Yale £12.99 (295pp) £ 11.69 from the Independent Bookshop : 08430 600 030
Reading Matters, By Margaret Willes
Friday 30 April 2010
In her introduction to this delightful literary ramble, Willes winningly explains that it combines "two of my favourite activities, shopping and reading".
Each of its nine chapters concerns an individual or institution devoted to books. The relay of readers begins in the 16th century with Bess of Hardwick, whose tapestries indicate her fondness for Chaucer and the botanist Mattioli. Their works were sold at the Frankfurt book fair, which was going strong in 1564 and remains the major publishing wingding.
We learn that Pepys bought his books in Westminster Hall, where shoppers could peer at the exhumed body of Cromwell. Book reviewing began in the 1730s though publishers did not supply review copies. Willes ends with the 17,000 books in the library of Denis and Edna Healey. A picture reveals the Bodley Head edition of Ulysses behind Edna's shoulder.
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
- 2 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 3 Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Michael B Jordan and Kate Mara handle excruciatingly awkward and offensive interview questions like pros
Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
Agatha Christie: Experts discover secret formula to unmask killers in author's books
Cilla Black: Her 12 best songs, from 'Anyone Who Had a Heart' to 'You're My World'
Zoolander 2 trailer leaks online and it's really, really, ridiculously good looking
Michael B Jordan and Kate Mara handle excruciatingly awkward and offensive interview questions like pros
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality