Nina Simone

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21st, 1933 in Tryon NC, Nina Simone was the sixth of eight children. She started playing piano by ear at the age of 3, and church organ by 7. She dreamed of becoming the first black concert pianist in the United States and gathered supporters in her small North Carolina town. During her first recital at 12 years old, Simone took a stand against the racial injustices of the Jim Crow South and refused … Continued

Sir Richard Francis Burton – aka Ruffian Dick, Renegade Explorer and Sexual Scholar

Richard Francis Burton was born March 19th 1821, in Torquay, Devonshire, England to a Lieutenant Colonel and an heiress. Burton traveled extensively with his family through France, Italy and England before being sent to Trinity College in Oxford in 1840. He was an adventurous and rebellious youth who loved to learn but balked at formal education, immersing himself in such studies as falconry and fencing, and challenging a fellow student to a duel for making fun of his impressive mustache. … Continued

Travelling the World with Ernest Hemingway

Miscellaneous materials relating to Hemingway's East African air safaris, from the collection of his pilot, Captain Roy Marsh
Miscellaneous materials relating to Hemingway’s East African air safaris, from the collection of his pilot, Captain Roy Marsh

by Ashleigh Redmond


From Idaho to Slovenia, my travels over the past six years have been, at least in part, inspired by Ernest Hemingway. My partner has had a healthy obsession with Hemingway since he was young, and we have been lucky enough to visit some of the most significant places in Hemingway’s life.


Thomas Wolfe’s Sugar-Mama

A tour through the iconic Thomas Wolfe Memorial house in downtown Asheville and the accompanying Visitor’s Center will give you an in-depth look at Wolfe’s ‘Altamont,’ the fictional name he gave to his thinly veiled description of his hometown in his paramount work Look Homeward, Angel. During your visit you will learn how tourism in Asheville in the first part of the 20th-century led Wolfe’s mother Julia to buy the ‘Old Kentucky Home,’ in order to capitalize on the boom, and how the house and his family shaped Wolfe’s prolific writing, which by the end of his career amounted to a million pages, although the majority were edited out of final works.


Pre-Fire Chicago Map Sells for $200,000 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections

J.T. Palmatary’s rare birds-eye view of pre-fire Chicago sold just shy of $200,000 in Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ September 13 Fine Books and Manuscripts auction conducted in Chicago. It was printed in 1857 by Braunhold & Sonne and is one of four known copies. The three other copies are held by the Library of Congress, the Newberry Library and the Chicago History Museum.

A Form Worthy of Its Contents: The Folio Society at 70

A Form Worthy of Its Contents: The Folio Society at 70: Biblio and Fine Books & Collectionsby Barbara Basbanes Richter, reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections

This year marks seventy years since The Folio Society began publishing beautiful editions of global literary classics. To mark the occasion, the publishing house is offering a showstopping selection of titles in its fall catalog–Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, a two-volume set of The Little Prince, and other great books. In addition, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting an exhibition entitled The Artful Book, featuring illustrated books, bindings, and original artwork from the Folio Society’s vast archives. Highlights include commissions from illustrators like Quentin Blake, Sara Ogilvie, Kate Baylay, Neil Packer, and many others. (more…)

Some Farm: E.B. White’s Maine Home for Sale

by Barbara Basbanes Richter, reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections The house that inspired E.B. White’s classic children’s book Charlotte’s Web is for sale. Including a circa 1795 farmhouse and 40+ acres of farmland nestled on Allen Cove in Blue Hill Bay with views of Acadia National Park, the property is listed with Downeast Properties for $3.7 million. White’s story of how a spider named Charlotte convinced a farmer to save the Wilbur the pig from the dinner … Continued

“Paradise” & Private Presses

by Rebecca Rego Barry, reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections This year marks the 350th anniversary of the publication of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. The sixteenth-century Buckinghamshire house where he completed the epic poem is now a museum known as Milton’s Cottage, which debuts today an exhibition titled Paradise Lost & the Private Presses. Curated by James Freemantle, who collects private press books (see his Bright Young Collector profile), the exhibition focuses on editions of Paradise Lost from … Continued

Biblio and Rare Book Hub Partner to Expand Rare Book Sales and Rare Book Hub today announced a new integration between their two sites, allowing easier listing and purchase of rare and collectible books on The Rare Book Hub website is a comprehensive resource for information relating to rare, antiquarian, and collectible books and ephemera. The new partnership with Biblio allows subscribers of Rare Book Hub to offer books for sale directly through the site for immediate purchase through a secure cart, powered by’s search engine and e-commerce … Continued

Illustrated Manuscript Ship’s Log Sails to Success

By Rebecca Rego Barry

At auction earlier in June in New York was a bound volume containing two early nineteenth-century ship’s logbooks, “Journal of a Voyage, from Bristol to the Mediterranean, Anno Domini 1819” and “Log-Book Kept on board the Astraea On a Voyage from London to the Mediterranean, Anno-Domini 1821.” Unlike many logbooks of their kind, these two displayed exceptional artistic merit, containing 28 leaves of ink calligraphy (page headers) and 35 fine watercolor drawings. Their creator, Captain William Hodgson, drew not only his own ships but other trading vessels traveling through the Mediterranean at the time.

2450-296_2 copy.jpgInterest in the nautical manuscripts was strong. Multiple bidders took the volume well past its $3,000-5,000 estimate; ultimately, a dealer won it for $20,800. Swann Galleries specialist Caleb Kiffer noted, “The log book is one of those unusual items that rarely comes to market and that gets people really excited.”

Read more about this lot on Swann’s blog.

Images courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

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