Current Issue

Summer 2020

The Book Collector Summer 2020 Cover

Alas, with this issue we say goodbye to the fascinating story of how John Payne valued the presidential archive of President Nixon - including the Watergate tapes - after he’d been forced to resign. For instance, what value would you put on Nixon’s resignation letter? Read on! Equally extraordinary, but in a different part of the world, is the tale Sheila Markham relates, how a Greek living in Paris in the 1830s spent all his free cash assembling a book collection to be presented to his home village in the Peloponnese. When packing it up he got a splinter in his finger and died of blood poisoning. But his books got to Greece and are now the principal collection in the Public Historical Library of Andritsaina. What a story! Then there’s Houdini’s library, a collection of nonsense books formed by a Russian student at Oxford, Outsider art in relation to Spenser’s Faerie Queene and a sparkling review of Phil Cleaver’s splendid new book, Book-Object-Art, which will be for many of us the first time we’ve thought about ‘folding’ books. We have Nick McBurney on the recent show called Indian Export Art at the Wallace Collection in London and we have Sandro Jung writing with his usual clarity about an extra-illustrated copy of The Seasons. Finally, gloriously and magisterially, we have Anke Timmermann’s article on Linnaeus and Joseph Banks, whose 200th anniversary is this year. However you look at it, it’s a great range of material.

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