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.

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 · 8 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

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

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

Frank Fraser Darling’s Island Years, Island Farm

I bought this book at The Ceilidh Place bookshop in Ullapool last week. I’d just taken a blowy boat trip to the Summer Isles, and wanted to read Frank Fraser … Continue reading

September 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

Vulpes Random: Everything you need to know about Georgette Heyer’s novels

My younger daughter, aged 18 and a half, has just fallen headlong into Georgette Heyer, and is spending her summer browsing my collection. Occasionally she reports back to me, in … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · 4 Comments

Surreal old people: Leonora Carrington’s The Hearing Trumpet

This very slim novel is a fantasia on being old, and explores how one would survive when there is very little left to lose in conditions of extreme oddness. The … Continue reading

July 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl

Hope Jahren is a scientist, now based in Hawai’i, but she’s worked in and built laboratories all over the USA. She’s a plant scientist, a palaeobotanist and geobiologist, searching for … Continue reading

July 6, 2016 · 1 Comment

Coming Up on Vulpes Libris: American Writing week

So, this 4th of July thing. It means very little in the UK, for instance, except perhaps for some early Wimbledon frisson. It means not a lot in France, apart … Continue reading

July 3, 2016 · Leave a comment

Spiderwoman: Baby Talk

I knew nothing about Spiderwoman. I had a vague idea that there was one, but such is the multiplicity of the Marvel universe, there could also be a Spiderdog and … Continue reading

June 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

Barbara Pym’s Jane and Prudence

I’ve read Barbara Pym’s Jane and Prudence several times. I got rid of my copy four years ago by making a present of it to a friend, because I thought … Continue reading

June 1, 2016 · 6 Comments

Coming up on Vulpes Libris

Oooh, balmy. Summer heat has come to north-western Europe, and it’s rather pleasant. The Foxes are leaving off their winter furs and venturing out to bookshops and libraries in lighter … Continue reading

May 29, 2016 · Leave a comment

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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.)