Top 10 historic books in July

Here are the top 10 historic titles produced by the Cambridge Library Collection in July. Scroll down to vote for your favourite.

 

10. Things Japanese

Being Notes on Various Subjects Connected with Japan

Things Japanese

Basil Hall Chamberlain (1850–1935) first encountered Japan on a journey intended to promote the recovery of his health: he had suffered a nervous breakdown while working for Barings Bank. In May 1873, he arrived in Yokohama, and was immediately fascinated by traditional Japanese culture. The drive for modernisation had created a need for teachers of English, and Chamberlain was taken on as a tutor in the naval academy, at the same time studying the Japanese language to such good effect that in 1886 he was made professor of Japanese and philology of the Imperial University (later Tokyo University). This book, first published in 1890, and going into six editions over the next fifty years, is in the form of an encyclopaedia, with topics from ‘abacus’ to ‘zoology’. It gives an affectionate account of aspects of Japanese culture which Chamberlain realised were disappearing under the relentless impact of Western influence.

Part of Cambridge Library Collection – Travel and Exploration in Asia

  • AUTHOR: Basil Hall Chamberlain
  • DATE PUBLISHED: July 2014
  • AVAILABILITY: Available
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781108073851

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9. The Origin of Printing 

In Two Essays

The Origin of Printing

 

This work, first published in 1774, consists of a reissue of the Dissertation on the Origin of Printing in England by Conyers Middleton (1683–1750), first published in 1735, together with an abridgement of an account of the origin of printing by the Dutch lawyer Gerard Meerman (1722–71). It was compiled by the scholar and publisher William Bowyer (1699–1777) and his apprentice and later business partner John Nichols (1745–1826), several of whose works are also published in this series. Both essays debate the origins of printing, disputing the traditional account that Gutenberg introduced it to Europe and Caxton to England. Appendices describe the progress of printing in Greek and Hebrew, and the first printed polyglot Bibles. The names and achievements of Gutenberg’s contemporaries in Germany and the Low Countries are given their due in this interesting overview of the earliest period of printing in the West.

Part of Cambridge Library Collection – History of Printing, Publishing and Libraries

  • AUTHOR: William Bowyer
  • DATE PUBLISHED: July 2014
  • AVAILABILITY: Available
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781108073837
  • PRICE: £15.99

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8. Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday

Encouraged to share his memories of Michael Faraday (1791–1867), John Hall Gladstone (1827–1902) published in 1872 this short work about his late friend’s life and career. Faraday’s successor as Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, Gladstone discusses how Faraday approached science, and the value of his discoveries. Offering informed insights into Faraday’s character, Gladstone includes a number of extracts from personal letters. The work also includes a translation of part of the eulogy given by Jean-Baptiste Dumas at the Académie des Sciences, as well as an anonymous poem honouring Faraday and published in Punch shortly after his death. An appendix lists the numerous learned societies to which Faraday belonged. Also reissued in this series are The Life and Letters of Faraday (1870), compiled by Henry Bence Jones, and John Tyndall’s Faraday as a Discoverer (1868).

Part of Cambridge Library Collection – Physical Sciences

  • AUTHOR: John Hall Gladstone
  • DATE PUBLISHED: July 2014
  • AVAILABILITY: Available
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781108070096
  • PRICE: £15.99

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7. Recollections of Writers

With Letters of Charles Lamb, Leigh Hunt, Douglas Jerrold, and Charles Dickens

Recollections of writers

 

Charles Cowden Clarke (1787–1877) and his wife Mary (1809–98) were born into literary and musical circles which deeply shaped their careers and supplied lifelong friendships with great artists and writers. Among Charles’s closest school friends was John Keats, and his acquaintances later included William Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt, Coleridge and the Shelleys. Mary’s childhood introduction to Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare led to a lifetime of Shakespearean scholarship, friendship with the Lambs, and her performance in several Shakespearean roles for the amateur company run by Charles Dickens. Wed in 1828, the Cowden Clarkes were, as Mary writes, ‘among the happiest of married lovers for more than forty-eight years’, publishing jointly and enjoying mutual friendships. Their insightful recollections of their literary friends, first published serially towards the end of Charles’s life, were afterwards collected by Mary, together with many important letters, and published in this 1878 work.

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6. On Superstitions Connected with the History and Practice of Medicine and Surgery

 

Medical Superstitions

The surgeon Thomas Pettigrew (1791–1865) was interested in all aspects of antiquity, and gained fame in London society through his mummy-unwrapping parties. (His History of Egyptian Mummies is also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection.) His interest in the early history of medicine is evidenced by this work, published in 1844, which describes the various forms of superstition which the science of medicine had always attracted since ancient times. Pettigrew considers alchemy and astrology, and the use of talismans, amulets and charms, as well as the history of Egyptian, Greek and Roman medicine, and some modern developments, including ‘sympathetical cures’ and the rejoining of severed fingers and ears. A chapter is devoted to the belief in the efficacy of the ‘royal touch’ against the King’s Evil (scrofula), and another to the seventeenth-century faith healer Valentine Greatrakes, of whose alleged cures Pettigrew takes a robustly sceptical view.

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5. The Frozen Zone and its Explorers

A Comprehensive Record of Voyages, Travels, Discoveries, Adventures and Whale-Fishing in the Arctic Regions for One Thousand Years

Frozen

This account by three American authors of one thousand years of exploration in the Arctic regions, culminating in the voyage and loss of the USS Polaris in 1872, was published in 1874. The work, which is derived from many earlier published accounts, begins with a short and highly sentimental biography of the famous American explorer Elisha Kane (whose own works are reissued in this series). It continues with the geography of the Arctic regions, and the voyages of the Vikings and early modern explorers, describing the activities of the whaling fleets as well as the oceanographic and scientific researches of the naval expeditions from many countries seeking the North-West Passage. This is a useful and readable synthesis, which ends with a stirring appeal to the British Admiralty to resume the work of polar exploration which had gone into decline after the end of the official search for Sir John Franklin.

Part of Cambridge Library Collection – Polar Exploration

  • EDITORS:
  • Alexander Hyde
  • A. C. Baldwin
  • W. L. Gage
  • DATE PUBLISHED: July 2014
  • AVAILABILITY: Available
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781108074889
  • PRICE: £43.00

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4. Companion to the Most Celebrated Private Galleries of Art in London

Containing Accurate Catalogues, Arranged Alphabetically, for Immediate Reference, Each Preceded by an Historical and Critical Introduction

Private Galleries

A professional author of art and literary criticism as well as travel writing, Anna Jameson (1794–1860) journeyed widely in Europe and North America, and moved in the literary circles which included the Brownings and Harriet Martineau. Many of her other works are also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection. In 1844, she published this book on the great private art collections of London. She begins with an essay on the formation of the collections, from the seventeenth-century earl of Arundel onwards, and then describes in turn the Queen’s Gallery, the Bridgewater, Sutherland, Grosvenor and Lansdowne galleries, and the collections of Sir Robert Peel and of the poet Samuel Rogers. For each collection there is an introductory essay, a catalogue raisonnée and a note of the most important items in the collection. This work is a fascinating and valuable guide to mid-nineteenth-century taste and fashion in art.

Part of Cambridge Library Collection – Art and Architecture

  • AUTHOR: Anna Jameson
  • DATE PUBLISHED: July 2014
  • AVAILABILITY: Available
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781108073844
  • PRICE: £27.99

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3. Concrete

Its Use in Building and the Construction of Concrete Walls, Floors, Etc.

Concrete
Clerk of works to an aristocratic landowner, Thomas Potter possessed considerable practical experience when he published this work in 1877. His intention was to provide a source of helpful information relating to a building material that was being increasingly used in Victorian construction, yet not without detractors, who objected on aesthetic as well as technical grounds. Clearly enthusiastic about concrete’s potential applications, Potter seeks to give a balanced assessment of its usefulness and versatility. While the text does not discuss the chemical processes involved, it does cover aggregates, matrices, how to mix the two, the apparatus needed, the construction of walls, floors and roofs, and the costs and disadvantages of using concrete. The book also features several contemporary advertisements, including one for ‘Potter’s Concrete Building Apparatus and Appliances’. Of related interest, Charles William Pasley’s Observations on Limes, Calcareous Cements, Mortars, Stuccos, and Concrete (1838) is also reissued in this series.

Part of Cambridge Library Collection – Technology

  • AUTHOR: Thomas Potter
  • DATE PUBLISHED: July 2014
  • AVAILABILITY: Available
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781108070515
  • PRICE: £16.99

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2. Ancient Cambridgeshire

Or, an Attempt to Trace Roman and Other Ancient Roads that Passed through the County of Cambridge

Ancient Cambridgeshire

This work, first published in 1853, grew from a paper describing the crossing of two Roman roads at Cambridge, and the small Roman fort at Grantchester. However, other Roman sites were added to the investigation, and the book came to encompass all the Roman and other ancient roads of Cambridgeshire, as well as the locations where Roman coins and other remains had been found. The author, Charles Cardale Babington (1808–95), is best remembered as the pupil and assistant of John Stevens Henslow and as his successor in the chair of botany at Cambridge. However, Babington was also keenly interested in archaeology, and this fascinating work of local history is the first substantial account of Roman Cambridgeshire, describing not only the courses of the various roads but also finds such as the Roman villa at Comberton, the Roman cemetery at Trumpington, and large numbers of individual coins and other artefacts.

Part of Cambridge Library Collection – Cambridge

  • AUTHOR: Charles Cardale Babington
  • DATE PUBLISHED: July 2014
  • AVAILABILITY: In stock
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781108075572
  • PRICE: £14.99

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1. The Humble Bee

Its Life-History and How to Domesticate it, with Descriptions of All the British Species of Bombusand Psithyrus

The Humble BeeThis classic work by F. W. L. Sladen (1876–1921) was published in 1912. Captivated by the bees in the grounds of his home, he produced his first essay on them in 1892, and later began to keep bees and produce honey as a livelihood, at the same time studying and breeding honeybees. Moving in 1912 to Canada, he eventually received the title of Dominion Apiarist, but unfortunately his work was cut short by his sudden death in 1921. When this book was published, there were no detailed accounts of the life cycles of the humble-bee (or bumblebee) species. Sladen provides these, with a guide to distinguishing the different British species (with colour plates which can be viewed at http://www.cambridge.org/9781108075725), and instructions on how to domesticate these important pollinators. Combining the enthusiasm of a naturalist with the precision of a scientist, this work is of continuing interest and importance in environmental studies.

Part of Cambridge Library Collection – Zoology

  • AUTHOR: Frederick William Lambert Sladen
  • DATE PUBLISHED: July 2014
  • AVAILABILITY: Available
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781108075725
  • PRICE: £21.99

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Aside | This entry was posted in Archaeology, Art and architecture, Cambridge, Classics, Language and Linguistics, Life Science, Literary Studies, Medicine, Music, Physical Sciences, Printing and Publishing History, Technology, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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