Last Thursday a band of a dozen Bibliomaniacs took the mini bus to the village of Penn in Buckinghamshire. This was our third visit to the shop and sadly would be the last. The shop closed last year but many thousands of books were left on the shelves. The owner kindly contacted us and we were allowed to come and take our pick of the leftover stock. We divided into small teams and searched through the huge number of books. Although we did not stumble across an unknown Gutenberg Bible, we did come away with a few hundred volumes. We were particularly pleased to find ninety books with illustrated cloth covers dating from the 1880s until the 1930s, which will provide the basis for an attractive catalogue .
An amazing summer term has concluded it began with an exciting outing to the PBFA London International Antiquarian Book Fair, this was an excellent experience for us all, especially the boys who have never been to something of that calibre. We introduced the Second part of our Crime, Mystery and Espionage Catalogue also bringing along some of the collection of Lady Abdy, and we had a very successful day. Following the PBFA we had a stall at the Hog Roast and also a stall at the magnificent staff-parent production of the Ghost Train. Finally as the term has drawn to a close we had to say goodbye to some loyal and long standing members of the Bibliomaniacs. We wish all the Bibliomaniacs who are leaving, good luck at their senior schools and also good luck to the boys who will take up their new positions on the committee!
Summer term has started and we Bibliomaniacs have much to look forward to. We are very excitingly once more exhibiting at the London Premier International Book Fair with our fellow PBFA dealers on the opening Friday. We also have displays planned for the Papplewick Hog Roast and parent-staff play. In addition we are preparing two catalogues: the second parts of our collections of both Crime, Mystery and Espionage and Lady Abdy's Library. A small selection of our stock is available online (see drop down link) but any books featuring in one of our catalogues will always appear in print form first.
On Thursday the Bibliomaniacs visited Winchester's college library. The head of the library collection, Dr. Foster, showed us around and also showed us some very interesting books! When we arrived at the college library we were shown into a room which was a brewery at the time of the founding of Winchester. At that time the boys at Winchester would drink beer as it would be cleaner than the available water! Dr. Foster showed us a couple of manuscripts and incunabula, which are books printed before 1501. One of the many books that he showed us was an English Book of hours, which at the time was a book containing assorted prayers, normally customisable depending on your Patron saint, etc... These type of books at the time were a showcase of one's wealth; the flashier, the better! This book of hours was very special indeed, and was only one of only a few book of hours containing songs in Britain! One of the other books that Dr. Foster showed us contained some sinister sketches on the margins! One of them included a disfigured head and a weird monkey creature! After we looked at some books we went to have some tea and cake in the College Dining hall! Then, after a short rest, we went over to another part of the library which included shelves from hundreds of years ago, where the books were, and some still are, chained to the shelves, in order to stop people from stealing them. We then were given a short tour of the college, and were able to see the college museum and its chapel in all its glory. The tour however, ended too quickly for some, as they hid their disappointment when we finally left the college. We all thanked Dr. Foster for such a wonderful tour!
The bibliomaniacs are back after a well deserved break during the Christmas holidays. Prior to the break we held a successful event at our school and we were able to give over one hundred pounds to a charity, which was raised from our sold Christmas cards. To start the year with a bang we commenced our first session with some chocolate sampling. From there we cataloged some new books that were purchased by our leader Mr.Cooper. The next session we tried to discover the provenance of three books. Hint, it had something to do with Eton. We ended that session the same way we started the first.
On Tuesday November 28 the Bibliomaniacs visited Eton college library to see the Gutenberg bible and many other books such as a Quran from Spain, a Muslim country in the Fourteenth century before becoming Catholic under the reign of Eleanor Castille. Furthermore we saw the first images seen under a microscope. Lastly we were invited to see Eton's newest exhibition about travel. We saw a mini model of the Beagle, which was the ship Darwin was on when he create of evolution. However I think that we were most enjoyed to see the hidden doorway behind the bookshelves leading up toward the book storage. After we visited the library, we went to a nearby cafe and had some drinks!
On the 19th of November we held an event at Papplewick school. It started roughly around half past six and ended at quarter to nine. Senior Bibliomaniacs; Richard, Tham, Roger, Caspian, David L, David D and Henry all participated in the event and helped together with Mr.Cooper to make it possible. Caspian in particular was the sole person responsible for the idea of having an event. It was a splendid night with many books from various catalogues being sold. Some of the books we sold were; 'Excursion through Essex' at £35,'Lyra's oxford' signed by Phillip Pullman at £17 and'Jeeves Omnibus' at £20. At present we have a sum of £90 going to the children's hospice however we are hoping to raise more from Christmas cards.
For the past three weeks we have been frantically preparing our event for tommorow evening. Within our event we have a incorporated a silent auction and a lucky dip. To maintain the Christmas mood, all of the proceeds from our lucky dip and are custom Christmas cards will be given to Oxford Children's Hospice. Displayed at this event will be our new 19th century catalogue and some of our previous books from La Belle Epoque.
After regrouping our troops the Bibliomaniacs have swiftly started business as usual. We started to discuss books in our developing new catalogue and started to cook up tactics to sell books to future clients and customers. We are also pleased to announce that a selection of our books are now available to buy here https://www.abebooks.com/the-bibliomaniacs-pbfa-ascot/65450924/sf
After a well deserved break the mighty bibliomaniacs have regrouped. In our first official meeting Mr. Cooper gave the newcomers an introduction to the bibliomaniacs in the form of a marvellous speech. We then made preparations for our new catalogue and at the end we had a fun game, including guessing a price of a book with answers ranging from $27 to $175,000. It was quite comic.
This weekend five of our senior biblomaniacs will be sadly departing our ranks. This includes Vimal Kamath, Aarit Bhattacharya, Ivan Aristov, Amren Singh and Isantha Rakdevitch who were our former leaders and have shaped the biblomaniacs. Mr. Cooper (Head Biblomaniac) gave them a tearful farewell in a speech and also set the stage for the new era of the biblomaniacs, which includes David Derby, Henry Boulton, Richard Kim, Caspian Howard-Sneyd, Roger Holwerda and Tham Luanghvisut.
On Wednesday the Bibliomaniacs embarked on a journey to view a private collection of largely nineteenth and twentieth century literature. We inspected the books and were given background information from the collector on Russian literature and its integration with English literature. We had a fabulous lunch composed of posh smoked salmon sandwiches and a feast of fruit and sweet things the collector had prepared for us. In the afternoon we visited the Cottage Bookshop in Penn. We split into five groups and had a competition to see who could make the most profit should the books be sold by us.
Our latest catalogue - La Belle Epoque, is officially out.
La Belle Époque (French for "Beautiful Era") was a period of Western European history. It was a time from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 to around the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Occurring during the era of the French Third Republic, it was a period characterized by optimism, regional peace, economic prosperity and technological, scientific and cultural innovations. During this period, especially in Paris, the arts flourished. Many masterpieces of literature, music, theatre, and visual art gained recognition during The Belle Époque, and the era was named in retrospect, when it began to be considered, a "golden age" in contrast to the horrors of World War I.
Moreover it was a worldwide event: in the United Kingdom, La Belle Époque overlapped with the late Victorian era and the Edwardian era. In Germany, La Belle Époque coincided with the reigns of Kaiser Wilhelm I and II, in Russia with the reigns of Alexander III and Nicholas II, and in the newly-rich United States, the comparable epoch was dubbed “The Gilded Age”.
La Belle Époque was the era of art, and much of this collection is artistic. The golden age was the first (and for some, last) episode of artists such as Van Gogh, Renoir , Rousseau and Henri Matisse. But, also this was a time for a young Pablo Picasso. This was a post-Impressionist time, with early Modernism, Cubism and Abstraction emerging. One of the notable styles to emerge from La Belle Époque was ‘Art Nouveau’.
This is our latest project and we endeavor to involve you all.
After months and months of hard work... The IT Guru-Ivan and Aarit have finally brought this beautiful "code" to life! So now, please be welcome to explore and delve into our glorious and book-ish website!!!
On Tuesday the 4th of November, the Bibliomaniacs visited Eton College Library. Dr Coane, the Assistant Librarian, showed them a collection of British, German and Chinese maps and Atlases dating from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, as well as And Eton’s collection of ancient charters. They also saw many interesting incunabula (books published before 1501) in an exhibition about the Venetian printer Aldus Manutius, probably the most famous printer in the 15th century apart from Gutenberg. However, the highlight was being able to view Eton’s copy of the Gutenberg bible itself with its illumination in the Erfurt style and its marvellous contemporary binding. Retiring to the Windsor Chocolate Theatre Café, the Bibliomaniacs reflected on another triumphant outing.