Friday, January 13, 2017

Antiquarian Book News

Bloomsbury Book Fair

The Bloomsbury Book Fair takes place this Sunday, 15th January, at the Royal National Hotel, London WC1H 0DG. Our first fair of 2017 sees a good selection of book dealers, alongside dealers in ephemera, maps, prints, bookbinders and more. As usual doors are open from 10am until 4pm, admission is still £2 until 12.30 and thereafter is free.

The fair continues to be the largest monthly book fair not only in London but the UK and attracts some of the country’s very best specialists in their field. Whether you are starting a collection or want to add to your collection, the Bloomsbury Book Fair is an essential event to visit.

For exhibitor list, and all other details visit the website, or phone Kim 01707 872140.
Forum Auctions

Forum Auctions kick off their 2017 campaign with an online-only sale on Thursday 12th January (starting at 1.00pm), offering 129 lots of books across a wide variety of subjects – travel, topography, architecture, English and continental works, sport, natural history, maps, children’s and illustrated.

All lots are on view at Forum's Queenstown Road offices from Monday 9th and their staff are ready to help if you need further information or images of any lots, and with registration for live bidding. Forum's system is simple and very user-friendly, so why not give it a go?
A Pacifist's Struggle

A. A. Milne struggled between pacifism and the horrors of a life ruled by Hitler. A letter written by him in which he outlines his growing struggle in the 1930s is to go on display for the first time at The Imperial War Museum to mark its centenary this year. This is the first exhibition the Museum has held which explores the anti-war movement.

Milne’s letter reflects the conflict felt by many pacifists who had experienced the horrors of the First World War and earnestly hoped “never again”. The curator, Matt Brosnan, said that Milne opposed war but increasingly saw Hitler and the Nazis as an evil that had to be met by force. In his letter, Milne declared himself a “practical pacifist”, writing: “I believe that war is a lesser evil than Hitlerism, I believe that Hitlerism must be killed before war can be killed.

Sent to the western front, he encountered the grim realities of the war, witnessing his best friend Ernest Pusch being blown to pieces as he was settling down for his tea. A few days later, Ernest’s brother Frederick was killed by a German sniper. Further horrors included an attack which led to the deaths of about 60 soldiers in Milne’s battalion and more than 100 wounded.

In 2013 it emerged that Milne was also recruited to a secret propaganda unit after he was invalided out of the front because of trench foot. Classified documents found in an old trunk show that he was part of the MI7b which, although shortlived, worked with writers to present a positive version of the war to those at home.

Milne was discharged from the army in 1919 and began his career as a children’s author, leading to the publication of Winnie the Pooh in 1926. He published his famous denunciation of war, Peace With Honour, in 1934, in which he wrote: “Because I want everybody to think (as I do) that war is poison, and not (as so many think) an over-strong, extremely unpleasant medicine.”

The Milne letter is among a number of rare items going on display for the IWM exhibition. There will also be First World War artworks Wire (1918) by Paul Nash and Paths of Glory (1917) by CRW Nevinson.
Two Kelmscott Chaucers Rehoused.

Two copies of the Kelmscott Chaucer have now found new academic homes. One, The Ward–Watkins–Slocum–Edison copy (Census 2.194), which sold at Christie’s on 7 December 2012, is now in the Thomas Fisher Rare book Library, University of Toronto, and was purchased from Peter Harrington.

The second, The Slater–Gribbel–Schimmel copy (Census 3.179), which was offered for sale by Heritage Bookshop in 2012, is now in the University of British Columbia Library, and was purchased for $202,000 after a two-year fund-raising effort.
Return to Owner

A copy of a 1913 German play which was originally owned by a Jewish art collector murdered by the Nazis has been handed back by the British Library. The play was part of Austrian Karl Maylander’s collection which was  stolen when he was deported to Poland in 1941, where he died. His descendants, now in the United States, struck a deal with a museum in Vienna last year for the return of two sketches by Austrian artist Egon Schiele that had originally belonged to him.

Anne Webber, who co-chairs the London-based Commission for Looted Art in Europe, said the return of the book, which is valued at around £20, would be worth much more to the family.
Anthony Burgess

A charity shop worker made an exciting discovery when she found a book worth £1,500 in a recycling bin. When sorting through the boxes she came across a first edition of A Clockwork Orange, which had been left to the local charity in a box of donations.
An auction house has now valued the Anthony Burgess cult classic, published in 1962, which was in pristine condition between
£1,000 and £1,500 and say it might even make more when it goes under the hammer in March

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