Friday, December 30, 2016

Georgette Heyer’s ‘An Infamous Army’

In the original 1937 edition of Georgette Heyer’s ‘An Infamous Army’ there is an ‘author’s note’ in which she refers to the bibliography at the end of the book listing over fifty accounts, collections of letters, autobiographies, etc. of Wellington and his campaigns which helped her in her writing about the man and the period.

In the final paragraph of this note, which has been dropped from later issues of the title, she acknowledges the source of the endpaper illustrations of the ‘Position of the Armies of Wellington and Napoleon in front of Waterloo’ as from the respective histories of events by Capt. William Siborne and W. B. Craan, and of the folding ‘Sketch Map of the Anglo-Allied Cantonments’ as from the fourth volume of the account of the campaign by Col. F. De Bas.

Although the book is a novel the authenticity of the background account of the Battle of Waterloo is undisputed, as endorsed by contemporary reviews in the Times Literary Supplement’s “The meaning of the opening moves of the campaign is better grasped than in some historical accounts…” and in the Daily Mail’s “One of the clearest and most balanced accounts in English of the Hundred Days…”, with many thanks to Jennifer Kloester for the references, in ‘Georgette Heyer – Biography of a Bestseller’, Heinemann, 2011.

It seems sad to me that Heinemann, and subsequent publishers, dropped that final paragraph of the author’s note and the two plans which had appeared in the original edition and which the author had thought would enhance the story for her readers.

To fulfill the presumed wishes of the author I am happy to present below, for readers of those later editions, the map and plan as they appear in my copy of the first edition of Georgette Heyer’s ‘An Infamous Army’.

Cross posted from the ABFAR blog where larger versions of these maps are viewable.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Norfolk Summer Fair

Jeff and Heather Lawrence of Peakirk Books are organising this year's Norfolk Summer Book Fair. A fair with a difference, this year not only can you browse hundreds and hundreds of beautiful books, you will also have rare access to some of the rooms in one of the country's most important Arts and Crafts houses:

"This year, our Norfolk Summer Book Fair will be held in Voewood House, a beautifully restored, early 1900s property that has been voted England’s favourite Arts and Crafts House in the Eastern Region by Country Life Magazine. The book fair will be held within the house with exclusive use of four-interconnecting rooms on the ground floor. These are the magnificent hall, music room, dining room and the games room. In conjunction with the book fair, there will be an Art, Antique & Vintage Fair, which will be held in a marquee set in the private garden to the rear of the house. *The entrance fee to Voewood House includes admission to the PBFA book fair, admission to the Antiques & Vintage Fair and access to the designated private gardens and woodland.*. Accompanied by delicious, locally sourced food with on-site catering, it promises to be a great day out for all the family."

Some interesting highlights on the PBFA website include a Mabel Lucie Attwell illustrated volume of Hand Christian Anderson stories offered by Peakirk Books, a book of Peter Blake alphabets signed by Peter Blake offered by David Maynard, and a signed copy of After a Funeral by Diana Athill offered by Michael Sweeney Books.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

40% off Books - Flash Sale

For Thursday 12th November only we're having a 40% sale. See below for your discount code and further details and then browse our site.

Use the code 2015nov40 at the checkout for a 40% discount on our book prices on Thursday 12th November only. There is no minimum purchase and no limit to how often you can use the code on the day so browse our site and enjoy!

Please feel free to pass the discount code onto friends or to your students.

Pictured is The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work by Germaine Greer.

Book catalogues you might enjoy:

Authors A-Z
English local history by county
Children's Literature
Poetry and Criticism
Novels and Criticism

Language Studies

Movements and Themes in Literature
French Literature

The small print: valid until midnight on Thursday 12th November. Postage is extra. Because of the sizeable discount we cannot subsidize postage so large orders from outside the UK might require increased shipping costs. We will contact you to explain if there are any additional costs once your order has gone through, or you can email us before placing an order. You will be able to cancel the order if you're unhappy with the extra shipping.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bulgakov's Master and Margarita

"Mikhail Bulgakov's current reputation as a major 20th-century European writer is posthumous.  The story of Bulgakov's reception illustrates the tragedy of Russian culture in the post-revolutionary period." (Cornwell, 1998).   His last great and most celebrated novel "The Master and Margarita" was started in 1928, going through many variants and revisions, and was still not prepared for publication by the time of Bulgakov's death in 1940 (he burned the first manuscript in despair in 1930).  This, combined with the fact that early official editions in the Soviet Union were highly censored, meant that it was some time before a definitive version of the text could be established...

Read more on Marijana Dworski's blog.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

York Book Fair 2015

The amazing experience that is the York Book Fair is due to open at 12 noon tomorrow (Friday 18th September). There are three floors of stands: over 200 booksellers and thousands and thousands of rare, unusual, collectable and just plain readable books. Not to be missed!

You can download a free ticket here: admission is otherwise £2 on the door. The fair is open 12-7pm on Friday and 10-5pm on Saturday at the Knavesmire Suite, York Racecourse, YO23 1EX. There is a free shuttle bus from outside York railway station. There is some parking available at/near the racecourse. There is a cafe and a bar at the venue.

Three Ibooknet members are exhibiting and I caught some pictures of their stands as they were busy setting up today:

Heather and Jeff of Peakirk Books are on the mezzanine floor and already their beautiful children's books catch the eye.

Stephen Foster on the ground floor has an eclectic range of books and also a large bowl of humbugs on his stand so if your blood sugar is flagging as you browse all those stalls you know who to visit!

And my own stock (literary criticism, literary biographies, fiction, poetry and philosophy mainly) is safely shelved on the first floor:

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


If you're anywhere near the Norfolk Summer Fair, a high quality PBFA bookfair, is on this coming weekend, Saturday June 13th. The fair is run by Ibooknet members Heather and Jeff from Peakirk Books.

Venue: The Orangery Building, Blickling Hall, Aylsham NR11 6NF

This is the second year that the Norfolk Summer Fair will be held in the beautiful setting of the National Trust Blickling Hall Estate. This magnificent Stately Home is the birthplace of Anne Boleyn and is therefore steeped in historical interest. The fair will be held in the magnificent Orangery Building, set within the Estate Grounds which will hold twenty six Independent Book Dealers from around the UK with various specialisms, including children’s & illustrated, crime fiction, modern first editions, antiquarian, natural history and Norfolk history & topography, to name but a few.

There is also the well-stocked on-site National Trust Charity Book Shop and a wealth of activities for the whole family to enjoy during your visit. This includes a CafĂ© & Restaurant, Gift Shop, Museum, Garden & Plant Sales, Landscaped Gardens, Woodland Walks, Cycle Hire, Children’s Play Area and much more.

So if you're looking for something to do in Norfolk this weekend why not download a free bookfair ticket here and drop in.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Booke of Christian Prayers - Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book 1578

Joane Wrayford and her copy of A Booke of Christian Prayers

[collected out of the auncie[n]t writers, and best learned in our tyme, worthy to be read with an earnest mynde of all Christians, in these daungerous and troublesome dayes, that God for Christes sake will yet still be mercyfull vnto vs]

“ … a most splendid example of ornamental printing which this country has ever produced …”  (T F Dibdin)

John Day (1522-1584) the most skilled and innovative printer of his day was recognised for his exceptionally high quality work. He specialised in printing and distributing Protestant literature and small-format religious books and is best known for publishing Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.  In 1569 he produced, reputedly exclusively for Queen Elizabeth, Christian Prayers and Meditations. Only one complete copy is known to be extant. This prayer book (both the 1569 and the 1578 version) is notable for a number of reasons one being the depiction of the protestant Queen Elizabeth at the front of the book.

But, perhaps the outstanding reason for the book’s continued prominence is the plethora of fine ornamental printing; the splendid full-page woodcut of Elizabeth kneeling before a prie-dieu to the verso of the title page, the title itself surrounded by a broad woodcut border showing the Tree of Jesse and each page of prayers elaborately decorated with woodcut borders in historiated ornamental blocks. Read the rest of this post on Marijana's blog...
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