Friday, December 02, 2011

A Book Collector and His Cat

A must-see video in which writer, editor and collector Mark Valentine discusses his collection. According to the Youtube write up:

"Mark Valentine discusses the following writers: Arthur Machen, Walter de la Mare, Lord Dunsany, M.P. Shiel, William Gerhardie, R. Austin Freeman, William Hope Hodgson, Algernon Blackwood, Hubert Crackanthorpe, H.A. Manhood, Claude Houghton, E.E. Dorling, David Lindsay, Ronald Fraser, Park Barnitz, Norman Boothroyd, Francis Brett Young, Sarban, W.F. Morris, Denton Welch, Oliver Onions, Eric Lyall, Peter Vansittart, J.C. Snaith, Mary Butts, Frank Baker and Phyllis Paul. He ends with a discussion of the classic "British Rainfall, 1910".

Mark Valentine is an English author, biographer, editor and book collector.

His short stories have been published by a number of small presses and in anthologies since the 1980s, and the exploits of his series character, "The Connoisseur", an occult detective, were published as The Collected Connoisseur in 2010. As a biographer, Valentine has published a life of Arthur Machen, and a study of Sarban. He has also written numerous articles for the Book and Magazine Collector magazine, and introductions for various books, including editions of work by Walter de la Mare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Saki, J. Meade Falkner and others.

Valentine also edits Wormwood, a journal dedicated to fantastic, supernatural and decadent literature, and has also edited anthologies.

The cat that appears in the video is called Percy :-)

As I was watching it, I was struck by how little you actually see of other people's collections. It's a quite unusual thing to be given such access to someone's ongoing collection, perhaps a testament to the usually solitary nature of the activity. In this video, you never quite know what Mark is going to pull off the shelf next and this gives it an almost compelling quality.

1 comment:

J said...

I see he also collects Simon Raven! You might be interested in a new title, UNPACKING MY LIBRARY: Writers and their Books by Leah Price. Photos and text show us the personal libraries of Alison Bechdel, Stephen Carter, Junot Díaz, Rebecca Goldstein and Stephen Pinker, Lev Grossman and Sophie Gee, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud and James Wood, Philip Pullman, Gary Shteyngart, and Edmund White.

Who links to my website?