It’s become a habit, when visiting a second-hand and/or independent bookshop, never to leave empty-handed.
I think that’s all the more worth thinking about this week, when the Guardian reports that two ‘iconic’ British bookshops are closing. Like our libraries, it’s so obviously ‘use them or lose them‘ …
So, my travels taking me a little further afield than normal, I wanted to give a bit of free publicity to the excellent two bookshops I came across:
Broadleaf Books, in Abergavenny; and
Second Chapter Books, in Shrewsbury (who have a highly respectable – and rare – Science Fiction section)
So, what did I buy?
It’s not an issue, really, and certainly not at the Boar’s Head, but at school I’m occasionally frustrated to be typecast as the Shakespeare nut – certainly because it feels like that occasionally adversely affects me, professionally. Never mind that I wrote our Sherlock Homes scheme of work. And regular readers will know that my Dearest Partner of Greatness isn’t a Shakespeare fan, constantly going on about my monomania.
Perhaps as a result of that, whilst I made some great additions to the Boar’s Head shelves, I wanted to reassure those who think I have a one-track mind that rumours of my obsession are a little overstated. Let’s not forget that my dissertation was on robots and AI in literature, and this holiday’s haul reflects another love of mine – late Victorian Lit …
This is what I bought. * denotes fiction.
Boar’s Head Bookshelf
- Peter Ackroyd – Shakespeare: the Biography (London: Vintage, 2006) [I’ve got a horrible feeling I own this already, but for 99p I was prepared to take the risk]
- Susan Brigden – New Worlds, Lost Worlds: The Rule of the Tudors 1485-1603 (London: Penguin, 2001)
- John Bossy – Under The Molehill: An Elizabethan Spy Story (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001)
- David Cressy – Bonfires & Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 2004)
- Antonia Fraser – The Gunpowder Plot: Terror & Faith in 1695 (London: Weidenfield & Nicolson, 1996)
- Garrett Mattingly – The Defeat of the Spanish Armada (London: Jonathan Cape, 1960)
- CJ Sansom, Sovereign (London: Pan, 2006)*
- The Red Letter Shakespeare (series ed. EK Chambers), (London: The Gresham Publishing Co, 1906):
- Henry IV part 1
- Henry IV part 2
- Henry V
- Richard III
- Boris Akunin – The Winter Queen (trans. Andrew Bromfield), (London: Weidenfield & Nicolson, 2003)*
- Judith Flanders – The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death Detection and Invented Modern Crime (London: HarperPress, 2011)
- George Mann – The Affinity Bridge (London: Titan Books, 2015)*
- Kate Summerscale – The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, or The Murder at Road Hill House (London: Bloomsbury, 2009)
- Lisa Tuttle – The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief (London: Jo Fletcher Books, 2016)*
- Judith R Walkowitz – City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London, (London: Virago, 1992)
Now I’ve just got to carry them all back up to the Lake District on the train(s) tomorrow …