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.

Two Journeys, Memoirs by Gabourey Sidibe and Rosamund Burton

Recently I read two books that were quite different; one was a memoir, the other a travel book and I was struck at how they each were accounts of a … Continue reading

August 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

Vincent by Barbara Stok

A VL Classic (reposted). As a long time Vincent van Gogh fan, imagine how thrilled I was to find this graphic novel about the last few years of his life, … Continue reading

July 5, 2017 · 5 Comments

The Aspirin Age, edited by Isabel Leighton

The Aspirin Age was published in the U.S.A. in 1949, four years after the Second World War ended. In twenty-two specially commissioned essays it looked backwards over the decades that … Continue reading

July 2, 2017 · Leave a comment

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

Nifty Nonfiction: Dreadlocks and Deliveries

Two books on elements of everyday life that I found interesting. Twisted by Bert Ashe This is a memoir about hair. As a person who has had short hair all … Continue reading

June 19, 2017 · 3 Comments

Great Castles by Peter Roberts

At first glance, this looks to be just another coffee table book with pretty pictures. And it is that, but there’s more to it. For one thing, there’s more castles … Continue reading

June 16, 2017 · 2 Comments

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

Frank O’Connor: An Only Child & My Father’s Son

I started reading this pair of autobiographies by the Irish short story writer and giant among modern Irish literature, Frank O’Connor, without really knowing much about him. I’d read some … Continue reading

May 29, 2017 · 3 Comments

Transmission and interpretation: the case of Josephus

In studying anything to do with ancient history, the first thing you learn is that the preservation of texts is a haphazard affair. Sometimes the only reason the corpus of … Continue reading

May 12, 2017 · Leave a 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

Coming Up On Vulpes Libris

It may be Spring, and jolly nearly Summer, but a wind from the Arctic Circle is carving its way through Britain at the moment, so Monday’s piece is just what’s … Continue reading

May 7, 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

The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction, by Timothy Lim

In an earlier post for VL, I enthused wildly about The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (see my exhortation here). And now I can wholeheartedly recommend a companion volume, … Continue reading

March 31, 2017 · 2 Comments

Beyond the Northlands by Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough

‘In the centuries that followed the sacking of Lindisfarne, Norse ships of oak and iron transported these northern voyagers to all corners of the medieval word  and beyond, where they … Continue reading

February 22, 2017 · 3 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.)