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.

Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

And this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. ~o~O~o~ Much of Tennyson’s finest poetry is informed by … Continue reading

November 8, 2017 · 2 Comments

1517: Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation – Peter Marshall

Preserved in the royal archives in Sweden is a letter addressed to Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz and dated the 31st of October 1517. It was written by a young priest … Continue reading

October 31, 2017 · 4 Comments

Whither Vulpes Libris?

Ten Years of the Book Foxes, and where we go next … When, in the late summer/early autumn of 2007, Leena Heino first sent out the round-robin emails to her … Continue reading

October 18, 2017 · 9 Comments

The General in Winter – by Frances Harris

There’s a fascinating painting hanging in the Drawing Room at Drumlanrig Castle in south-west Scotland, which most of the summer visitors – distracted by the bigger, shinier and more valuable … Continue reading

October 11, 2017 · 1 Comment

This week on Vulpes Libris …

Here in south-west Scotland, the leaves are just beginning to turn, the whooper swans are starting to arrive from Iceland and there’s an unmistakable chill in the misty morning air … Continue reading

October 8, 2017 · 1 Comment

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

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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.)