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.

A Review from the Soapbox – Stalin’s Nemesis: the exile and murder of Leon Trotsky, by Bertrand M. Patenaude

Stalin’s Nemesis came to me very highly recommended: a Radio 4 Book of the Week, it had met an enthusiastic reception in very diverse quarters. Richard Overy at the Literary … Continue reading

November 25, 2009 · 9 Comments

Poetry Week: Poetry Standing Up. Thursday Soapbox by David Knowles.

Even in the current tough times there is a roaring trade in watercolour paint, brushes and the little porcelain thingummy-jigs you mix your colours in. And my mate’s residential painting-holiday … Continue reading

May 21, 2009 · 10 Comments

Thursday Soapbox: Regi Claire on illness and creativity

The Story Behind Fighting It This is the first piece of sustained writing I have attempted in a very long time. It all started last summer, with our golden retriever’s … Continue reading

April 30, 2009 · 13 Comments

Thursday Soapbox: Horror writer Steve Feasey

On the soapbox this week, writer of teen horror werewolf novel, The Changeling, Steve Feasey talks about how the familiar monsters are still our favourites when it comes to frightening … Continue reading

February 19, 2009 · 10 Comments

Thursday Soapbox: John McGill on ‘Received Opinion’… and Robert Burns

In a Pickle I wish I was a bigwig at the BBC, then I would make a pronouncement-promise: that during the next 250 years, while the earth properly settles around … Continue reading

January 22, 2009 · 12 Comments

Three Theses and a Plea on the Subject of Che Guevara

I say one more time that I free Cuba from all responsibility, except that due to its example.  That should my final hour come to me under foreign skies, my … Continue reading

December 18, 2008 · 17 Comments

Thursday Soapbox: Helen Black on Graphic Violence in Crime Novels

On the Soapbox this week crime writer, Helen Black, explores the issue of graphic violence in the crime genre. As a female writer I am sometimes asked how I can … Continue reading

December 11, 2008 · 10 Comments

Five Things I Hate About Chicklit

Don’t be fooled by the title.  I love chicklit.  Some of my favourite fiction authors are of this genre.  Well, I do suspect that some of them have been crammed … Continue reading

November 20, 2008 · 26 Comments

Thursday Soapbox: ARGH ARGH ARGH, The Zero Tolerance Approach to Grammar Freaks

Thanks to Jeremy Paxman’s controversial comments about the apostrophe, this piece has suddenly become rather topical. Is the death of that cute little punctuation mark in sight? Will kids be … Continue reading

November 13, 2008 · 33 Comments

Hallowe’en Soapbox

This is the time of year when we return to our ancestors. Our mindset suddenly goes back about 6 or 7 centuries to preoccupation with death, the afterlife and all … Continue reading

October 30, 2008 · 14 Comments

[Insert anachronistic Latin witticism here]: Reading popular (Roman) history

Article by Michael Ng Si hoc legere potes, nimium eruditionis habes. History is an exciting thing for me and, to be fair, I must admit that I am a historian. … Continue reading

October 9, 2008 · 12 Comments

Are Women People? An appreciation of Alice Duer Miller

Article by Sarah Salway Father, what is a legislature? A representative body elected by the people of the state. Are women people? No, my son. Criminals, lunatics and women are … Continue reading

October 2, 2008 · 19 Comments

Revealing Revelation: A Biblical ‘Green-print’ For Our Ecological Future by Lizzie Rushton

Worried about global warming? It’s nothing compared to the fire and brimstone that some believe await us in the End Times.  Lizzie Rushton is completing the final year of a … Continue reading

September 11, 2008 · 7 Comments

Thursday Soapbox: Lesley Gallacher on Manga

Over 9000 reasons to read (bad) shonen manga! Lesley Gallacher Shonen manga – that is, manga produced for an audience of teenage boys – is extremely popular. And it’s not … Continue reading

August 14, 2008 · 11 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.)