Category Archives: Cross-cultural material

Rule, Britannia! In Russia.

I’ve written before about First World War material on this blog (such as here and here), but even though there is a lot on the market you still come across things you’ve never seen before. Published around 1914, these little … Continue reading

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A Russian choir in Victorian England

Dmitrii Agrenev-Slaviansky (1834–1908) was a Russian singer who founded a choir in 1868, and toured for many years around Europe and the USA.  According to one source, they gave more than 15,000 concerts over 40 years. This printed programme, from … Continue reading

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On the Road in Russia

‘The death of Stalin in 1953 brought about a gradual, partial relaxation of the terror that for decades had governed the attitudes of the Soviet populace, and particularly the intelligentsia.  At the height of the cold war, Soviet isolation from … 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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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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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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O say, can you see…?

The last few weeks have been busy preparing for the California Book Fair.  America has been in the news recently, of course, and so I am interested to see what people make of one item I shall be exhibiting next … Continue reading

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Donald: the mask’s thrown off

Sometimes, in the book world, there are wonderful coincidences; you can come across a book you’ve never heard of at precisely the right moment.  Take this, which I found just earlier this week: Published in about 1794, it was written … Continue reading

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