Friday, August 17, 2007

It's an Eclectic Life...

It's day's like today which make me happy. Days in which something of the whole range of my interests collide...

...Woken by the postman bearing gifts - well actually the four Gollancz yellow-jacketed SF books (picture 1 below) that I bought to celebrate the fact that the Titanic picture sold for over $1200. The bonus prize is that the Bob Shaw is signed. Then sat down to write a stern email to the seller for charging me nearly triple the actual cost of postage.

...Trip with R to our favourite junk/antique shop where I find round a corner, under a table, in a box, covered in dirt etc. etc. a series of prints from the Illustrated London News (pictures 2+3 below) which I snapped up because they all show images of various reviews of the fleet at Spithead off Portsmouth from the 1850s and 1870s. ILN prints are, in themselves, nothing special but Portsmouth related ones are hard to come by now. Also in the pile, a depiction of the eruption of Mount Etna in 1879: the vulcanologists are quite a collecting breed!

...also in said shop I pick up a tatty copy of Young England (a contemporary alternative to The Boy's Own) for 1902 which, to my amazement contains 5 stories by Edwin Emmanuel Bradford, one of my Victorian/Edwardian queers. I knew about these stories 'Tales of Life at our Great Public Schools' because they were later put together in book form. Bradford is best known for his poetry extolling the beauty of young men but he did write a fair amount of prose, some of which I have published. The book form of these stories is as rare as hen's teeth so this was something of a find and will be put aside for later publication following a little research.

...Home after a filthily unhealthy lunch at a local cafe and finally sent instructions, and cash, to the printers to start printing my edition of Aspects of Wilde by Vincent O'Sullivan. Extremely nervewracking as I am not known for the quality of my proof-reading! This text has been proofed to death and out the other side but in a book of some 150 pages one can't help but have a horrible feeling that there will, somewhere, be a typo of some kind so, with heart in mouth I clicked the buttons to set the process in motion and we await the first copies in about 20 days.

...Then it's time for a little more book cataloguing. Trying to get through the nearly 200 books I bought at auction recently and tonight I was doing some more of the 'Sussex' topographical books (a selection of which pictured in no 4 below).

...and on top of that, a little time spent watching House, my current favourite US TV drama, doing a spot of artwork, and catching up with some emails which have been waiting far too long.

... a happy day.

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