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 Land of the Green Man. A Journey Through the Supernatural Landscapes of the British Isles, by Carolyne Larrington

This enchanting, immensely readable book can be read in several ways: it is a vastly entertaining thematic collection of folktales and fairy stories, perfect for autumn reading at a time … Continue reading

November 10, 2017 · 3 Comments

Walking by Henry David Thoreau

A VL Classic, first posted in July of 2016 Thoreau is one of America’s quintessential writers. He embodies that independent spirit that is so stereotypical of our image. Not so … Continue reading

October 30, 2017 · Leave a comment

Michael Haag’s The Durrells of Corfu

This is an exhaustively researched biography of the Durrell family (Gerry, Larry, Margot, Leslie and Mother, for those who know them from Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals). It’s … Continue reading

October 13, 2017 · 3 Comments

Old English with Mandy and Paul of ClickityLit

What Does Þæt Mean?! Ure æghwylc sceal ende gebidanworolde lifes; wyrce se þe motedomes ær deaþe; þæt bið drihtgumanunlifgendum æfter selest. (Beowulf) Old English can seem intimidatingly foreign to the … Continue reading

October 3, 2017 · 2 Comments

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

A is for Arsenic. The Poisons of Agatha Christie

It’s astonishing that this book had not been written before. It’s a study of the poisons deployed by Agatha Christie in a selection of her novels, written by a toxicologist … Continue reading

September 6, 2017 · 3 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

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

“Daffodils” by William Wordsworth

One of the reasons I like this poem, which you can read here , is because it’s lighthearted. So much poetry is dark and deep, so it’s a lovely surprise … Continue reading

April 3, 2017 · 2 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

The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English

As for me, if I stumble, the mercies of God shall be my eternal salvation. If I stagger because of the sin of flesh, my justification shall be by the … Continue reading

October 14, 2016 · 3 Comments

Flâneuse, by Lauren Elkin

As soon as I saw this book I knew that reading it was a must, as a companion to Edmund White’s masterly Flâneur, and it absolutely did not disappoint. Lauren … Continue reading

October 7, 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 · 3 Comments

Manawydan’s Glass Door (d’apres David Jones, 1931) by Heather Dohollau

This is a new poet to me and one I was happy to discover. Though born in Wales, she moved to France as a young woman and lived the rest … Continue reading

July 13, 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.)