Thursday, November 25, 2010

ANZAAB: Melbourne Antiquarian Book fair Malvern Town hall

ANZAAB (...or the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers) had there 37th annual book fair this week, (Tues - Thurs) 23rd-25th November. Held in the beautiful Victorian two storey Malvern town hall, with its original vaulted ceiling and pendant lighting, the entrance to the fair was impressive, welcomed in by suave clad ushers and in the thick of it from the first step. Possibly being over thirty years younger then the average guest it is easy to get the feeling of an exposed knave at a masquerade   ball. However, part of the appeal of these events for me has always been the throb of the masses, the oscillations of the bookish introverts. Together we float around the great Malvern banquet hall, undulating throes of particular desire and whim. For him the 1875 Wisden, for her the personally signed Wodehouse first edition. We all have our vice and price. Not too many stalls down I bump into an old acquaintance, Stephen, a man of dry wit and solid advice he reminds me of the sentiment I entered the hall with as he tells me he is 'merely viewing with his hands buried deep in his pockets'. I sigh and agree, looking back to the cabinet with the $150,000 first ed. copy of Darwin's 'Origins of the Species', I remember how serious these events can be.

I amble along but there is a deep seeded knowledge that there will be certain bits and bobs on the forthcoming shelves that will appeal to me. Surely someone has brought along a collection of hardcover Blyton's Famous Five, and what about a lesser seen titled Verne, or UK first edition Tintins, surely someone has Eric Blair's signature...

These Famous Fives were presented by Hobart's Kookaburra Books (03) 62233251

The above map of the world was a 1936 (pre war) issue from a Japanese news company. It contains many interesting details from a blown up section detailing the ports at Hawaii and a precise number of Japanese in each country at the time of issue. It had been displayed by ACT booksellers Asia Bookroom.

 Allen Lane's ever popular and always familiar orange and white stripped Penguins.

...and Beatrix

Tintin, UK 1st Editions.

Tolkein and C.S.Lewis

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sewing Seeds...Farming at Eton College

Virgil - The Georgics

Amongst the pomp and ceremony at top English boys school, Eton College, one can be made to, for more serious offences, chalk out the Georgics (more than 500 hexameters) by their House Masters or the Head Master. The giving of a Georgic is now extremely rare, but still occasionally occurs. Also on the theme of farming, suspension was known as 'rustication', derived from the latin 'rus' or countryside as the boys would be sent home.

The Georgics is a poem in four books, likely published in 29 BC.[1] It is the second major work by the Latin poet Virgil, following his Eclogues and preceding the Aeneid. It is a poem that draws on many prior sources and influenced many later authors from antiquity to the present. Scholars have often been at odds over how to read the work as a whole, and puzzled over such phrases as labor omnia vincit / improbus (1.145-146), which is not simply the platitude, "work conquers all," but "shameful work conquers all." As its name suggests (Georgica, from the Greek word georgein, 'to farm') the subject of the poem is agriculture; but far from being an example of peaceful rural poetry, it is a work characterized by tensions in both theme and purpose.