Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Vulpes Random: On marking a poetry exam

I collect my share of the poetry exam scripts, put them in my bike pannier, and cycle home. I put them on the table, close my laptop to avoid distracting emails, find … Continue reading

May 18, 2017 · 1 Comment

Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures is a tremendous pun. It means the women who worked for NASA from the 1940s to send people into space and back again. It also means the numbers … Continue reading

May 10, 2017 · 1 Comment

May the Fourth be with you

How do I love thee, Star Wars? Let me count the ways …. Yoda’s syntax. Han Solo (always). Chewy can put androids back together again with furry paws. Leia takes … Continue reading

May 4, 2017 · 6 Comments

Coming Up: Science Fiction Week

This is the week of May the Fourth, so the Foxes are rolling around joyously in the mixed metaphors and timeless plots of science fiction. But what is science fiction? … Continue reading

April 30, 2017 · 1 Comment

Coming Up this week on Vulpes Libris

The bluebells and the wood anenomes in Hallerbos, a wood south of Brussels near Waterloo, are cranking up their colours. The daffodils in my garden are leaning at an angle … Continue reading

April 2, 2017 · 2 Comments

Ladybird Books

The Museum of English Rural Life is a fantastic small museum. It’s in Reading in the UK (part of the university), and has just reopened its exhibiting spaces after a … Continue reading

March 29, 2017 · 4 Comments

The historical fictions that history tells us

The Historical Fictions Research Network had its second conference this weekend, in the splendid surroundings of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, home of the Meridian, south-east London. The Network … Continue reading

February 27, 2017 · 3 Comments

Let’s celebrate the migrant authors of English literature

One Day Without Us is a British grassroots campaign to celebrate the contributions that EU citizens and migrants from all over the world make and have made to daily British … Continue reading

February 20, 2017 · 9 Comments

Giovanni’s Room

I took part in a book pyramid scheme recently. It was a send-it-back, upside-down-tree-connections thing, running through Facebook. My friend D recruited me, so I sent a book to her … Continue reading

February 3, 2017 · 6 Comments

Coming Up this week on Vulpes Libris

It’s been a busy weekend for lots of people, so we’re re-posting an apposite review from last year to start this new era off. In contrast, Simon and Hilary are … Continue reading

January 22, 2017 · Leave a comment

Amazing Grace

This 2007 biography of the anti-slavery campaigner and British politician of the eighteenth century, William Wilberforce, begins with a foreword from the then President of Wilberforce University, which he describes … Continue reading

January 18, 2017 · 10 Comments

Nine St Andrew’s Night Novels

St Andrew’s Night is the lesser-known Scottish cultural festival. The big one is, of course, Burns’ Night, on 25 January, and is usually a feast, with poetry and music. St … Continue reading

November 30, 2016 · 8 Comments

Coming up this week in Vulpes Libris

We are sobered and reflective this week in the Vulpes Libris den. Family bereavements, worries about the health of people close to us, and unnerving things happening to our own bodies, … Continue reading

November 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

Stoker: The Life of Hilda Matheson, OBE

If you are keen on Bloomsbury and its ramifications, you may already know that Hilda Matheson (1888-1940) was Vita Sackville West’s lover between 1929 and 1931. She wrote to Vita … Continue reading

September 28, 2016 · 2 Comments

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Acknowledgment

  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)