Monday, 31 January 2011

SECOND WORLD WAR EXPERIENCE: Vol. 1 Blitzkrieg 1939-41 Book Review

Title: SECOND WORLD WAR EXPERIENCE: Vol. 1 Blitzkrieg 1939-41
Published in association with the Imperial War Museum, this outsized slipcased box set contains rare removable documents, memorabilia and an audio CD of veterans' first-hand accounts. It is a companion to second volume Axis Ascendant code 66379. We are presenting the first two in the landmark four part history of the Second World War. Blitzkrieg examines the slow build-up as the world moved towards war and goes on to document the Munich crisis in 1938 to the defeat of France, from the retreat at Dunkirk to the sinking of the Bismarck. Among the rare documents are propaganda, operational maps, personal letters, secret orders and war diaries is a fake passport used by sub-lieutenant Heinz Kummer of the Graf Spee to flee back to Germany following the Battle of the River Plate. Here is Field Marshal Montgomery's personal diary charting the events of the Dunkirk evacuations, Churchill's annotated notes for his famous June 1940 speech 'This was their finest hour' and the complete plan of attack for the German invasion of the UK - 'Operation Sealion', including General Halder's order to invasion forces and the operational maps. Transparent wallets contain superbly reproduced facsimiles in colour including a foldout poster entitled 'The World's Verdict on Germany' . There are collectable documents, flaps, letters inserted inside envelopes with ink handwriting in a masterpiece of publishing to the highest of standards. 64 very large pages in slipcase.
Published Price: £30.00

Friday, 28 January 2011


Leo, Julian and John Amery - the book is about the tragedy of a political family. It is a triple biography of Churchill's India Secretary Leo Amery and his sons Julian and John, the latter hanged at Wandsworth Prison in 1945 after war years spent broadcasting for the Germans. The story of the execution is the emotional heart of this moving book, a rare example of a political biography that fascinates readers even with no interest in politics. Who would have thought a British politician's son could have fought for Hitler? Michael Gove said, 'Makes a wretched existence absorbing'. 612pp in paperback with 16 pages of b/w photos.
Published Price: £9.99

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

GIRL ON THE WALL Book review

Title: GIRL ON THE WALL: One Life's Rich Tapestry
A very personal social history of one British life over the past seven decades told through a hand-sewn tapestry. Jean, a talented needlewoman, has stitched a remarkable tapestry looking back on her life as an ordinary young girl from the Black Country growing up in extraordinary times. The tapestry, which took 16 months to complete consists of 73 interlocking circles, gives a unique portrait of everyday life for the working people of the industrialised West Midlands. In each chapter Jean explores the memories evoked. She grew up in a house where the bath hung on a nail in the yard, children listened to Dick Barton on the radio while their mothers made rag rugs, there are events such as the first Moon landings and the Cuban Missile Crisis, others are filled with memories of wash day, childhood illnesses, wartime rationing and games played in the fields and streets beyond Jean's two-up two-down terraced home. Her entertaining and conversational style and the exquisitely appealing beauty of her tapestry recreated in full colour are given a rather special treatment on this heavyweight glossy white papered book. There are even memories of Pink Floyd and what the band means to Jean, the Rubik's cube, the hula-hoop and the mini skirt, make do and mend, how the cinema has changed in the last 60 years, aircraft, politicians, to women's clothing. A delightful read and there is even an opportunity to buy a large-scale print of Jean Baggott's tapestry plus a superb fold-out plan in full colour at the back of the book of the tapestry itself with numbered circles explaining each piece. 352pp.
Published Price: £17.99

Monday, 24 January 2011


The subtitle has it, "Remarkably rude but real names of people, places and products from all over the world". At the turn of the last century Dick Bellend (from Bermondsey), Effing Dick (Glasgow) and Darling Donger (Leicester) may have been considered perfectly respectable monikers, but Furry Fannie of Pennsylvania only passed away ten years ago - whether the mourners at her funeral managed to keep a straight face is not recorded. From the disturbed genius who offered us a festival of ridiculous British names in Potty, Fartwell and Knob, here is a new collection of naughty nomenclature from all around the world. Here are genuine people, places, products and acronyms all with jaw-dropping names or connotations. Juvenile? Yes. Silly? Definitely. Eye-wateringly funny? Goes without saying. Prepare to laugh yourself hoarse with this amazing collection which just goes to show truth is funnier than fiction - unless you live in Bumbang (Australia) or Scratchy Bottom in Dorset. Some 2,000 entries enlivened by some naughty Victorian b/w photos which will raise a smile too. 256pp.
Published Price: £9.99

Friday, 21 January 2011


First published in 1897, we here have a heavyweight facsimile reprint in paperback which incorporates an Account of the Liverpool Slave Trade, 1744-1812, and an introduction by David Ealtis. It is the most detailed period document on privateering and the slave trade. The first half of the book covers historically important eras such as the Seven Years' War, the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. The second half focuses on the slave trade and how privateers profited from it, including extensive chapters on specific captains, the abolition movement and corporate ties to the slave trade. Gomer Williams presents material on Liverpool drawing from newspapers and private correspondence including numerous stories about slave traffic. Written at the end of the 19th century, Williams lamented that slave traders still threatened Africans. In his time however slave trading was considered a legitimate endeavour under both domestic and emerging international law, no different from any other form of trade, and privateers took good advantage of the profits to be made. The 2004 introduction is by David Ealtis, Professor of History at Emory University. In it he says 'The slave trade to West Africa had eventually been replaced by traffic in palm oil and palm kernels, centred on Liverpool, whose eventual value greatly exceeded what West Africa's slave trade had generated. A Gomer Williams was employed on a Liverpool palm oil vessel trading at Old Calabar in the mid 19th century… Williams was not born until 1874 and spent his working life as an author, publisher, journalist, advertiser and then 'bookkeeper', rather than as a sailor or merchant. Today we would call him a journalist and we are thankful for the depth of his research in bringing this fascinating period of history alive once again. 718pp in heavyweight paperback with three gatefold pages of facsimile documents, one entitled 'Palace and Stockade of an African King Who Dealt in Slaves'. With fascinating appendices on food that slaves were given, lists of ship's name, master's name, voyage and by whom carried out plus index to names.
Published Price: £20.00

Thursday, 20 January 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION OF WOMEN (1866) book review


Before the time of the suffragettes, the Victorian idealisation of women as 'ministering angels' had the practical result of limiting their education to pointless 'accomplishments', providing little to occupy their minds. The author of this thought-provoking and ground-breaking book was the founder of Girton College, the first college to give women a university education. She was adamant that women should sit the same examinations as men, and was a leading early campaigner for women's suffrage. Her book makes a forthright and vigorous case for the extension of professional and university education to women. It would, she strongly believed, enrich women's minds, train them to think clearly about whatever they were involved in, and qualify them for the many professions to which they would be able to make a positive contribution. 193 paperback pages.
Published Price: £30.00

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Title: FAREWELL BRITANNIA: A Family Saga of Roman Britain
Young conjures new life into old bones and is an expert in things Celtic and Anglo Saxon. This is fiction as written by a careful and formidably knowledgeable scholar whose topics touch on Druidic sacrifice to Roman spies, from wolf omens to male bonding by nipple sucking. For imaginative and thrilling engagement with history, this marvellous book is very hard to beat. 400 years of Roman Britain are brought to life in this engaging family saga, from the first seasick Roman soldiers sent to scout the coast of Britain ahead of Caesar's expedition of 55BC, to the chaotic withdrawal of Roman rule in AD410. Well known events such as Boudicca's revolt and the 4th century Barbarian Conspiracy are part of the story. And there are also domestic episodes - a desperate housewife cooking flamingo and a young Christian girl facing martyrdom. A brilliant combination of scholarship and imagination. 286pp in paperback.
Published Price: £8.99

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

BLACKEST STREETS: The Life and Death of a Victorian Slum

Title: BLACKEST STREETS: The Life and Death of a Victorian Slum
'Their place knows them no more, and is ours today. Yet they were once as real as we are, and we shall tomorrow be shadows like them.' - G. M. Trevelyan about other ordinary men and women. In 1887 Government inspectors were sent in to explore the 30 or so streets and horrifying, often lethal, living conditions in a notorious 15 acre slum in London's East End. They found rotting 100 year old houses which were some of the most lucrative properties in the capital for their absent slumlords. Peers of the Realm, local politicians, churchmen and lawyers were making profits on these death-traps of as much as 150 percent per annum. Before long, the Old Nichol slum area became a focus of public attention. Journalists, the clergy, charity workers and others condemned its 6,000 inhabitants for their drunkenness and criminality. The solution to this 'problem' lay in internment camps some said, forced emigration, or even policies designed to prevent breeding. Concentrating on the last 15 years of the 19th century, when revolution was very much in the air, unemployment, agricultural depression and a crackdown on parish relief, the era provided a breeding ground for Communists and Anarchists. Author Sarah Wise looks back on the 'respectable' commentators and explores the real lives behind the statistics of the woodworkers, fish smokers, street hawkers and dog dealers whose tiny rooms doubled as workshops and miniature farmyards. She recovers the Old Nichol from the ruins of history and lays bare the social and political conditions that created and sustained this black hole which lay at the very heart of the Empire. With coloured map on the frontispiece, our very nearby Bethnal Green Road is at the heart of this area. 333pp with a good many b/w photos and woodcuts including one of an NSPCC inspector delivering a summons to a slum family, obviously posed.
Published Price: £20.00

Thursday, 13 January 2011

MAIDEN'S TRIP: A Wartime Adventure on the Grand Union Canal

Title: MAIDEN'S TRIP: A Wartime Adventure on the Grand Union Canal

First published in 1948, the book is a classic memoir of three young women in the exceptional circumstances of Britain at war. Presented with the motorboat Venus and its butty boat, the Ariadne, the three girls embark on their maiden trip. In 1943 Emma Smith signed on with the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company under their wartime scheme of employing women to make use of boats lying idle. Emma set out with Nannette and Charity on a big adventure - three 18 year old girls, freed from a conventional middle class background, precipitated into a world of the boating fraternity. Never before had they seen women with plaited hair and gold earrings, men with choker scarves and darkly sunburnt faces, whole families existing for generation after generation on boats painted the brilliant colours of blue and scarlet, white and glossy black, living hard but undisturbed lives on the water. The girls learn how to handle a pair of 72ft long canal boats, how to carry a cargo of steel north from London to Birmingham, and on the return journey south, coal from Coventry, how to navigate hazardous locks in the apparently unceasing rain, how to splice ropes, bail out bilge water, keep the engine ticking over and steer through tunnels. They live off kedgeree and fried bread and jam, adopt a kitten, lose their bicycles, laugh and quarrel and progressively get dirtier as the weeks go by. Pure nostalgic delight. 228pp with one publicity photograph of the girls at the end.
Published Price: £14.99

Wednesday, 12 January 2011



Major General Sir Richard Hannay is the fictional secret agent created by writer and diplomat John Buchan, who was himself an Intelligence officer during the First World War. The strong and silent type, combining the dour temperament of the Scot with the stiff upper lip of the Englishman, Hannay is pre-eminent among early spy-thriller heroes. Caught up in the first of these five gripping adventures just before the outbreak of war in 1914, he manages to thwart the enemy's evil plan and solve the mystery of the 'thirty-nine steps'. In Greenmantle, he undertakes a vital mission to prevent jihad in the Islamic Near East. Mr Standfast, set in the decisive months of 1917-18, is the novel in which Hannay, after a life lived 'wholly among men', finally falls in love; later, in The Three Hostages, he finds himself unravelling a kidnapping mystery with his wife's help. In the last adventure, The Island of Sheep, he is called upon to honour an old oath. A shrewd judge of men, he never dehumanises his enemy, and despite sharing some of the racial prejudices of his day, Richard Hannay is a worthy prototype hero of espionage fiction. 992 paperback pages.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Book Review of the Day


The author admits to a passion for British Game guns, a love of shooting, a lifelong enthusiasm for the history and aesthetics of double-barrelled shot guns, plus an indentured apprenticeship as a photoengraver. Many generous anonymous collectors allowed their guns to be photographed to make this book, so for collectors, this is a rare find. Many people consider British gun engraving the finest in the world. The Austrians had dominated engraving in the 1930s, the Belgians in the 50s and 60s, then the Italians under the influence of Fracassi led the way in the 70s and early 80s, but Britain now leads the world. Douglas Tate and master photographer David Grant bring us the most opulent examples in existence. The book traces the traditions of gun engraving from the end of the 18th century to today, and it shows how national styles, both English and Scottish, changed over time, from the conservative Victorian era when London's 'best' firms developed subtly different patterns to distinguish themselves from their competitors, to the 20th century when game scenes evolved to become hyper-realistic. This fine publication chronicles the development of Celtic engraving as practised chiefly by Scottish makers, the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement and the influence the Indian Maharajas had on British gun ornamentation. With superb photographic plates in colour, comprehensive list of British engravers and examples. Large lavish landscape format, 274pp. 

Published Price: £45.00

Monday, 10 January 2011

Two Book Reviews for the Curious

130,000 new titles have been published in the UK last year and already Bibliophile has been invited by many publishers to help them reduce their book stocks. This is how we have for over 30 years been able to pass on such fantastic savings on quality hardbacks and paperbacks to our loyal customers.

Here are two interesting reads for the curious:

When she began as a bookseller back in 1985 in St. Martin's Lane bookshop, our Annie sold at least 100 copies of this book every week, so it is most fondly remembered. That was just the cheap and cheerful Faber paperback. What we have here is a very splendid Faber hardback with beautiful colour illustrations by Axel Scheffler in what must become a collectable edition. Cats! Some are sane, some are mad, and some are good and some are bad. Meet magical Mr Mistoffelees, sleepy Old Deuteronomy and curious Rum Tum Tugger. But you will be lucky to meet master criminal Macavity because Macavity's not there! A beautiful edition of these beloved cat poems which of course were subsequently turned into the musical Cats. First published 1939, new edition with additional poem 1953. 64 large pages. Published Price: £14.99 BIBLIOPHILE PRICE: £6


Volume one, number one of the Burlington Magazine appeared in March 1903, produced from the now seat of the Royal Academy and the Society of Antiquaries. It was the headquarters of the Burlington Fine Arts Club whose exhibitions of Old Masters paintings from British private collections had long attracted the admiring attention of International connoisseurs. The aims of the new Magazine were to set the study of art history in Britain on an entirely new footing, including art of all periods and places, decorative as well as fine art, with high standards of typographical design and illustration and above all, readability. The aims did not change over the next 100 years. Michael Levey has compiled some of the most significant articles, reviews, editorials and obituaries to appear in it under successive editors during the 20th century. Here is W. M. Rossetti on Dante Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal, an editorial on Clifford's Inn and the protection of ancient buildings, André Salmon on negro art, Augustus John on Gwendolyn John, Sir Kenneth Clark on Piero della Francesca's Saint Augustine altarpiece, a 1998 article on the Raphael Tapestry Cartoons re-examined, Malevich and film and much more. 256 very large pages with hundreds of colour and b/w plates. Yale University Press first edition, 2003. Published Price: £35.00 BIBLIOPHILE PRICE: £18.50

Friday, 7 January 2011

Royal coats of arms

Many congratulations in getting a Royal Warrant.  I am sure it will add to your prestige and hopefully to an expansion of your business.
Hope the cats are going to get royal coats of arms on their collars!!!
Kind regards,
Bill Howard

This one made be burst into (happy) tears

Congratulations!   It couldn’t happen to a nicer bookseller.
Susan Craig


CONGRATULATIONS to Annie and all the gang at Bibliophile.  Including the cat. You have received a well deserved honor.   Always great prices, good selection, and outstanding service.  Too bad there is an ocean between us, as I would delight to browse your bookshelves.  
                                                                                                     Enough,  Kingtuf   @  US of A

A little ray of sunshine

Very well done, Annie and Team.  Your news is a little ray of sunshine in very gloomy times.
Jean Waddington

We can't get enough of this praise!

Congratulations to Annie and the team - good to know Royalty have the same, excellent taste in fine booksellers, as I do!
Looking forward to many more parcels from you - when we can find space for more bookshelves!
Thuranie Aruliah (customer for about 20+ years!)

Today's Book Review

Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung shared an obsession with the number 137. 'When the hard-boiled rationalist…came to consult me for the first time, he was in such a state of panic that not only he but I myself felt the wind blowing over from the lunatic asylum!' - Jung on Pauli. Is there a number at the root of the universe? A primal number that everything in the world hinges on? Physicists, psychologists and mystics throughout history have pondered this question. Some have proposed three as in the Trinty and the three dimensions; some have suggested four as in the seasons, directions and number of limbs. Or is the answer 137, which describes the fine-structure constant of the atom and also happens to be the sum of the Hebrew letters of the word Kabbalah? The groundbreaking physicist Pauli and famous psychoanalyst Jung both made enormous and lasting contributions to their fields. Pauli predicted the existence of the neutrino in the 1930s, many decades before it was actually discovered, and Jung codified his own occult dream analysis into his theory of a collective unconscious. In their many letters and meetings, the two men went much further. The two men's discussions lead into 'the no-man's land between Physics and the Psychology of the Unconscious.' A lavishly illustrated dual biography which tells the story of these mavericks in search of the cosmic number, a quest that led them deep into the works of medieval alchemists, dream interpretation, Kepler and even the I Ching. 336pp plus eight pages of b/w photos. US first edition written by a British academic.

Published Price: £18.99

Book pricing madness

See my husband's article on Asda prices. What with World Book Day in March giving away one million free books, what can a booksller do?
book pricing madness

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Bookseller By Royal Appointment to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh

A Royal Warrant has been granted to Annie Quigley of Bibliophile Limited. 

By Royal Appointment
to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh

We have been supplying books to Buckingham Palace for well over 20 years and we are thrilled to be able to display by Royal Appointment to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh along with his Royal Crest on our catalogue, website and business cards.

The Good Book ...

We can thank goodness that there is no VAT on books! Retail is hard enough these days. since 1978 has specialised in carefully selecting and offering, just out-of-print and soon to be rare books at 50-90% off.
Our bestsellers this year include a deluxe Bible, the like of which will never be printed again due to rising costs

HOLY BIBLE: The National Family Bible Limited Edition
Bound in full cloth, foil blocked with gilt-edged pages, there are over 1200 pages and 25 colour and black and white plates. Measuring 30cms x 24cms, this huge heavyweight 'Illustrated National Family Bible with the Commentaries of Scott and Henry' contains all the books of the Old and New Testaments. It has marble end papers, a satin bookmark and many thousand critical and explanatory notes, a family register to fill in with names and spaces for children, dates of birth, marriage and death and a family portrait gallery in the colour plates section at the beginning of the tome. A rare find. Special limited edition of 3,000 copies.

Published Price: £75.00


Tuesday, 4 January 2011

This Month's Art and Architecture titles:

by Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom
Emile Prisse d'Avennes (1807-1879), a French Orientalist, author and artist, was one of the greatest pre-20th century Egyptologists.  An ardent admirer of the superb skills of Egyptian and Oriental artisans, he was enamoured of Arabic art.  As a youth he dreamed of exploring the Orient, and at 19 began travelling to Greece and Palestine. Over the next 40 years he explored Syria, Arabia, Persia, and resided in Egypt and Algeria. Converting to Islam, he travelled Egypt disguised as an Arab, using the name Edris Effendi.  A student of ancient Egyptian and Islamic cultures, he later wrote: "We shall discuss all the arts, all the industries cultivated by Orientals with so much taste, brilliance, and fantasy. We will present splendid reproductions of the monuments, objects of art and luxury, which provide evidence of an advanced civilization, the influence of which has been felt even in Europe."  In 1848-1851 Prisse d'Avennes published his Oriental Album in London (Oriental Album: Characters, Costumes, and Modes of Life, the Valley of the Nile).  This brilliant collection of 32 chromolithographs illustrating the people and costumes of the Nile Valley was accompanied by a commentary by renowned Orientalist and Egyptologist James Augustus St. John.  After again travelling to North Africa, Prisse d'Avennes returned to France in 1860, bearing the fruits of his journeys, hundreds of folio drawings, photographs, sketches, plans and 400 meters of bas-reliefs.  Fascinated by the symmetry, complexity, and opulence of Egyptian and Arabic art, he drew from this vast collection to create compilations of the finest examples of art and architecture, which also took into account historical, social, and religious contexts.  In 1877, he published his outstanding survey on Islamic art and architecture, Arab Art (L'Art arabe d'après les monuments du Kaire, 1869-1877), in Paris. This publication reproduces the three atlas volumes containing 200 plates, 137 of them magnificent chromolithographs, mainly by Prisse d'Avennes. Two foldouts, 12" x 17", 408 pages.
ONLY £100
 by Pepin van Roojen
The Pepin Press publishers are famous for books on art, design, architecture, applied art and popular culture.  Here is a special offering of intricate geometric patterns and Arabesque, a form of ornamentation based on vines and foliage, popular in Islamic decorative arts.  In both forms of two dimensional decoration, Muslim artists have achieved exceptional levels of mastery as can be seen in the buildings in Egypt (the city of 1,000 minarets) and Alexandria.  The designs represented in the book are culled from some of the magnificent buildings in these cities, and in some cases repeating patterns have been expanded to make them more suitable for graphic use.  The images in the book can be used as a resource and for inspiration.  Each one is stored on the enclosed CD-Rom, ready for use in printed media or web page design, for producing postcards either on paper or digitally, or to decorate letters, flyers, T-shirts etc.  They can be imported directly from the CD into most software programmes.  The book itself is a visual delight, printed on quality paper, 112 pages in rich glowing colour. 
£26.99 NOW £7.50
by Robert Burleigh
Big and vibrant like its subject, this Harry Abrams publication focuses on Lautrec as a painter of Paris nightlife and one of the fathers of the poster.  Lautrec fell in love with art as a child.  His early drawings of horses and riders, circus performers and the family dog reveal his close observation of the world around him.  Later, as a student, he was entranced by the bustle of Paris and recreated its lively atmosphere in many of his vibrant works.  The personalities from the entertainment world who filled the night with song and dance were not only his friends but also his inspirations.  The book reproduces many of his best known paintings, drawings and posters as well as photos in this super introduction.  Suit ages ten to adult.  32 very large pages.
£9.95 NOW £6
by Sarah Thornton
The art market is booming.  Museum attendance is surging and more people than ever call themselves artists.  Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description and a kind of alternative religion for atheists.  Art receives the sort of breathless media attention that was once reserved for celebrities and royals.  But the art world is still opaque to outsiders.  Here Sarah Thornton takes us on an unusual journey exploring the most puzzling aspects of buying, selling, creating and exhibiting contemporary art.  In a series of beautifully paced, fly-on-the-wall narratives, we witness the drama of a Christie's auction, the high jinx of Takashi Murakami's studios, life in a notorious art school seminar, the élite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artform magazine, the backrooms of the Turner Prize and the watery wonderland of the Venice Biennale.  With her critical eye, gossip and rigorous research, her often funny account is peopled by an ever-expanding number of artists, collectors, dealers, curators and critics.  274pp in paperback with illus.
£12 NOW £4.50