The TLS Reviews “A Publishing History of a Prohibited Best-Seller”

July 22, 2017 Leave a comment

We could hardly have hoped for a more positive review! (See our listing HERE.)

“Collectors, booksellers, cultural historians and librarians are the target audience of Robert Thake’s scrupulous, meticulous, sumptuously produced and painstakingly researched biography of a book: the abbé de Vertot’s history of the Knights Hos­pitallers of St John of Jerusalem. . . . Thake is omniscient and his lusciously illustrated book a model of scholarship.”  — David Coward

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Our 2017 Publishing and Distribution Catalogue is now available!

July 11, 2017 Leave a comment


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Authors and other friends at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair

March 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Robert Thake (A Publishing History of a Prohibited Bestseller), Michael Broomfield (bibliographies of Robinson Jeffers and John Updike), Jamie Kamph (Tricks of the Trade), Jenny Hille (Endbands from East to West), and Rob Fleck with Gaylord Schanilec, fine press printer and engraver.

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Oak Knoll at CODEX and the California Antiquarian Book Fair

February 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Rob and Matthew exhibited at the 6th biennial CODEX Book Fair (see slide show on the CODEX website) and attended the celebratory dinner at the Berkeley City Club. Two days later they exhibited at the 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair (see video: Eric Idle of Monty Python fame was there!). They returned exhilarated and exhausted… and perhaps not firing on all cylinders the first days back. The New York Antiquarian Book Fair is next!

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The Culture of Printing, Design, and Bookselling in Havana

January 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Guest post by David Sellers of Pied Oxen Printers

While visiting Cuba in December I came across several places in Havana’s Old Town (Habana Vieja) related to printing, graphic design and book-dealing. Taller Experimental de Grafica de la Habana (Callejon del Chorio) has a nice collection of old etching and lithographic presses and, most interesting, a c.1830s French iron hand-press.  A 10-15 minute walk away is a restaurant named La Imprenta (Calle Mercaderes, 208), located in the former premises of a printing shop, with printing presses and bookbinding equipment in situ. Some of the restaurant’s chair backs are stenciled with information about typefaces, and stools are in the shape of letters. Another 5-10 minute walk leads to the palm tree lined Plaza de Armas, with its statue of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, an early fighter for Cuban independence. The plaza also serves as Havana’s second-hand book market, with stalls cheek by jowl on all four sides of the square. Another 10-15 minute walk in the direction of central Havana is a bookstore named Librería Fayad Jamís (Obispo 261), whose window had a very eclectic list of authors stenciled on its glass, including Hemingway, Cicero, Mayakovsky, Byron and Trotsky, among others. Note: While it’s easier to travel to Cuba at the moment, U. S. citizens must qualify for a general license (requiring only self-certification) or obtain a special license (a more time-consuming application process). Tourism is still not allowed.

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‘Prohibited Best-Seller’ arrives in Malta… and New Castle!

December 16, 2016 Leave a comment

Author Robert Thake celebrated the publication of our latest book, A Publishing History of a Prohibited Best-Seller with local distributor Oliver Gatt of BDL Books in San Gwann, Malta yesterday. We’re also celebrating in New Castle, Delaware, USA… congratulations, Robert!

This fascinating book concerns the Abbé de Vertot’s Histoire de Malte, first published in four quarto volumes in 1726, the most notorious example of a book whose enormous popular success was due almost entirely to its being banned by the Vatican. Robert has identified  more than 120 editions, most from the 18th century, from bibliographic research conducted in archives and libraries in Malta, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, and England.


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A Message from Eric Corcoran, Our Fall Intern

November 4, 2016 Leave a comment

img_0966What’s up everyone? My name is Eric Corcoran, I’m a senior at the University of Delaware studying English with a concentration in Professional Writing. A native New Yorker, I love all things New York, besides the Yankees (Lets Go Mets!) and our football teams. I grew up in a small suburb thirty minutes outside of New York City, which afforded me the opportunity to explore the city itself and the vast outdoors that New York has to offer.

I tend to get asked a few questions upon introducing myself as an English major, the most popular being “what are you going to do with that?” and “are you going to write a book or something?” And with my time as an undergrad student running out, I can confidently say I really don’t know. I’m probably not going to write a book, and I’m not quite sure where my English degree will land me, but being here at Oak Knoll is definitely a step in the right direction to finding out. Publishing is an industry that is often brought up in the courses I have taken at UD, so when I heard about the internship here I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the team. At Oak Knoll I hope to gain a better understanding of the publishing industry as a whole, as well as how to successfully market our products in order to generate sales. But most importantly I hope to learn as much as I can in my time as an intern.

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