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 Ring of Words by Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall and Edmund Weiner

Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary In his magisterial overview of the history of the Oxford English Dictionary Peter Gilliver touched briefly and tantalizingly on the part J R R … Continue reading

September 8, 2017 · Leave a comment

Coming up on Vulpes Libris …

Ta-dah! We’re back, all bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and raring to go. Oh, all RIGHT, we’ve dragged ourselves unwillingly back into the Den and are currently hurling recriminations at each other over … Continue reading

August 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

We’re all going on a Summer Holiday …

That’s it for now. We’re off on our hols for the summer, but will be back in August, refreshed, renewed, and ready to celebrate the tenth anniversary, in October, of … Continue reading

July 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Footprints in time …

My mother was born in a two-up, two-down, end-of-terrace house in the pretty market town of Ampthill in Bedfordshire. The money for the rent, the gas meter and the milkman … Continue reading

July 13, 2017 · 13 Comments

Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman

In a 1937 letter to Stanley Unwin, J R R Tolkien said he felt a certain distaste for Celtic myths ‘largely for their fundamental unreason. They have bright colour, but … Continue reading

June 26, 2017 · 4 Comments

Coming up on Vulpes Libris:

The Great British Summer is well and truly installed and living up to its ‘three fine days and a thunderstorm’ reputation. In the moments when the sun DOES appear it’s … Continue reading

June 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Bright Particular Star – The extraordinary life of ‘Kitty’ Queensberry.

To one side of the fireplace in the White Bedroom at Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries & Galloway hangs a portrait in an ornate gilded frame. It’s of a simply dressed … Continue reading

June 14, 2017 · 2 Comments

Fell by Jenn Ashworth

Alluring, ephemeral and deadly, Morecambe Bay dominates the coastal areas of south Cumbria and north west Lancashire. No-one who has ever travelled by train between Oxenholme and Lancaster can forget … Continue reading

June 2, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Incident of the Poem at the Festival

It wasn’t my fault. I was eight years old, a natural mimic and I always did as I was told. The only thing I remember about the whole affair is the … Continue reading

May 19, 2017 · 2 Comments

Star Cops … Shining a light into the darkness.

The late 1980s were a dark time for television science fiction: Blake’s 7 was but a dim memory, Dr Who was rapidly self-destructing and Star Trek: The Next Generation wasn’t … Continue reading

May 3, 2017 · 1 Comment

This week on Vulpes Libris …

April is a fickle and dangerous month here in the northern hemisphere (at least it is if you’re a gardener): a series of warm sunny days lull you into believing … Continue reading

April 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

1066 And All That by W C Sellar and R J Yeatman

I recently went for my first job interview in over a quarter of a century – for a position as tour guide at a local stately heap.* The job advert … Continue reading

April 5, 2017 · 10 Comments

This week on Vulpes Libris …

I don’t know what’s happening – meteorologically speaking – anywhere else on the planet, but at the moment as far as Scotland is concerned, the sky is a beautiful shade … Continue reading

March 26, 2017 · 5 Comments

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – by Frederick Douglass

He who proclaims it a religious duty to read the Bible denies me the right of learning to read the name of the God who made me. He who is … Continue reading

March 17, 2017 · 1 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.)