Browsing in a second-hand bookshop on Charing Cross Road some years ago, I came across a copy of History and the Early English Novel by Robert Mayer. I…
Sir Edward Dering (1598-1644), of Pluckley, in Kent, was an antiquary not always scrupulous with his accounts about the past (he concocted a fake ancie…
In the Bodleian library I look at a small printed book, less than the size of my hand, containing 156 pages of the works of the French author, politici…
A friend who teaches in New York told me that the historian Peter Lake told him that J.G.A. Pocock told him that Conrad Russell told him that Bertrand …
On 27th November 1944, my grandfather Denys Godin sent a letter to his former schoolfriend, Richard Christopher Warlow-Harry, a Major in the British ar…
A week or so ago I was helping to clear out a room in my mother-in-law’s house and I came across an example of one of my favourite kinds of text: the p…
On a visit to my brother’s last weekend I saw the Bible which has passed down on my mother’s side of the family, looming on a high shelf. It’s very lar…
In Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925), a plane flies over post-World War One London and seems to write letters in the sky: Dropping dead down the aer…
In volume 3 of Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1761), Tristram famously presents the reader with a marbled page …
What does it mean to place one book next to another? What connections does this kind of piling up suggest? My shelves are usually (a) quite messy, and …
The many notebooks I’ve filled in recent years are normally scattered across various drawers and desks but last week I gathered them into a single pile…
£32.99 on Amazon gets you a ‘Time Capsule Waterproof Stainless Steel Durable Lock Container Storage Future Gift 7.3”’. It’s made of polished stainless …