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Omar Sharif, Boris Pasternak, The KGB and the CIA

Midway through the year, while scanning a report of our recent high-value orders, a sale caught my eye. It was a copy of Boris Pasternak’s classic novel Doctor Zhivago, in its original Russian, bound in plain, blue cloth. It sold for $11,000. The bookseller’s description mentioned that this was the edition “covertly published by the […]

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3D Charles Dickens captured in Ivorex

Do you know what Ivorex is? Well, you are looking at an image of Charles Dickens in his study created from Ivorex, which was a wax-like material created by the B. Osborne Company who operated from 1899 to 1965.  These three-dimensional plaques are collectible and quite rare. This particular plaque is offered by Tiger Books […]

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Stefan Zweig: The Tragic Author Who Inspired The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel was the talk of Sunday’s 2015 Academy Awards. The delightful, unusual film was being nominated for nine Oscars, and won four, in the categories of Best Production Design, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Only Birdman, the best picture-winner, won as many. What few […]

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AbeBooks Explains Why Shakespeare’s First Folio is so Important

Our latest video explains why William Shakespeare’s First Folio is so significant. It’s full title is Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies and it was published in 1623. The First Folio is arguably the most important book in the English language.

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Alan Turing’s ‘Imitation Game’ paper on artificial intelligence sells for £1,250

An academic journal from 1950 containing a seminal essay on computer intelligence by British codebreaker Alan Turing has sold for £1,250 (approx $1,970) on AbeBooks.co.uk. Turing, who cracked the German secret code in World War II, is currently being played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the movie, The Imitation Game. Turing wrote a paper titled ‘Computer […]

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Le Crapouillot – France’s 80-Year Political Satire Magazine

While foraging about the internet’s forest floor to learn all I could about our latest Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Patrick Modiano, I discovered Le Crapouillot. The first discovery was that Modiano had contributed to an issue of a magazine about drugs. The actual title of the issue was: “LSD une bombe atomique dans la […]

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Hilary Mantel and “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher”

Two-time Booker Award-Winner Hilary Mantel has everyone in quite an uproar. The bestselling author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies has released a new short story, titled The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: August 6th, 1983. And as if the title wasn’t shocking enough, even more incredible is Mantel’s admission that the inspiration for […]

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Nebuchadnezzar’s stone book goes to auction

Fine Books magazine reports that a Babylonian cuneiform cylinder from the rule of Nebuchadnezzar II is going to be auctioned on April 9 in New York. The clay cylinder is also offered for sale on AbeBooks at just over £1 million. The book/stone details the rebuilding of a temple by Nebuchadnezzar II around 604-562 BC. The cylinder is […]

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Book of Margery Kempe, the first autobiography in English

The British Library has digitised the sole surviving original copy of the first autobiography written in English – The Book of Margery Kempe, reports The Guardian. It owns the only known copy of the book, describing  Kempe’s life and travels in England and abroad, including her pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Santiago de Compostela […]

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16th century warfare manual shows rockets strapped to cats and doves

Textbooks on the art of war have been around for centuries in one form or another. One of the most interesting examples is Armamentarium Principale Oder Kriegsmunition und Artillerey=Buch by Frank Helm. This 16th century book details the manufacture of bombs, canons and other types of artillery involving gunpowder.  Instructions include strapping rockets to the […]

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