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.

What can exams tell us that is more than a pass or a fail?

The Scottish National Library has begun the process of scanning Scottish exams papers from the 1880s and are now in the first years of the 1960s. This period covers the … Continue reading

October 19, 2017 · 1 Comment

Whither Vulpes Libris?

Ten Years of the Book Foxes, and where we go next … When, in the late summer/early autumn of 2007, Leena Heino first sent out the round-robin emails to her … Continue reading

October 18, 2017 · 9 Comments

What VL Has Meant to Me

When my friend Leena invited me to join a group of book lovers who reviewed what they read, I was thrilled and also a bit intimidated. Leena herself is an … Continue reading

October 16, 2017 · 13 Comments

Coming Up on VL This Week-Our Anniversary

This is a festive week for us, as it contains our website’s 10th Anniversary, something that astonishes quite a few of the Foxes. In honor of the event, we have … Continue reading

October 14, 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

The General in Winter – by Frances Harris

There’s a fascinating painting hanging in the Drawing Room at Drumlanrig Castle in south-west Scotland, which most of the summer visitors – distracted by the bigger, shinier and more valuable … Continue reading

October 11, 2017 · 1 Comment

Birds Art Life by Kyo Maclear

This is a book which almost defies description. It’s a memoir, yes, but that’s only a part of it.There’s lists, anecdotes, quotes from books and movies(but not the usual ones) … Continue reading

October 9, 2017 · 1 Comment

This week on Vulpes Libris …

Here in south-west Scotland, the leaves are just beginning to turn, the whooper swans are starting to arrive from Iceland and there’s an unmistakable chill in the misty morning air … Continue reading

October 8, 2017 · 1 Comment

Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs website

When I discovered this website early in the summer, I was delighted. It was so offbeat, yet educational, that I was intrigued. And best of all it was about dinosaurs! … Continue reading

October 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

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

Learning to read

There is not a time when I remember being unable to read. Nor do I remember learning to read. My only childhood memory of this process is watching my father … Continue reading

October 1, 2017 · 5 Comments

Coming up this week

Is there, we ask, just the first hints of autumn appearing here in Spain? There is a freshness in the air that seems to suggest that we can finally say … Continue reading

September 30, 2017 · 1 Comment

Words Are Stones. Impressions of Sicily, by Carlo Levi

I said earlier in the week that I picked up this book because I was short of sunshine and missing Sicily. I’m not sure now that this was the best … Continue reading

September 29, 2017 · 1 Comment

Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic. Words and Pictures on How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Alien Next Door

I’d heard good things about this anthology before Vulpes Libris was offered a copy, so I grabbed it. It’s a miscellany from Saqi Books, consisting of dialogues, short stories, art … Continue reading

September 27, 2017 · 2 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.)