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.

Moving House …

Although Vulpes Libris had intended to continue blogging on WordPress until the end of the year, things have changed, and we have decided to accelerate the move to blogging solely … Continue reading

November 12, 2017 · 7 Comments

A hundred years on: Trotsky on 1917

One hundred years ago today, by the old Gregorian calendar that was then still in force, the October Revolution took place. The event is simply too big and complex to … Continue reading

October 25, 2017 · 1 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

Penelope Lively’s Passing On

For most of my life the name Penelope Lively has meant The Whispering Knights, The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, Astercote and The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, books I reread for … Continue reading

September 22, 2017 · 7 Comments

Farewell to the Horse, by Ulrich Raulff

I would never have chosen this book to read without prompting. I’ve never ridden a horse (the nearest I’ve been to that is a donkey ride at the seaside when … Continue reading

June 28, 2017 · 5 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

Spider-Woman kicks it all over the street

Some time ago I wrote about Spider-Woman. After a healthy reminder of how good female superheroes can be from Wonder Woman, I went and bought two more Spider-Woman collections, Civil … Continue reading

June 21, 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 · 1 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

Easter Break

The Foxes are unplugging the kettle, farming out the goldfish and shutting down the Den in order to go off and frivol over the Easter Break. Some of us have … Continue reading

April 9, 2017 · 1 Comment

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

Since the U.S. election, I’ve noticed people seem to have been reading certain classic novels, perhaps out of an impulse to connect today’s events with themes in such books as … Continue reading

March 10, 2017 · 2 Comments

Coming up on Vulpes Libris

March is here and so is the Spring! Well, it hasn’t quite reached Oxford if the rain lashing against my window this morning is anything to go by. While we’re … Continue reading

March 5, 2017 · 3 Comments

Closely Observed Trains by Bohumil Hrabal

What a curious little book. I got Closely Observed Trains by Bohumil Hrabal a couple of Christmases ago, from my parents, after I added to my Amazon wishlist. And I added … Continue reading

January 25, 2017 · 9 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.)