21
Feb

A Copy of Flamsteed’s Coelestial Atlas, owned by Caroline Herschel

Books in Museums

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Early 1729 reprint of John Flamsteed's Atlas Coelestis. This copy was owned by Caroline Herschel, one of the first great female astronomers. Caroline and her brother William were (failing) musicians who pursued their hobby of #astronomy. Using telescopes made by William, Herschel discovered her first comet in 1786 and went on to discover 8 in total. The siblings used Flamsteed's star catalogue but finding it too inaccurate, Caroline painstakingly expanded and revised it publishing the Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars in 1798. @The Turner Contemporary Museum, Margate, on loan from The Royal Astronomical Society. #bookstagram #rarebooks #sciencebooks #science #atlas #femalescientist #womeninscience #stars #heavens #celestial #booksofinstagram #books #margate #royalastronomicalsociety #bibliophile #booklover #booknerd

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21
Dec

Stunning dentelles

Fine Bindings

15
Nov

Rhinoceros from The Menageries: Quadrupeds

Engravings / Illustrations

15
Nov

Homer’s Iliad – William Pickering

Fine Bindings

15
Nov

Engraving from the Lusiads

Engravings / Illustrations

10
Nov

Hesketh Pearson’s Life of Oscar Wilde

Book Reviews

It was all going so well and then it fell apart. 📖

The Life of Oscar Wilde by Hesketh Pearson (1946)
Copies available here: https://tinyurl.com/y7vkjcu4

In the prologue Pearson relays George Bernard Shaw’s advice when he first proposed this biography: ‘Don’t’. For #Wilde was ‘incomparably great as a raconteur, conversationalist and personality; and those points cannot be reproduced.’ Pearson did, but whilst doing so kept Shaw’s warning in mind, painstakingly recreating what Wilde said, how he said it and how it was received; producing an irrepressibly witty and vivid portrait of the man.

Modern readers might fear that this portrait could be a little old-fashioned. And in some ways Pearson can be a little coy. Wilde’s homosexuality is stated and tentatively explored but many of the specifics are avoided. A modern biographer would surely delve deeper into Wilde’s romantic life. But this is a trifling matter and in fact Pearson’s proximity to his subject is the book’s great strength.

Being just one generation removed, Pearson entered into circles still reverberating from Wilde’s presence. Indeed, one of his first jobs was with Herbert Beerbohm Tree, who staged the first production of A Woman of no Importance. This lends an urgency to questions of who Wilde was and what he did and makes this such a compelling book, unravelling his tragedy out of necessity.

Pearson’s account is both sufficiently critical and sympathetic without being affectionate. Wilde’s behaviour and personality is assiduously researched and feels authentic. Although his unshakeable belief in Wilde’s physical prowess can be amusing. Pearson is adamant that, despite Wilde’s indolent and amiable nature, he could have dispatched both the Marquis of Queensbury and one of his thugs with ease. Still, as this biography makes clear Wilde was a singularly extraordinary man, so who knows?

Highly recommended.

10
Nov

Arthur Rackham’s Aesop’s Fables

Golden Age of Illustration / Illustrations

7
Nov

Edmund Dulac’s illustrations from Stories from the Arabian Nights

Golden Age of Illustration / Illustrations

See more here…

7
Nov

The Complete Works of Hogarth

Illustrations

6
Nov

Francis Bacon’s Essays

Fine Bindings

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An #artsandcrafts feel to this pleasant #leatherbinding of Francis Bacon's Essays. Bacon considered his essays something of a diversion but the first edition of 1597, containing only 10, was sufficiently popular to be expanded to 38 essays in 1612 and then again to 58 in 1625. It's not hard to see why. Bacon's essays are scholarly yet eminently readable. Topics range from revenge to prophecies to regimens of health and are blessed with an enduring turn of phrase. This 1900 edition by Arthur Humphreys is somewhat charming, see more here: http://www.aj-scruffles.co.uk/books/?b=001014 #books #rarebooks #bookstagram #antiques #antiquebooks #antiquarianbooks #booksofinstagram #booklover #booklovers #reading #bookish #bookaddict #bibliophile #igbooks #booknerd #francisbacon #philosophy #finebinding #leatherbooks

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