Bibliographica 2014: Colin Steele presents talk on the future of books

Thanks to Colin Steele for giving permission to reprint this article which first appeared in the Canberra Times (for which he is a frequent contributor). I found the article very interesting and hope you will enjoy it as well...

Article%20Lead%20 %20wide6327988211p04oimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.11ob2i.png1416281562765.jpg 620x349 Bibliographica 2014: Colin Steele presents talk on the future of books

Youth matters: The digital age presents challenges for publishers.

The Japanese word, tsundoku, is a play on the words tsumu, to pile up and doku, to read. The composite word captures the almost tsunami of issues piling up for books and  book collecting, which I'll be addressing in detail at Bibliographica 2014 at the National Library next week.

Can printed books survive the impact of current disruptive technologies, even though the sale of e-books is plateauing out in a number of countries? While tablet sales have now overtaken dedicated readers like Kindle, Amazon has recently introduced its Kindle Unlimited service which offers "unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just $9.99 a month".

Article%20Lead%20 %20wide6327988211p04nimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.11ob2i.png1416281562765.jpg 620x349 Bibliographica 2014: Colin Steele presents talk on the future of booksBook versus Kindle: Is it merely a matter of work-life balance?

Kindle Unlimited is almost a return to the British historical circulating libraries like Mudie's, which had 7.5 million books in its inventory at the end of the 19th century. Boots, in the 20th century, advertised access to "the finest library service in the kingdom for less than the price of a newspaper". The commercial medium may change, but the message remains, even centuries apart.

The medium of reading has certainly changed. We apparently read more than ever before, three times as much as we did in 1980, but what sort of reading is it? Has instant communication gratification, by the dip-in dip-out generation, led to a reduction in our capacity for sustained attention and thus deep or slow reading? According to a recent Mintel study, about a third of Britons had not bought a book in the past year: 34 per cent said they had no interest in reading, while 20 per cent blamed a lack of spare time.

Hugh Mackay recently reported that over 50 per cent of Australians felt they could not live without their mobile phones, while recent Ofcom research revealed that the average UK adult now spends more time using media or communications than they do sleeping. Judy Wajcman in her recent book, Pressed For Time. The Acceleration Of Life In Digital Capitalism reflects that technological innovation is supposed to save time and energy, but in fact, people have never felt more pressured.

There is still the need, however, for human interaction in an increasingly digital age. Thus, more people than ever are attending literary festivals where you can hear and meet your favourite author. There are now 354 literary festivals each year in Britain alone. In Australia, literary festivals, from Brisbane to Perth, have seen record attendances and book sales in 2014.

While men are the main book collectors, women are the main book readers. Women are also the main attendees at literary festivals. In that context, it was good to hear Julia Gillard at the National Portrait Gallery on November 10 say that she had rediscovered "the joy of reading for pleasure". Gillard mentioned that her current reading favourite was Hilary Mantel, although she refrained from making any cross-reference to the current government and that of Henry VIII.

While literary festivals usually attract an older demographic, younger readers flock to Comic Cons, which record large sales of graphic novels and comics, often linked to TV or film adaptations. Autograph signings by actors from popular TV series and films feature as a major part of these conventions. Autographs are often expensive, but buyers know their autographs are genuine, which is often a problem with eBay sales.

My purchase of a signed Ray Bradbury book in the late 1970s from a major Australian book dealer, proved not to be genuine, when I later checked the signature with Bradbury. So caveat emptor is always the motto. Buyers should also be aware that prices of signed first editions fluctuate almost as much as shares on the sharemarket. Nonetheless, the seller of a signed unread mint copy of the first edition of Richard Flanagan's recent Booker prizewinner would surely have been overjoyed in selling it through the ABE website for $1500.

Amassing a large physical book collection doesn't necessarily entail spending a large amount of money, but you do need the space to house it. Flats lend themselves more to paperbacks and e-books. Barry Humphries, a long-time noted book collector, can clearly afford to accommodate 30,000 books in London, while Nick Cave has been cited as having 100,000 books in his Brighton house. Other notable celebrity collectors include Bryan Ferry and Keith Richards, who apparently once contemplated a career as a librarian.

If you don't have the time to seek out your favourite books in a particular subject, Philip Blackwell, a member of the famous Oxford bookselling family, offers the "Ultimate Library" service, with individual book collections customised for the home or hotel, as occurred with the Savoy Hotel in London.

Charles Stitz, in his excellent Australian Book Collectors volumes, documents numerous examples of collectors whose houses are overrun by books. Relatively few of these are seen, however, in The Canberra Times glossy Saturday magazine, Domain, which almost resembles "property porn" with its pictures of sumptuous house interiors. A famous New Yorker cartoon once showed a real estate agent telling prospective sellers to "lose the books", as they would depress the house value.

Stitz has illustrated the problems faced by book collectors as families downsize or enter retirement homes. I vividly remember visiting the late Professor Oskar Spate in a retirement village in Holt and his angst at only having the space for three to five books in his small room. Access to content would now be alleviated by e-books, but not their physical presence.

Second-hand book dealers and libraries are increasingly reluctant to take large general book collections. University and state libraries prefer to be offered focused specialist collections. But, that is only if they fit their collection profile, have space to house them and resources to process them – a big "if". Public libraries, other than the major state libraries, no longer generally hold large book collections and regularly "weed" collections.

Retirees and children are often the staples of public libraries, which seem to be morphing into social hubs, offering a range of community services beyond book collections. None seem, however, to have followed the example of Edith Cowan University Library in Perth, which has installed sleeping pods for readers to take "power naps". Will librarians, in due course, become bibliographic baristas, just as some bookshops have joined with coffee shops to survive?

Internet access and digitisation has assisted public libraries to combat, in part, the Kindle Unlimited challenge. The entire digital collection of the San Antonio public library system is now available from kiosks at the local airport. A digital bookshelf, "The Library Wall", was recently installed on a North London street to allow users to download non-copyright book titles into their mobile devices.

One segment of the book market that is booming, without even the necessity to read the content, is the high price limited signed edition, exemplified in the offerings of the German publisher Taschen. With the Rolling Stones in the country, why not buy one of its latest offerings, a limited Rolling Stones "Sumo-sized book", numbered and signed by them, with a foreword written by Bill Clinton. A snip at £3500?

Their offerings, however, have been topped by the Ferrari Opus Enzo Diamante. Encrusted with diamonds, signed by all living Ferrari Grand Prix drivers, it was marketed as the most exclusive book in the world when published in 2011. Only one copy was made available in each country at a price of £155,000. The Australian copy was apparently quickly snapped up after being displayed at the 2011 Grand Prix in Melbourne.

These books are far more than "tree flakes encased in dead cow", which is how one commentator has called the traditional printed book. Books will remain an effective information and entertainment source in a variety of forms, such as those accessed in the new Digital Public Library of America. The definition of a book may expand, but books and their content will remain "a fundamental channel of culture", as The Economist magazine recently reaffirmed.

Colin Steele, Emeritus Fellow at the ANU and long-time Canberra Times book reviewer, will give the keynote address at the Annual Conference of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand at the National Library on Thursday, November 27. 


steele2 e1416709673658 Bibliographica 2014: Colin Steele presents talk on the future of books


Colin Steele

Emeritus Fellow, Australian National University

Curriculum Vitae

  • M.A. (Liverpool University)
  • Grad.Dip.Lib. (University College London)
  • Emeritus Fellow 2004, The Australian National University
  • Director, Scholarly Information Strategies, ANU, 2002-2003
  • University Librarian, ANU, 1980-2002
  • Deputy University Librarian, ANU, 1976-1980
  • Assistant Librarian, Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1967-76


Bauman Gift Catalog is Now Available

If you want a real treat, be sure to take a look at the 2014 Bauman Rare Books Gift Catalog. It is definitely something to see. Yes, the prices are high but the books are superb. It is well worth a look... Just:


Go Here

Bauman ny gallery Bauman Gift Catalog is Now Available

Bauman Rare Books New York

Princeton Philanthropist William H. Scheide Dies at 100

Source: Planet Princeton

WHS JMS photo Kevin Birch 336x223 Princeton Philanthropist William H. Scheide Dies at 100

William H. Scheide, the Princeton philanthropist and Bach enthusiast who made significant contributions to scholarship in various fields of study and curated one of the largest rare book and manuscript collections in the world, died early this morning, a source close to the family confirmed. He was 100.

Born in Philadelphia on January 6, 1914, Bill was the only child of John Hinsdale Scheide and Harriet Hurd. His parents were passionate about music, culture, rare books and human rights. His father played the piano, and his mother, a social worker, sang. At age 6, Scheide began piano lessons. He later learned to play the organ and the oboe.

A 1936 graduate of Princeton University, Scheide majored in history because there was no music department at the school at the time. He wrote music criticism for The Daily Princetonian, and enjoyed attending concerts in Philadelphia and New York. His senior thesis, “Adaptations of Christianity to Chinese Culture,” explored the pervasive Christian influences Jesuit missionaries brought into Chinese culture centuries earlier.

Scheide earned his master’s degree from Columbia University in 1940. His graduate thesis explored what happened to Bach’s music in the first century after his death. 

Known as one of the most famous Bach enthusiasts in the music world, he was the first American published in the Bach-Jahrbuch, one of the world’s most respected Bach literary periodicals.

He taught at Cornell University for two years and played the oboe with a group of amateur musicians who performed an all-Bach repertory. He founded the Bach Aria Group in 1946 and served as its director until 1980. For more than three decades, the group enjoyed international acclaim for its concerts, broadcasts, and recordings. Scheide also helped fund the reconstruction of the Woolworth Music Center at Princeton University and endowed a professorship of music history at the school.

Scheide also expanded the rare book and manuscript collection begun by his grandfather and enlarged by his father. The Scheide Library is housed within Firestone Library at Princeton University. Scheide completed their collection of the first four printed editions of the Bible in 2002. Other items in the collection included musical manuscripts by Bach and other famous composers, a 14th-century Magna Carta, a first edition of Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” and letters by Christopher Columbus. On his 90th birthday, Scheide announced that he would bequeath his rare book collection to Princeton University upon his death. He donated rare books to several other academic institutions, including Princeton Theological Seminary and Westminster Choir College.

Throughout his life, Scheide, who was Presbyterian, used his inherited fortune to support a variety of philanthropic causes, including civil rights issues. He was the chief funder of the landmark 1954 lawsuit Brown v. Board of Education that ended public school segregation. For more than five decades, he played a crucial and invaluable part in advancing the goals of The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He was a member of the NAACP’s national committee and was a principal funder of the organization. He donated around $200,000 to hire poll-watchers on the lookout for race discrimination at the Florida polls in 2008. He was also a major supporter of Centurion Ministries, the Princeton-based nonprofit that works to free the innocent from prison.

Scheide met his first wife, Lorna Riggs Scheide, at the International House of New York and married her shortly after in 1940. He separated from his first wife in 1966 and married Gertrude Corbin in 1971. She died in 2002. He married Judith Scheide in 2003. Scheide has three children.

For the last seven years, Scheide and his wife hosted an annual concert that showcased famous orchestras performing rare works. The money raised through the sold-out performances benefited area organizations including Westminster Choir College, the Princeton Recreation Department, the Princeton Public Library, Centurion Ministries, and Isles.

Maurice Sendak's Rare Book Collection is Subject of New Lawsuit

Source: NY Times Books
Maurice Sendak's books are the subject of a dispute between a museum and his executors

sendak about Maurice Sendaks Rare Book Collection is Subject of New Lawsuit

Maurice Sendak was the author of the beloved children's books "Where the Wild Things Are," "In the Night Kitchen," "Chicken Soup with Rice" and many more. The author and illustrator, who could be delightfully gruff (see his not-safe-for-work interview with Stephen Colbert), passed away in 2012 at age 84.

In his will, he directed his rare book collection and items of his personal work be gifted to the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, and they haven't been, according to a lawsuit filed by the museum last week.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Sendak's relationship with the museum dates to the 1960s, when he began placing his work there on deposit. He was at times a board member and its honorary president. The museum presented dozens of shows of his work.

"According to the suit, the Sendak trustees have turned over fewer than half the hundreds of items in Sendak's rare-book collection," the Inquirer reports. "In fact, the estate has told the Rosenbach it had no intention of transferring ownership of several extremely valuable volumes by Peter Rabbit author Beatrix Potter because they are children's books, not rare books, the suit states. The Rosenbach calls that reasoning not only faulty but rife with irony: Sendak argued that divisions between adult and children's literature were invalid - in his work as well as that of others. He called Potter's works 'the literary equivalent of the greatest English prose writers that have lived.'"

The suit was filed in Connecticut, where Sendak lived. There are tentative plans to establish a museum and study center there. The Inquirer reports that many of the items left in the Rosenbach's care are intended to support that museum. "But his will directed the estate and Rosenbach to reach a deal whereby the museum would continue to display many items," the Inquirer writes, "Such a deal, long expected, has not been reached."

The lawsuit asks the probate court to compel individuals who overlap as executors of Sendak's estate and officers of the Maurice Sendak Foundation to carry out Sendak's wishes.

Sendak's executors have a Christie's auction scheduled for Jan. 21. The auction, titled "The World of Maurice Sendak: Artist, Author, Connoisseur," has not yet released the items to be offered for sale. Sendak's estate has said that none of the items in question will be auctioned.

Separately from its lawsuit, the museum has sought a court order barring the executors from transferring, disposing or distributing any books until the dispute is resolved. has a signed first edition of Where the Wild Things Are offered for $13,500.00

Where the wild things are2 Maurice Sendaks Rare Book Collection is Subject of New Lawsuit

Effect of Humidity Fluctuation on a Rare Book

Here is a video about the effects of humidity on rare books. We all know humidity is very bad for our collection. Here is scientific proof...

The following video shows an experiment conducted at IPI to illustrate the physical effects that occur on library and archive materials due to changes in humidity conditions. In this example, a vellum bound book (Johann Hübner "Kurze Fragen aus der politischen Historia biß auf gegenwärtige Zeit" printed in 1701) was studied. The experiment started at an equilibrated condition of 55% relative humidity, then conditions were altered to 25%, back to 55%, and finally to 75%. The duration of the experiment was 12 hours and conducted at room temperature.

What's a Booker Prize worth?

 Source, The Sydney Morning Herald


signed narrow road deep north flanagan Whats a Booker Prize worth?

Clever you if you bought The Narrow Road to the Deep North and asked Richard Flanagan to sign it on publication last year (and even better if you read it). The online rare book dealer AbeBooks sold a rare "unread", mint-condition, signed, Australian first-edition copy for $US1313 ($A1500) after his Man Booker Prize win last week - the company's best ever post-Booker price.

"Today a signed first edition of a Booker Prize-winning book is worth three figures as soon as the announcement is made," says Richard Davies at AbeBooks. "The phenomenon of signed copies selling like hot cakes in the immediate aftermath of a book prize announcement is a relatively new thing" - a product of online bookselling, he says and the Booker is the only prize with that effect.

AbeBooks has no sales record for True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey after it won the 2001 Booker, though a copy sold for $US475 this year. But signed copies of Life of Pi by Yann Martel sold online for $US250 immediately after its 2002 win and reached a top price of $US3,720 in 2008.

Davies says the only "highly collectible" Booker winner is Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie from 1981: an uncorrected proof sold for $US14,000 last year and signed first editions sell for about $US4000.

MidnightsChildren Whats a Booker Prize worth?

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Tough read: World's smallest book

Tough read: World's smallest book is more for mice than men at John Rylands Library

| By Glen Keogh
smallest book Tough read: Worlds smallest book

World's smallest book.

Manchester’s bookworms may have difficulty reading John Rylands Library’s newest acquisition  as it now owns a copy of the world’s smallest book.

Measuring just 2.4 by 2.9mm, the tiny leather-bound text is said by library curators to be the smallest mechanically-printed book on the planet.

Unlike other miniscule manuscripts, this ABC-picture book was painstakingly crafted using conventional book-binding techniques – giving it a real spine, leather cover and 26 traditional paper pages.

Readers need tweezers to turn the tiny pages where they will see uniquely designed letters drawn by renowned German typographer Joshua Reichert.

IN DEMAND: Only 300 copies of the book were made and published for as little as £100 (© Cavendish Press)

The book, produced in Leipzig, Germany, in 2002, was created as a feat of printing expertise to commemorate the work of Jonannes Gutenberg who was widely credited for the invention of printing technology in Europe.

Much smaller printing presses than usual were used to craft 300 copies which were later sold for as little as £100.

It pips smaller ‘books’ – one fitting on the width of a human hair and another created using the same technology as money printers use to prevent forgery – because of its delicately traditional creation.

The Guinness World Records smallest reproduction of a printed book measures just 70 micrometres by 100 micrometres but was created using an ion beam on a pure crystalline silicon page rather than conventional ink on paper.

 Tough read: Worlds smallest book
THE REAL DEAL: With 26 paper pages, a real spine and leather cover the text is officially the world’s smallest mechanically-printed book (© Cavendish Press)

Held in Manchester’s John Rylands Library in partnership with the University of Manchester, the book is kept safe from giant fingers in a box alongside other small books from their collection and has been part of the collection since 2012.

Julianne Simpson, Rare Book and Maps Manager at the library said that when it emerged there was a smaller book than their previous record-holder – a tiny edition of the Lord’s Prayer – they had to buy it.

“We love it as a library interested in printing and fine printing so it’s the sort of thing that is attractive to us,” she said.

“Some of the other really small books in the world aren’t what we would consider proper printing.

“This even has its own little leather binding. It’s made like a normal book. We have a small collection of small books and keep them all together in a box. We get them out occasionally but have to keep a very close eye on them.

“It’s a very quirky typeface and it’s printed in multiple colours which sets it apart from most others like this. It’s just showing off really!”

 Tough read: Worlds smallest book
CAUGHT SHORT: The book measures just 2.4mm by 2.9mm (© Cavendish Press)

The John Rylands library has an astonishing collection of around half a million old and rare texts.

Ms Simpson added: “If you have good eyesight you can just about make the letters out. It’s probably not the right book to curl up with alongside the fire.

The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is...


Source:    14 October 2014

australian author richard flanagan wins man booker prize The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is...

Richard Flanagan is tonight, Tuesday 14 October, announced as the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, published by Chatto & Windus.

The Tasmanian-born author is the third Australian to win the coveted prize which, for the first time in its 46-year history, is now expanded to include entries from writers of all nationalities, writing originally in English and published in the UK. He joins an impressive literary canon of former winners including fellow Australians Thomas Kenneally (Schindler’s Ark, 1982) and Peter Carey (Oscar & Lucinda, 1988 and The True History of the Kelly Gang, 2001).

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is the sixth novel from Richard Flanagan, who is considered by many to be one of Australia’s finest novelists. It centres upon the experiences of surgeon Dorrigo Evans in a Japanese POW camp on the now infamous Thailand-Burma railway. The Financial Times calls it ‘elegantly wrought, measured and without an ounce of melodrama… nothing short of a masterpiece.’

Named after a famous Japanese book by the haiku poet Basho, The Narrow Road to the Deep North is described by the 2014 judges as ‘a harrowing account of the cost of war to all who are caught up in it’. Questioning the meaning of heroism, the book explores what motivates acts of extreme cruelty and shows that perpetrators may be as much victims as those they abuse. Flanagan’s father, who died the day he finished The Narrow Road to the Deep North, was a survivor of the Burma Death Railway.

Richard Flanagan was announced as the 2014 winner by AC Grayling, Chair of judges, at an awards dinner at London’s Guildhall, which was broadcast live on the BBC News Channel. Flanagan was presented with a trophy from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and a £50,000 cheque from Emmanuel Roman, Chief Executive of Man Group. The investment management firm has sponsored the prize since 2002.

AC Grayling comments: ‘The two great themes from the origin of literature are love and war: this is a magnificent novel of love and war. Written in prose of extraordinary elegance and force, it bridges East and West, past and present, with a story of guilt and heroism.

‘This is the book that Richard Flanagan was born to write.’

In addition to his £50,000 prize and trophy, Flanagan also receives a designer bound edition of his book, and a further £2,500 for being shortlisted.

On winning the Man Booker Prize, an author can expect international recognition, not to mention a dramatic increase in book sales. Sales of Hilary Mantel’s winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, have exceeded a million copies in their UK editions, published by Fourth Estate. Her novels have subsequently been adapted for stage and screen, with the highly acclaimed theatre productions of both novels arriving on Broadway in April 2015. Granta, publisher of Eleanor Catton’s 2013 winner, The Luminaries, has sold 300,000 copies of the book in the UK and almost 500,000 worldwide.

AC Grayling, philosopher and author, was joined on the 2014 panel of judges by: Jonathan Bate, Oxford Professor of English Literature and biographer; Sarah Churchwell, UEA’s Professor of American Literature; Daniel Glaser, neuroscientist and cultural commentator; Alastair Niven, former Director of Literature at the British Council and at the Arts Council, and Erica Wagner, former literary editor and writer.

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Emory acquires archive of author Flannery O'Connor

flannery oconnorwise blood1 Emory acquires archive of author Flannery OConnor

Emory University will house the archives of acclaimed American author Flannery O'Connor, university officials said Tuesday.

The school's Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library acquired the archives of the novelist and short story author from the Mary Flannery O'Connor Charitable Trust in Milledgeville, university officials said in a release.

Among other honors, the author posthumously won the 1972 National Book Award in the fiction category for "The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor." O'Connor, who was born in Savannah and lived in Milledgeville, died of lupus at age 39 in 1964.

Rosemary Magee, director of Emory's Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, said in a written statement that the collection of writings, artwork, photos, journals and more will "provide new opportunities for teaching and research about O'Connor and modern literature."

The collection also includes more than 600 letters between O'Connor and her mother, university officials said.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway, who directs Emory's creative writing program, said O'Connor's work influenced her own growth as a writer.

"I carried her collected stories with me when I went off to graduate school, and I learned a great deal form the precision of her stories — her clear-eyed look at the world around her, her unflinching investigation of human nature," Trethewey said in a statement. "This archive is a great resource for those wishing to see the inner workings of the mind of a great writer dealing with the ongoing issues and difficult knowledge of our historical moment."

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On the Market: MONTAIGNE, MICHEL DE. The Essayes

Source:  19th

Montaigne small On the Market: MONTAIGNE, MICHEL DE. The Essayes

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. John Florio’s translation of Montaigne’s essays is the most important Elizabethan translation of any continental or classical text. The influence of Florio’s Montaigne on English writers and thinkers of the time was immense. Shakespeare’s considerable debt to Florio’s Montaigne is well-documented: King Lear andThe Tempest in particular owe much to Florio. “Upon his version of Montaigne’s Essays[Florio] exhausted his gifts and lavished his temperament…. Turn where you will in his translation, and you will find flowers of speech” (Cambridge History of English and American Literature).

“The brilliance of Florio’s achievement was so generally acknowledged that even those English readers with very good command of French – John Donne, Walter Raleigh, Francis Bacon, and Robert Burton, to name a few – chose to encounter Montaigne through Florio’s English. To read the Essays in Florio’s translation is to read them, as it were, over the shoulders of some of England’s greatest writers” (Greenblatt, Shakespeare’s Montaigne).

The Essays of Montaigne is the first collection of essays, a literary form that Montaigne invented to express his personal convictions and meditations. Montaigne’s Essays are the “consummate representation of the enlightened scepticism of the sixteenth century.”The essay is “a form in which he can hardly be said to have been anticipated. The most elaborate essay, Apologie de Raimonde Sebonde, is second to no other modern writing in attacking fanaticism and pleading for tolerance” (PMM).

“His influence pervaded three centuries and four continents … Montaigne was the grandfather, as Bayle was the father of the Enlightenment. Through him the psychological analysis of mind entered into French literature, from Corneille and Moliere, La Rochefoucauld and La Bruyere to Anatole France. Thoreau took much at this fountainhead, and Emerson bathed himself in it before writing his own essays. Of Montaigne, as of few authors before the eighteenth century, it may be said that he is read today as if he had written yesterday” (Will and Ariel Durant , The Age of Reason Begins).

This is an exceptionally appealing copy in its original Elizabethan binding with a crowned Tudor rose and laurel leaves. The Folger Shakespeare Library has two bindings with very similar crowned Tudor rose and laurel medallions (Cicero, Three Bookes of Duties, London, 1596, and Certain Sermons, London, 1595), both without the I.S. initials.This splendid volume is an excellent, tall copy measuring 11½ x 7½ inches. The better of the two Pforzheimer copies of the 1503 Montaigne, also in contemporary calf with a center medallion, has identical dimensions.

High-quality examples of Florio’s Montaigne in period bindings have become rare in the market. The last example in a contemporary binding without extensive restoration was the Berland copy (2001).

Grolier/English 102. Pforzheimer 378. Printing and the Mind of Man 95 (French). STC 18041.

$30,000   (Click link for more information)

“Montaigne’s essays have scriptural status, competing with the Bible, the Koran, Dante, and Shakespeare” – Harold Bloom, The Western Canon