Author Archives: Simon Beattie

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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The first English translation of Russian verse, or a literary forgery?

One rare item I shall have with me next week at the New York book fair is this: It’s a work I’d never heard of before: the first edition (there was also a reissue, with a cancel title-page, in 1816) … Continue reading

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The perils of emigration

Another month, another book fair.  In the past, New York book fair has taken place in April, but this year it’s moved to the beginning of March.  This has meant carefully selecting, even as far back as December last year, which … Continue reading

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