Friday, December 7, 2007

Slightly Chipped by L & N Goldstone - Book Review

Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore
by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone
Thomas Dunne Press HC 1999
Griffin Imprint PB 2000.

I read the Goldstone's third book - Warmly Inscribed - back in April. Its taken me several months to find & read their second book Slightly Chipped. But at last I have read it.

First the nitpicking. The Goldstones attended the Sotheby's auction in New York City in 1998 for the sale of the Duke & Duchess of Windsor's furniture, jewellery, books, clothes and other possessions. Someone from Sotheby's told the Goldstones that the founder of the Boyscouting movement was Sir Michael Baden Powell. The FACT is that the founder of the Scouts was Sir Robert Baden Powell. Sir Robert did have a grandson named Michael Baden-Powell, and Michael is currently the heir to the Baron title, but he certainly was not the Founder of the Scouting movement. Michael is involved in the Scouting movement in Australia. Sotheby's employees really should get their FACTS straight. Or the editor needed to do a better job of the fact checking. (see page 184 Griffin PB edition May 2000)

Now for the interesting stuff. If I had read this book back in April, most of the names would have gone straight over my head. William Morris and his Kelmscott Press (I knew about Morris and his Wallpapers), The Bloomsbury group (I'd never heard of this group, although I had heard of Virginia Woolf), and Abraham Simon Wolf Rosenbach (whom I had never heard of at all).

But the last 7 months has taught me a lot about books, about authors and about printing. So the chapters I enjoyed the most in this book were the ones about Morris and his Kelmscott Press (chapter 2), the Bloomsbury Group (chapter 3), ASW Rosenbach (chapter 6) and the Sothebys auction (chapter 9).

I purchased my first Rosenbach book just a few weeks ago. But I still haven't read it. Got too many challenges to read for. But I will get there. Chapter 6 about the Goldstones visiting the Rosenbach museum in Philadelphia was an interesting chapter. And just like the Goldstones, I too wanted to know more about the books. The background information about Rosenbach and his books was absoluting fascinating. Half the chapter is about Rosenbach, and other of half is about Dracula (Abraham Stoker), and Trilby (George du Maurier - grandfather of Daphne Du Maurier). I enjoyed the Dracula notes, but not the Trilby notes. I am not a fan of Daphne Du Maurier's mostly fiction. Although I have read The Glassblowers.

Chapter 8 discusses Bibliofind, ABEbooks and other Bookish search engines on the Internet. In 1997 things were very quiet as the internet was more of an information source than any search engine or profit making source. In 1998, with the release of Windows 98, as we all know, the internet literally EXPLODED.

I enjoyed this book. I read it in 24 hours. The remaining chapters were about Book Fairs in the New England area and interesting books that the Goldstones purchased, or didnt purchase. And once again, I received a good and interesting education from the Goldstones. I will definitely be looking for their first book - Used and Rare - published in 1997.

1 comment: said...

It's funny how we read books when the time is right. Sounds pretty entertaining.

Carrie K