Author Archives: Simon Beattie

‘Somewhat removed from the text of Shakespeare’

This was fun to catalogue.  Not only because it’s a triple bill (500 × 735 mm), but because it promotes an extravaganza at London’s Olympic Theatre in April 1853, the highlight of which was a Macbeth burlesque by Francis Talfourd (1828–1862). … Continue reading

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‘A refined image of disability’

The full caption reads: ‘ ‘This extraordinary young Man was born Dec.r 18. 1769, at Hook, in Hampshire, without Arms or Legs, as here delineated, occasioned as his Mother supposes by a Fright she suffered when pregnant with him.  Notwithstanding these … Continue reading

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A thick-skinned English journalist

Something else I shall have on my stand at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair next week is this, a curious Russian lithograph from the 1850s: It’s entitled ‘The editor of the English newspaper “The Times” and the Russian bootmaker’, … Continue reading

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French journals, personified

As I wrote last week, I am currently getting ready for the London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia.  Something else which will be on my stand is this, a large (445 × 537 mm) hand-coloured French lithograph.  I bought … Continue reading

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The Foundling Hospital Collection

I am currently getting ready for the London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia, at which I shall be exhibiting, among other things, some nice eighteenth-century English music, recently acquired. This is a copy of what’s known as the Foundling … Continue reading

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Many a slip

This is a copy of the first appearance in print of Il musico prattico, by the Maltese composer and theorist Francesco Az[z]opardi (1748–1809).  It was later ‘introduced as a textbook in Paris by Grétry: Cherubini based the 19th chapter of … Continue reading

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Self-ruin and Shakespeare, a novel

This is a book I’ve only had once before, and I was pleased to find it again.  It’s the first edition of a novel which appeared the following year in English translation, in both London and Dublin, as The Englishman’s Fortnight … Continue reading

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Transvestite circus performer turned novelist

One of the (almost daily) joys of working with old books is discovering something you never knew before.  With this book, a novel published in Berlin, 1862–3, it was a new author: Emil Mario Vacano.  Often cited in histories of … Continue reading

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A composer and his copyright

Here’s something else for the Edinburgh book fair: an interesting piece of music, published 1834/5, with local connections (and a fine lithographed title-page). Charles H. Purday (1799–1885) was a composer, writer, and lecturer on music, the youngest son of the … Continue reading

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For St Patrick’s Day

I may only have just returned from the New York Book Fair, but next week I’ll be off to Edinburgh.  This year is going to be a busy one.  One book I shall on my stand there is this: Published in … Continue reading

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