Category: Book Reviews

Hand bookbinding doesn’t end in 1800: A review of Bookbinding Then & Now… by Lionel S. Darley

My latest read is Lionel Darley’s Bookbinding Then and Now: A Survey of the First Hundred and Seventy-Eight Years of James Burn & Company (London: Faber & Faber, 1959). As its title suggests, the book is a history of an English bookbinder, James Frederick Burn (1828-1870), and the London company first established in 1781 by

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The History of a Book by Annie Carey

There are lots of books about books but none quite like that of Annie Carey’s The History of a Book. First published in 1873, it charts the development of printing, paper-making, and bookbinding from the unique perspective of a ‘new book’ sitting in a ‘dark, dingy room’ amongst ‘several old books’ (p.9). Upon the departure

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Conservation History: From Trade Secrets to an Open Profession.

  I recently came across this wonderfully titled book and was fascinated, amused and horrified in equal measure. It gives instructions on how “the booklover may spend many a happy hour in renovating or repairing these damaged copies, instead of engaging the services of a skilled bookbinder.” I have highlighted three representative passages from the

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