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.

Night Haunts by Sukhdev Sandhu

A Journey through the London Night “Nobody knows we’re here. Nobody. The Port of London sent a river pilot to assess my competence. I’ve been on the Thames for fifty … Continue reading

October 23, 2014 · 1 Comment


The Scots word ‘to daunder’ is to take a wee walk, a leisurely stroll. This book collects 42 of Peter Ross’s feature articles from Scottish newspapers into a very readable book where he … Continue reading

May 26, 2014 · 5 Comments

An Interview with Michael Broers: Part II

At the end of Part I of this interview with Napoleon expert Michael Broers, we left Napoleon in Paris: aimless, depressed, and stuck at the Topographic Bureau. Join us now as … Continue reading

May 1, 2014 · 4 Comments

An Interview with Michael Broers: Part I

Michael Broers is a specialist of eighteenth and nineteenth century French and Italian history at the University of Oxford. He’s also the author of Napoleon: Soldier of Destiny, Volume One of … Continue reading

April 29, 2014 · 7 Comments

VL Q&A: Chris Ward, author of Living on the Western Front (Annals and Stories, 1914-1919)

What I wanted to do was disrupt narrative structures and upset realist expectations by imitating an early-medieval annalist… but it proved impossible. In the first place because every sentence is … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · 6 Comments

Tony Benn: Dare to be a Daniel

In 1928, when I was three, there was a huge flood in London and I remember looking out of the window and seeing boats sailing down the street in front … Continue reading

March 28, 2014 · 9 Comments

Fred’s War

I spend a great deal of my working life reading stories and histories from the First World War. It’s hardly a holiday for me to read a novel about the … Continue reading

November 11, 2013 · 1 Comment

Walking Home by Simon Armitage

Travels with a Troubadour on the Pennine Way Let me tell you about Bleaklow. It’s as cheerful and beckoning as its name suggests: an alien, featureless wilderness of peat groughs … Continue reading

September 5, 2012 · 10 Comments

Emmanuel Carrère: Other Lives But Mine

    I stopped writing reviews for Vulpes many years ago, but one publisher – Profile Books/Serpent’s Tail – has doggedly been sending review copies to me all this time. … Continue reading

June 8, 2012 · 5 Comments

It Chooses You, by Miranda July

In the summer of 2009, Miranda July was struggling to finish writing the screenplay for her much-anticipated second film. During her increasingly long lunch breaks, she began to obsessively read … Continue reading

February 8, 2012 · 8 Comments

They eat horses, don’t they? Pasajes de la guerra revolucionaria/Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War by Ernesto Che Guevara

Well, this is embarrassing.  I had planned to bring you a review of The Black Jacobins, CLR James’ classic Marxist study of the Haitian Revolution, and I’d love to tell … Continue reading

October 8, 2011 · 7 Comments

Civilization: the West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

I’ve come over all “killer app” today and recorded my review of Niall Ferguson’s Civilization in podcast form.  If you’d rather stick with the written word, click here for a … Continue reading

August 30, 2011 · 14 Comments

The Mango Orchard by Robin Bayley

I remember the first time I had the feeling that somewhere, something was waiting for me, in a land I didn’t yet know. So begins The Mango Orchard, Robin Bayley’s … Continue reading

July 25, 2011 · 5 Comments

Trotsky Q&A: Gabriel García Higueras

Gabriel García Higueras is a Lima-based historian and the author of Trotsky en el espejo de la historia (Trotsky in the mirror of history).  Today he’s talking to Kirsty about … Continue reading

July 12, 2011 · 4 Comments



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  • (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.)