9781108068710fc3dAlas, and thrice woe (from my point of view anyway), this is my last ever blog for the Cambridge Library Collection. I now slip away into the sunset, leaving others to ramble on (or, even better, write snappily and coherently) on the subject of our wonderful CLC books. Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Astronomy, Biography, Cambridge, Classics, Earth Sciences, Fiction and poetry, Gardening, History, Language and Linguistics, Life Science, Literary Studies, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Printing and Publishing History, Travel and Exploration | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spring and Port Wine

9781108054171fc3d … is the name of a play and then a film about Bolton, in northern England. However, I’m borrowing the title because I’ve just spent a few spring days in (O)Porto, where the wine comes from. My Portuguese vocabulary has consequently mushroomed temporarily by several hundred per cent (admittedly from the low base line of one word). Sun, fish, wine, UNESCO heritage site, what’s not to like?

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The Wit and Wisdom of the Rev. Sydney Smith

9781108069625fc3dSydney Smith is described in his ODNB entry as ‘author and wit’, which somewhat overlooks the day job as a clergyman. In the two-volume ‘life and letters’ published in 1855 by his daughter Saba (a name he invented himself), she describes his life, including his clerical career, in loving and humorous detail; the second volume is a selection of his letters, edited by his friend Mrs Sarah Austin, from which his wit, and even more his good nature, positively shine. (Saba, by the way, was married to the royal physician Sir Henry Holland, several of whose works we have reissued, and who cared devotedly for his father-in-law in his last illness.) Continue reading

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A Child’s History of England

9781108076777fc3dThe paths of the Cambridge Library Collection and Charles Dickens have crossed several times – remarkable, given that Dickens is (of course) one of Britain’s greatest novelists, and we don’t publish much fiction. But of the short experimental (for us) series of ‘Fiction and Poetry’ we have reissued, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is undoubtedly one of the stars. Our various incarnations of Great Expectationsmanuscript, serialisation and first book edition – have attracted a lot of attention, and then there are the works about Dickens: Forster’s unsurpassed (in many respects), biography, Dolby’s recollections of the famous performing tours, the edition of (some of) his letters, and his daughter Mamie’s My Father As I Recall Him. Continue reading

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The Huguenots

9781108079822fc3dI have mentioned before the industrious Samuel Smiles, Victorian believer in hard work and self-education (otherwise known as pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps) as the way to social improvement and financial prosperity. His 1867 work on the Huguenot communities of Britain and Ireland was, I imagine, inspired by his admiration for a group of people who had done just that, sometimes more than once. Continue reading

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