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AbeBooks’ most expensive sales in January, February & March 2018

A Keith Haring exhibition catalog that sold for $9,500

From German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to American artist Keith Haring, here is a list of AbeBooks’ most expensive sales in January, February & March. See the top 15 sales.

The Evolution of Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit is still sneaking into Mr McGregor’s garden to steal vegetables. Our video traces Peter’s history from being privately printed in 1901 to this year’s movie adaptation.

It’s the Gormenghast Automata: Mervyn Peake’s characters in motion

This is the ‘Gormenghast Automata’ – the ultimate accessory for fans of British novelist and artist Mervyn Peake, who created the Gormenghast trilogy of gothic fantasy novels. Custom built by an anonymous Gormenghast-loving English craftsman from wood and metal, this brand new automated mechanical device depicts Peake’s decaying castle and some of its unusual inhabitants.

Learn more

Addicted to KFC? Five Finger Lickin’ Good Fried Chicken Cookbooks

As the UK struggles through the ongoing KFC crisis, AbeBooks.co.uk has prepared a list of the best fried chicken cookbooks to help Britons prepare fried chicken in their own homes. And, for good measure, we have added 10 facts about fried chicken below.

Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides by Lee Brian Schrager & Adeena Sussman

The authors toured high-class restaurants and roadside shacks for this cookbook. Recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi (Seeded Chicken Schnitzel with Parsley-Caper Mayonnaise) and Thomas Keller (Buttermilk Fried Chicken) are included.

Fried Chicken: Recipes for the Crispy, Crunchy, Comfort-Food Classic by Rebecca Lang

Fifty family-friendly fried chicken recipes from the American South, including Bacon-Fried Chicken Smothered in Gravy, Tennessee Hot Chicken; and even Gluten-Free Southern Fried Chicken. Also contains international variations such as Korean Fried Chicken.

Fried Chicken: the World’s Best Recipes from Memphis to Milan, from Buffalo to Bangkok by Damon Fowler

Contains 75 recipes that go way beyond Kentucky and the American South. Discover how chicken is fried around the world from the Caribbean to Greece, including an Italian fried chicken  in Florentine wine batter recipe.

Fried Chicken & Friends: The Hartsyard Family Cookbook by Gregory Llewellyn & Naomi Hart

Husband and wife team Naomi Hart (an Aussie) and Gregory Llewelyn (an American) run the Hartsyard restaurant in Sydney, Australia, which has become a mecca for lovers of southern-style cooking. One hundred recipes.

Southern Country Cooking from the Loveless Cafe: Fried Chicken, Hams, and Jams from Nashville’s Favorite Café by Jane & Michael Stern

Nashville’s Loveless Café has been a Tennessee institution for more than 65 years. Its fried chicken is just one of its nationally acclaimed dishes. There are also ribs, burgers, meatloaf, waffles…the list goes on and on. It’s been acclaimed by USA Today, Ellen DeGeneres, Martha Stewart, and hundreds of thousands of diners.

Ten Facts about Fried Chicken

1 It may have been Scottish immigrants, with their love of frying, who brought fried chicken to the American South. No-one really knows, but fried chicken is now a staple dish throughout the region where it is commonly eaten as Sunday lunch and on public holidays.

2 There are three main techniques for frying chickens – pan frying, deep frying and broasting where a pressure fryer is used. Key elements of recipes are going to be whether your chicken is marinated, the type of coating used or the preferred seasoning, the all-important cooking time and the temperature of the oil.

3 The earliest recorded recipe for American-style fried chicken is believed to be in a British cookbook, Hannah Glasse’s highly influential The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easypublished in 1747. It calls for marinated chicken fried in hog’s lard.

4 Fried chicken was initially a luxury food in the American South but gained mass appeal as farmed chickens became cheaper and more plentiful.

6 Traditional fried chicken is not a true fast food. It’s going to need at least 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time.

7 Colonel Harland Sanders turned fried chicken into a fast food staple when he began franchising his Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in the 1950s.  KFC is the world’s second biggest restaurant chain and can be found in more than 100 countries. Sanders served his first fried chicken while running a petrol station in Kentucky. He was originally from Indiana.

8 KFC’s Colonel Sanders was not a real colonel in the military sense. He was given the honorary title in 1950 by Kentucky’s governor Lawrence Wetherby.

9 Fried chicken is a dish cooked around the world. Variations can be found in the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and South America. Korea is particularly noted for its fried chicken recipes.

10 A key part of KFC’s marketing has been around its secret recipe featuring 11 herbs and spices. Colonel Sanders actually put a copy of the recipe above the door at his petrol station diner during the 1940s, but no-one copied down the ingredients.

Tell Delia that specialty cookbooks are alive and well

Last week, the doyenne of British food writers Delia Smith was awarded the Companion of Honour for services to cookery at Buckingham Palace.

At the time, Delia – who is deservedly known by one name to millions of people rather like Madonna, Adele and Bono – said that cookbooks were dead because recipes were now so easy to find online. “There is not the need now to keep books. I think there are far too many of them, actually,” she said.

Delia’s Complete Cookery Course

Now, Delia is close to my heart. When my family moved to Canada from the UK, we only brought nine books with us and one of them was Delia’s Complete Cookery Course. But her comments didn’t quite add up from where AbeBooks.co.uk stands, so we analysed a complete day of sales – November 14, the day Delia went to Buckingham Palace to pick up her award.

The cookery books displayed below were sold during that 24-hour period and these are just the English language cookbooks. There were also sales of recipe books in French, Spanish, German, and Italian that we didn’t take into account.

Cookbooks appear to be alive and well, with demand for books that offer recipes beyond regulation meals and general cuisine. There is a need for specialty recipe books that serve a specific need or purpose. Some may be out-of-print or difficult to find. Another general purpose cookbook from some celebrity or other will almost certainly be forgotten within a couple of years.

The list includes cookbooks that cover Nordic, Catalan, Turkish, Nepalese, French, African, Spanish, Indian, Texan, Malaysian, Irish, Hungarian, French, Jewish, Russian, and Thai cuisine.

The specific foods covered include spam, sriracha, dried beans and rhubarb (the wonderfully named Rhubarbaria: Recipes for Rhubarb by Mary Prior), as well as vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.

Books dedicated to particular cooking methods cover slow cookers, pressure cookers, barbecues, woks, cast-iron cookware, food processors, and Dutch ovens (which is a thick-walled cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid).

There are cookbooks for kids, dieters, people on a budget, people going on picnics, banquet hosts, and people interested in eating like the Victorians and folks from Medieval times (presumably nobility rather than peasants).

Celebrity-related cookbooks sold that day span the Grateful Dead, Paul Newman, Nero Wolfe, Redwall, and Dr Seuss. Thankfully, several copies of Delia’s Complete Cookery Course were sold but few books from TV chefs were being purchased. Nothing from Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson.

And the bestselling recipe book of that day? The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book. This book was first published in 1954. Alice B Toklas was Gertrude Stein’s partner and the book is partly autobiographical. It famously includes a recipe for hashish fudge.

Here’s the list:

The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash (1982)

The Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout (1973)

A Catalan Cookery Book by Irving Davis & Patience Gray (1969)

The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson (2015)

Cook It in Cast Iron: Kitchen-Tested Recipes for the One Pan That Does It All by Cook’s Country (2016)

Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin (2016)

Cooking Your Way to Good Health: More Delicious Recipes from Doug Kaufmann’s Anti-fungal Diet by Doug Kaufmann & Denni Dunham (2011)

The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book (2010)

McCall’s Cook Book: The Absolutely Complete Step-By-Step Cooking and Serving Guide by McCall’s Food Editors & Richard Roseblum (1963)

Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman (2017)

Joys of Nepalese Cooking by Indra Majupuria (1997)

Brunetti’s Cookbook by Roberta Pianaro & Donna Leon (2010)

Marion Brown’s Southern Cook Book (1980)

How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman (2013)

Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook by Al J. Reagan & Nell B. Nichols (1959)

The Art of African Cooking by Sandy Lesberg (1971)

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1 (1983) by Julia Chid

Cast-Iron Cooking: Recipes & Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Cast-Iron Cookware by Rachael Narins (2016)

An Irish Country Cookbook: More Than 140 Family Recipes from Soda Bread to Irish Stew, Paired with Ten New, Charming Short Stories from the Beloved Irish Country Series by Patrick Taylor (2017)

The Meat Cookbook by Nichola Fletcher (2014)

The Constance Spry Cookery Book by Constance Spry & Rosemary Hume (2014)

The Grandma’s Attic Cookbook by Arleta Richardson (1993)

The Redwall Cookbook by Brian Jacques (2005)

Plant-Based Cookbook: Good for Your Heart, Your Health, and Your Life; 200 Whole-food Recipes by Trish Sebben-Krupka (2015)

The Frugal Paleo Cookbook: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Paleo Cooking by Ciarra Hannah & Melissa Joulwan (2014)

The Cape Malay Cookbook by Faldela Williams (1988)

Betty Crocker Cookbook (2016)

The Hairy Bikers Cookbook by Dave Myers & Si King (2013)

Eat to Live Quick and Easy Cookbook: 131 Delicious Recipes for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Reversing Disease, and Lifelong Health by Joel Fuhrman (2017)

Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater (2011)

Cook Now, Eat Later by Mary Berry (2014)

More Calculated Cooking by Jeanne Jones (1981)

Chez Panisse Cooking by Paul Bertolli and Alice Waters (1994)

Hungarian Cookery by Fred Macnicol (1978)

New Magimix Cookbook by Marika Hanbury-Tenison (1982)

Eva Batt’s Vegan Cooking (1985)

Vegetarian Cookery (500 Recipes) by Patty Fisher (1969)

Everyday Cookery by Mrs. Beeton (1963)

Cooking With the Dead: Recipes and Stories from Fans on the Road by Elizabeth Zipern (1995)

Delia’s Complete Cookery Course Vol 1-3 (2007)

Slow Cooker Quick Fixes: Recipes for Everyday Cover ‘n Cook Convenience by Susan Hernandez Ray (2010)

Cook, Eat, Thrive: Vegan Recipes from Everyday to Exotic by Joy Tienzo (2012)

A Banquet on a Budget: Cooking for Weddings, Birthdays and Other Big Parties by Judy Ridgway (2016)

Cooking the Spanish Way by Elsa Behrens (1962)

Cooking and Dining in Medieval England by Peter Brears (2012)

The Ultimate Slow Cooker Book: More than 400 Recipes from Appetizers to Desserts by Better Homes and Gardens (2009)

The Calculating Cook: A Gourmet Cookbook for Diabetics and Dieters by Jeanne Jones (1980)

Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer &‎ Marion Rombauer Becker (2006)

Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Dr. Seuss by Georgeanne Brennan & Frankie Frankeny (2006)

The New Vegan Cookbook: Innovative Vegetarian Recipes Free of Dairy, Eggs, and Cholesterol by Lorna Sass & Jonelle Weaver (2001)

Dried Beans & Grains (The Good Cook, Techniques & Recipes) by Richard Olney & Carol Cutler (1982)

Cook Vegan by Richard Youngs (2001)

Cooking Light Way to Cook: The Complete Visual Guide to Everyday Cooking by Cooking Light Magazine (2013)

Dutch Oven Cooking by Ray Overton (1998)

Dutch Oven Cooking by John G. Ragsdale (2006)

The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins & Julee Rosso (2007)

The New Basics Cookbook by Sheila Lukins &‎ Julee Rosso (1989)

Cooking for Family and Friends: 100 Lean Recipes to Enjoy Together by Joe Wicks (2017)

A Texas Family’s Cookbook by Joseph Lowery with Donald R. Counts & Kathryn O’C. Counts (1988)

The New McCall’s Cookbook by Mary Eckley (1973)

Cook’s Country 2007 by America’s Test Kitchen (2007)

Cooking the Jewish Way by Ann Wald (1961)

Vegan Cooking For Dummies by Alexandra Jamieson (2010)

The Art of India’s Cookery: Curries, Kebabs, Festival Foods, & Other Specialties from India’s North, East, South, & West by William Irving Kaufman (1964)

Findhorn Family Cook Book by Kay Lynne Sherman (1982)

Cooking the Russian Way by Musia Soper (1961)

The Escoffier Cookbook and Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery: For Connoisseurs, Chefs, Epicures Complete With 2973 Recipes by Auguste Escoffier & Charlotte Adams (2000)

Spring and Summer: Cooking with a Veg Box by Guy Watson and Kirsty Hale (2015)

The Art of Wok Cooking from West Bend by West Bend Co (1984)

Cooking in a Bedsitter by Katharine Whitehorn (1999)

Spam – The Cookbook by Marguerite Patten (2009)

New Dieter’s Cookbook: Eat Well, Feel Great, Lose Weight by Kristi Thomas & Better Homes and Gardens (2003)

Daisy Cooks: Latin Flavors That Will Rock Your World by Daisy Martinez (2005)

Cooking with Trader Joe’s: The 5 Ingredient Cookbook by Deana Gunn & Wona Miniati (2015)

The Book of Thai Cooking by Hilaire Walden (1992)

Newman’s Own Cookbook by Paul Newman & A.E. Hotchner (1998)

The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 “Rooster Sauce” Recipes that Pack a Punch by Randy Clemens (2011)

Gracious Gator Cooks by FL Junior League of Gainesville & Angie Bowdoin (1997)

Smoke & Spice: Cooking With Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue by Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison (2014)

Victorian Recipes by David Notley (1998)

Food and Friends: Recipes and Memories from Simca’s Cuisine by Simone Beck & Suzanne Patterson (1993)

World’s Best Recipes Cookbook by Marvin Small (1969)

Delicieux: The Recipes of France by Gabriel Gate (2017)

Malaysia: Recipes from a Family Kitchen by Ping Coombes (2017)

Rhubarbaria: Recipes for Rhubarb by Mary Prior (2008)

The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket by Marnie Hanel & Andrea Slonecker (2015)

500 Soup Recipes by Bridget Jones (2007)

101 Recipes for Kids: Tried-and-Tested Ideas by Angela Nilsen & Jeni Wright (2008)

80 Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker by Richard Ehrlich (2012)

Recipes for a Small Planet by Ellen Buchman Ewald (1985)

2017 PBFA Christmas Book Fair coming up soon

Anthony Smithson from the Keel Row Bookshop

The PBFA’s Christmas Book Fair is just around the corner. This year it takes places at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury on Coram Street, London, WC1N 1HT, on Saturday 2 December between 10.30am and 4.30pm. Once again, AbeBooks.co.uk is excited to be supporting this annual event.

Thousands of rare books, prints, photographs and ephemera will be offered for sale at prices to suit every enthusiast. The attending booksellers include Keel Row Bookshop, Worlds End Bookshop, Lucius Books, Peter Harrington, Jonkers Rare Books, Sophie Schneideman, and Hyraxia Books. Numerous sellers from outside London travel to the capital in order to exhibit at this pre-Christmas fair.

The hotel has a bar/cafe and a restaurant, and the Brunswick Centre is also next door with more services. (Fans of used bookshops will also know that the Skoob Bookshop is close by too.) Russell Square is the nearest Tube station and there’s always plenty to see and do in the Bloomsbury area.

Visit the PBFA website to download a complimentary ticket.

PBFA stands for Provincial Booksellers’ Fairs Association and its legacy dates back to a small book fair in Kensington in 1972. It now stages book fairs across the British Isles and Ireland, from Aberdeen to Dublin, from Chelmsford to the Isle of Skye. Members display a wide variety of books, both used and antiquarian, and also maps, prints and ephemera. PBFA sellers adhere to a code of practice regarding pricing and description of items on sale.

Man Booker 2017 shortlist includes Auster, Saunders, Ali Hamid and a bookseller from York

The 2017 Man Booker Prize shortlist has been announced. You can look at the list in several ways – three male and three female writers; two British, one British-Pakistani and three American writers, or even four established names and two new faces.

Smith is shortlisted for the fourth time. Hamid made the list in 2007 with The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Mozley is the youngest at 29, and one of two debut authors – the other is 38-year-old American Emily Fridlund.  4 3 2 1, or 4321, by Auster is the longest novel at 866 pages, while Lincoln in the Bardo is Saunders’ first full-length novel. Mozley works part-time in a bookshop in York where she has been selling her book. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 17 October in London’s Guildhall, and he or she will receive £50,000 plus lots of book sales.

More about the shortlisted novels:

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

This is Auster’s first novel in seven years. Details of a life spent growing up in Brooklyn—of loving the Brooklyn Dodgers, Laurel and Hardy, summer camp—are laid out with the earnest intensity of a writer looking back on his life. Plot points arise—for instance, a person is killed by lightning—which mimic more unique moments from Auster’s own life experience. At nearly 900 pages, it is also a long novel—but a reason for that is 4 3 2 1 tells the story of its protagonist, Archie Ferguson, four different times. What remains consistent throughout Archie’s life (or lives) is that his father starts out with the same career, Archie falls in love with the same girl, and his personality seems more nature than nurture. But those are starting off points, and if our lives are the sum of our choices, they are the sum of other people’s choices as well. Circumstances matter, and what will keep you thinking about this book is the convergence of time and circumstance within each of Archie’s different lives. His past propels him, his circumstances form him, and regardless of which life we are reading, time will ultimately take him.

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

This is exactly the kind of book you want to curl up with in the winter. It’s propulsive, vividly written, laced with a razor’s chill and filled with imagery that’s impossible to forget. There is a constant sense of foreboding, of wondering when the truth will crash through the Minnesota ice. Linda is a loner, a teenage girl who walks to school and lives on a failed commune in the woods. But her life of solitude cracks open when her history teacher—whom she fantasizes about—is charged with child pornography. Outside of school, Linda begins to spend time with a young boy and his mother who moved into a house across the lake, but their family, like her teacher, are not as they appear. Fridlund masterfully ratchets up the tension, exploding this story of secrets and girlhood with crisp, cutting prose that will leave you shocked and in awe. A remarkable novel, that just so happens to be a debut, by a fiercely talented writer.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

When Nadia and Saeed fall in love in a distant unnamed city, they are just like any other young couple. But soon bullets begin to fly, fighter jets streak the sky, and curfews fall. As the spell of violence spreads, they flee their country, leaving behind their loved ones. Early in Exit West, Hamid explains that geography is destiny, and in the case of his two young lovers, geography dictates that they must leave. Hamid offers up a fantastical device to deliver his refugees to places: they pass through magic doors.

Rather than unmooring the story from reality, this device, as well as a few other fantastical touches, makes the book more poignant and focused, pointing our attention to the emotions of exile rather than the mechanics. Surrounded by other refugees, Nadia and Saeed try to establish their places in the world, putting up different responses to their circumstances. The result is a novel that is personal, not pedantic, an intimate human story about an experience shared by countless people of the world, one that most Americans just witness on television.  

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

According to the Guardian, “Elmet, charts how John, a man-mountain who used to make his money as a bare-knuckle boxer and muscle for hire, retreats from his hostile world to a copse in Yorkshire’s West Riding. He makes a refuge for his children and teaches them to live off the land, foraging for berries, planting plums and potatoes, hunting pigeons and pheasants with bows and arrows whittled from oak or yew. But Daddy doesn’t own the land on which he has built his home, and, when the man whose name is on the title deeds pays them a visit, a confrontation begins that can only end in disaster.”

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Saunders has said that Lincoln in the Bardo began as a play, and that sense of a drama gradually revealing itself through disparate voices remains in the work’s final form. The year is 1862. President Abraham Lincoln, already tormented by the knowledge that he’s responsible for the deaths of thousands of young men on the battlefields of the American Civil War, loses his beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, to typhoid.

The plot begins after Willie is laid to rest in a cemetery near the White House, where, invisible to the living, ghosts linger, unwilling to relinquish this world for the next. Their bantering conversation, much of it concerned with earthly — and earthy – pleasures, counterbalances Lincoln’s abject sorrow.

Autumn by Ali Smith

According to Dwight Garner in the NY Times, “Autumn is about a long platonic friendship between an elderly man and a much younger woman. His name is Daniel. He’s 101. . . . Her name is Elisabeth. She’s a 32-year-old fitfully employed art lecturer at an unnamed university in London. She comes to read to, and be with, him. . . . There’s a bit of a Harold and Maude thing going on here. . . . As Elisabeth and Daniel talk, and as Elisabeth processes the events of her life, a world opens. Autumn begins to be about 100 things in addition to friendship. It’s about poverty and bureaucracy and sex and morality and music. It includes a long and potent detour into the tragic life and powerful painting of the British Pop artist Pauline Boty (1938-66), whose work, Smith makes plain, should be better known. . . . This is the place to come out and say it: Ali Smith has a beautiful mind. I found this book to be unbearably moving in its playful, strange, soulful assessment of what it means to be alive at a somber time.”

Don’t miss the Amsterdam Antiquarian Book & Map Fair

Anyone who loves antique books, atlases, old maps, fine prints, manuscripts, first editions and any other versions of the written/printed word should visit the Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book & Map Fair on 30 September and 1 October.

Visit the 2017 Amsterdam Antiquarian Book Fair

The fair has attracted a large number of prominent antiquarian dealers from the Netherlands and also Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Portugal and even Australia. There will be something for everyone, from incunables to books printed in the 21st century. Anyone who just wants to browse is welcome and there is no admission fee.

AbeBooks.co.uk is thrilled to support this year’s event and we are looking forward to attending.

The exhibitors include a large number of members from the Dutch Association of Antiquarian Book Dealers. First-time exhibitors include Librairie Alain Brieux from Paris, Il Cartiglio Libreria Antiquaria from Turin, and Sophie Schneideman Rare Books from London. Collectors of German crime fiction will find the appearance of Michael Solder especially interesting. His antiquarian book shop in the Frauenstraße in Münster has served for many years as the back-drop for the long-running German TV crime series Tatort.

Just like last year, curators Reinder Storm and Adriaan Plak from the University of Amsterdam will be giving specialist guided tours on Sunday around the stands.

The fair will be found on the first floor of the Marriott Hotel, Stadhouderskade 12, Amsterdam, and is centrally located between the Leidsche Plein and the Vondelpark. It will be open on Saturday from 1pm to 6pm and on Sunday from 11am to 6pm.

Learn more at the fair’s website.

Historic unpublished book of Isle of Man paintings from 1887 goes on sale

The Antiquities of The Isle of Man by Hamlet Watling

An unpublished album containing original paintings of the Isle of Man in 1887 by a Suffolk schoolmaster with a passion for recording the past has been listed for sale on AbeBooks.co.uk.

Hamlet Watling (1818-1908) devoted his spare time to either writing about history, or sketching and painting ancient sites and monuments.

The album is titled ‘The Antiquities of The Isle of Man’, and contains 47 full page paintings of scenes and buildings on the island. There is an inscription on the first page that reads, “This book was given to George Abbott by his old Friend Hamlet Watling in 1898”. The paintings have been signed “H. Watling”.

The book offers a perspective of how the Isle of Man looked in the second half of the reign of Queen Victoria. The paintings include Peel Castle, of Lord Bishop of Sodor’s tomb, Corrin’s Tower, Manx runestones at Kirk Braddan, Castle Rushen, and Glen Maye’s waterfall. He also painted a Manx cat, a cottage, celtic crosses, various churches (which were Watling’s passion) and other eye-catching landscapes.

All the paintings are captioned, some with lengthy descriptions.

Sadly, Hamlet Watling is not well remembered these days as much of this work went unpublished. According to the website Suffolk Painters:

His drawings were mostly accompanied by profuse notes and his architectural drawings were very accurate being purchased by the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Ipswich Museum and others. In his retirement he spent most of his time making copies of his drawings and records for sale. At one time he had accumulated a huge amount of material for which the Ipswich Museum failed to come to terms with him for its purchase and a few years before his death he disposed of much material to various purchasers.

The album is priced £3,500 and offered for sale by a dealer called Andrew Cox in Shropshire.

See the album

Peel Castle with Hamlet Watling’s inscription across the top

Cathedral ruins captured during a clear, fine day

Recording ruins appealed greatly to Hamlet Watling

Celtic crosses and runestones

A beach view

The southwest view of St. Trinian’s Church

Bookseller profile – John Atkinson

John Atkinson’s bookselling business, which was launched in 2007, is located in Ripon in North Yorkshire. We were thrilled to meet John at the recent London International Antiquarian Book Fair and he has given us an insight into his work as a seller of some beautiful modern first editions.

John Atkinson surrounded by his books

A member of the ABA and PBFA, John’s inventory includes Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, winners of the Booker Prize and literary fiction including many of the great female authors of the 1950s.  His books range from £25 for a signed Donna Leon novel to £15,000 for signed limited edition of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. His listings are always accompanied by beautiful photography – take a gander at this lovely first edition of A Kind of Loving by Stan Barstow.

AbeBooks – You have an MSc. and PhD from the University of Newcastle in sociophonetics. What is sociophonetics?

John Atkinson – It’s the study of accent and dialect mapped across social, age and gender influences and how these affect the way we speak

AbeBooks – You only began bookselling in 2007. What made you decide to take the plunge?

John Atkinson – I decided to just go for it. I had an interest in antiques and had bought sold pieces of furniture in the past. I then found some old books in the attic and sold them on Amazon and made a better return than I did on the furniture. The beauty of the productions of some on the books and the wonderful artwork made me enjoy the things I sold

AbeBooks – Why do you list Roald Dahl’s Danny The Champion of the World as your favourite book by a mile?

AbeBooks – I’m very close to my father and he encouraged me to become a bookseller. It’s the story of a father’s bond with his son and he read it to me as a child. My son is only two and I’ve read it to him twice!

AbeBooks – Two of your specialisms are 007 books by Ian Fleming and 1950s fiction by female writers – two very different areas. What attracts you to these areas?

John Atkinson – I think the 007 angle is easy to explain….every boy/man loves the idea of being Bond. The superb artwork used for the dust wrappers, the storylines, and the rarity of some of the books all blend to make selling 007 an adventure. 1950s female fiction is the complete opposite – my bookselling model is like a magnet what can I say?!

AbeBooks – If you weren’t selling books, what else could you be doing?

John Atkinson – I seriously can’t think of something…probably something involving selling something to someone!

AbeBooks – What’s the book that you have always wanted to own but not found yet?

John Atkinson – I know it’s out there, but it’s probably the copy of ‘You Only Live Twice’ signed by Fleming to the ‘real’ James Bond (the ornithologist) in the West Indies.

Here are five books from John’s inventory that caught our eye – all of them priced less than £100.

A 1986 first edition of Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor

A 1958 first edition of The Bell by Iris Murdoch

A 1983 first edition of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

A 1958 first edition of Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan

A 1965 first edition of The Man With the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming