Sunday, January 31, 2010
What's not to like about these fantastic illustrations from the 1950s? Captain Kingley, or Space to his friends, only appeared in three Christmas annuals from 1954-6 and I'm told - by a blogger who has actually read them - that the stories themselves were pretty thin and silly, well below the talent of the artist who worked on them. I was particularly taken by the Flame Men of Mercury.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Raven Ten: The Crab and the Moon
by Robert Scoble
In late 1899 and well into 1900, Frederick Rolfe worked for most of every day in the great circular Reading Room at the British Museum, researching his book on the Borgia family. One of his fellow researchers was the Museum's recently-retired Keeper of Printed Books, Richard Garnett, also working on the Borgia. The two men had several conversations about their common interest in Renaissance Italy.
Rolfe will have been intrigued to discover that, while in his public life Garnett had reached the very pinnacle of Victorian respectability, in his private moments he pursued an activity which was in technical breach of the law. He was an astrologer.
For the first forty years of his life, Rolfe had little interest in astrology, but it is noticeable that the two novels on which he worked most strenuously after meeting Garnett, Hadrian the Seventh and Nicholas Crabbe, are studded with astrological references. Born under the sign of Cancer, the Crab, and 'ruled' by the Moon, Rolfe began to refer in his correspondence to his crab-like characteristics, and to find in astrology a fertile source of powerful symbolism.
This latest addition to the Raven Series traces the trajectory of Rolfe's interest in astrology, and elucidates the many astrological references in his published work. It analyses Rolfe's own natal chart, showing how he would have been tempted to see in it a foreshadowing of his life's vicissitudes.
The Raven Series has been planned as a set of fifteen scholarly essays which will add substantially to our knowledge of the life and work of Frederick Rolfe. Each essay is being published in a strictly limited edition, and there is little doubt that complete sets will be sought after by collectors in the years to come.
Of a full edition of 70, the first 12 copies of The Crab and the Moon constitute the special state, case bound in black paper-covered boards with gilt titles, and signed by the author. Numbers 13-70 form the ordinary state of the edition, and are sewn into black card covers with a paper label and acetate wrappers.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Most of the material catalogued here relates to Clunes's theatrical career, rather than his later career as a bookseller. In particular, the bulk of the 28 items are connected to a tour of continental Europe undertaken by Clunes as Company Manager and Leading Man just after the War in 1946. Sent by the British Council, the English Arts Theatre Company took Shakespeare and Shaw on an unashamedly uplifting tour to people still crawling out of their shell holes. It was, by all accounts, a great success.