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The blog has moved

Posted by Baronbern on January 14, 2017 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (2)

I haven't posted a new entry on this blog for nearly three years now, not for lack of interest, but because I've been developing a new blog at http://paperbackrevolution.wordpress.com/ .   As well as Tauchnitz, this covers a range of my interests in books, particularly vintage paperbacks, and even the occasional post that's nothing to do with books.  Tauchnitz is well represented though and after three years, there must be around 50 posts covering Tauchnitz and related topics.

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It's bound to go wrong

Posted by Baronbern on April 9, 2014 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (1)

An unusual book turned up from a collection in Belgium this week. To all outward appearances it’s a paperback copy of volume 4050 ‘The Statue’ by Eden Phillpotts and Arnold Bennett, with first printing wrappers dated July 1908. Inside however are bound the pages of a completely different book - volume 3950 ‘Benita’ by H. Rider Haggard. This also appears to be a first printing copy from over a year earlier in February 1907, and has the catalogue for that month ...

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Shock and Sensation

Posted by Baronbern on August 13, 2013 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

It’s of course well-known that there was a lot of discrimination against women authors in the Victorian era. It was difficult for them to get published and authors such as George Eliot, and the Bronte sisters had to resort to male pseudonyms. So it comes as no surprise to find that of the first 100 volumes of the Tauchnitz series, 96 of them were by male authors. The only exceptions were 3 volumes by the Countess of Blessington and one by Lady Georgiana Fullerton. Perhaps at that ti...

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A new home for the Pressler collection

Posted by Baronbern on August 13, 2013 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I had a fascinating day trip to Edinburgh this summer to see the Tauchnitz collection recently acquired by the National Library of Scotland. The collection was originally put together by Dr. Karl Pressler, a German publisher and antiquarian bookseller, and is possibly the largest Tauchnitz collection in the world, with something around 8000 books. As well as a unique run of the first 158 volumes in the earliest publisher’s bindings and the earliest printings, it has a second long run ...

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Cabinet of curiosities

Posted by Baronbern on June 29, 2013 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The ‘Cabinet edition of English Classics’ was one of the shortest Tauchnitz series, and one of the rarest, but also seems to be one of the most puzzling. It ran to 4 books, of which Todd & Bowden were able to find just two copies in total, in all of the libraries and collections they inspected. I have since found copies of the other two books, and details are shown on the bibliography page.

 

The series was quickly discontinued, presumably after poor sales...

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Reverting to type

Posted by Baronbern on June 16, 2013 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I’ve never paid much attention to the typeface used in Tauchnitz editions, other than to note that the early editions (1841 – 1847) used what looked like a relatively cramped and old-fashioned font that was replaced by a more ‘modern’ font in 1847. Todd & Bowden refer to some criticism of the appearance of the early editions in comparison with French rivals in particular.

 

Beauty however is in the eye of the beholder, and the original font...

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Battle of the Bands

Posted by Baronbern on February 13, 2013 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

This is the third in a series of blog posts on Tauchnitz advertising materials, and I admitted in the first one to a long interest in this kind of ephemera. There are times though when I feel that it's a bit absurd to be collecting odd bits of paper from 100 years or more ago that were designed to be disposable. It's the same absurdity that comes when the value of a book with its dustjacket is more than twice the value without dustjacket, so that the value of the dustjacket is apparently mo...

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Bookmark this page

Posted by Baronbern on January 4, 2013 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

As well as the Tauchnitz Periodical Record (see previous blog post), another recent ephemera find is worth noting. A bookmark dated April 1893 is not only slightly older than any of the previously recorded Tauchnitz bookmarks, but also differs from the later bookmarks in a number of small ways. The earliest bookmark recorded by Todd & Bowden is dated July 1894, with the latest in this series dated June 1914, leading them to hypothesise the existence of a series of 240 monthly bookmarks,...

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Another record

Posted by Baronbern on January 2, 2013 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I have always been interested in the various brochures, bookmarks, leaflets and catalogues that Tauchnitz used to advertise their wares. As well as providing a wealth of background information on the firm, they add variety and interest to a collection. So far as I can judge from the Todd & Bowden research on other collections, my own collection is richer in this type of material than any of the other major collections. I have copies of many of the Monthly Descriptive lists, and of t...

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Branding and Social Networking 1930s style

Posted by Baronbern on June 3, 2012 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (0)

What were the Albatross Crime Club and the Albatross Mystery Club? Were they really clubs in any meaningful sense of the word? The branding clearly came from the Collins Crime Club in the UK, which was not a traditional book club, but more of a mailing list. Occasional newsletters were sent out to anyone who registered an interest, although so far as I know there was no fee to join. In modern terms, it was more of a Facebook Group than a real club.

 

The Albatross Crime Club ...

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