixth floor of 400 W. 23d Street in Manhattan, NYC. She had been stabbed with a long, slender paper cutter with keen edge and point. On a nearby table a blood-splattered note was found with the cryptic accusation, "Mrs. Howard is to blame for this."

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