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Highly Reviewed

Oak Knoll regularly sends out copies of our new publications to be reviewed. Check out these short excerpts from a few of of the recent reviews that have been published.

A Catalogue of the Junius Spencer Morgan Collection of Virgil by Craig Kallendorf

“Bibliographers and bibliophiles alike may fairly rejoice in this product of ten years’ work: Kallendorf has provided an expansive and illuminating account, replete with illustrations and indexes, of more than 700 printed editions and translations (evidenced by some 900 copies) of the great Mantuan bard, ranging from the mid-fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries. The book itself is a tall and stately folio, printed on fine paper and accurately set by Michael Höhne, with rubricated headings throughout, not unlike many of the works it describes. There are 49 high-quality plates, including fifteenth-century illuminations, woodcut illustrations, fine bindings and title-pages bearing the signatures of the great classical scholars Daniel Heinsius (p.4) and Peiter Burman the Younger (p.141). Kalendorf is to be commended for this stimulating and eminently readable survey.” —D.J. Butterfield, The Book Collector 

Bookbinding & Conservation: A Sixty-Year Odyssey of Art and Craft by Don Etherington

“This slim, attractive volume packs a lot of information. Don has laid out the arc of his life to date, filling in the early formative years during and immediately following World War II and his apprenticeship in the 1950s London. More than an enjoyable read, this volume illuminates the training and development of not just one binder, but of a generation of British binders and conservators who heavily influenced the development of the library conservation field in the United States.” —Roberta Pilette, Libraries & the Cultural Record

Illustrated Periodicals of the 1860s: Contexts & Collaborations by Simon Cooke

“This handsomely printed and profusely illustrated book provides insight into the complex processes involved in illustrating British periodicals of “The Sixties”—that is, the period roughly from 1855 to the mid-1870s. In explaining these complex relationships, Cooke provides insights that will be valuable to the fields of librarianship, print history, and literary criticism. A surprising number of libraries in the United States have solid holdings of some of the magazines discussed in this book. The author’s ideas should aid scholars who study the magazines to understand their illustrations in new ways—not the least of which is the manner in which some of the illustrations enhanced the quality of the literary works in which they appeared. Cooke’s solid scholarship, which is based on many years of collecting and studying nineteenth-century British periodicals, artists’ drawings and proofs, plates, original correspondence and business records, published memoirs, and an extensive number of secondary sources, builds on his related articles, which have appeared in Brontë Studies, Thomas Hardy Journal, Victorians Institute Journal, and Victorian Periodicals Review.” —Maurice C. York, College & Research Libraries

The Last of the Great Swashbucklers: A Bio-Bibliography of Rafael Sabatini by Jesse F. Knight and Stephen Darley

“Rafael Sabatini’s many admirers will be glad to know that the bio-bibliography by the late Jesse F. Knight and Stephen Darley now exists, in a handsome hardcover form. The bibliography is meticulous in its details for the first English and first American editions, as well as later editions of some interest, such as Grosset & Dunlap’s photoplay editions. Dust jackets are illustrated when specimens were found, and I must shout my praise to the rooftops for Darley’s detailed descriptions of those jackets he had to hand. The main entries are very clear and detailed, and everything that anyone would hope for. But this book provided me with an enormous flash of inspiration. Every now and then Darley refers to copies out there in cyberspace, and from time to time refers to a title’s rarity. While preparing my own bibliography, Voyages in Space, I too from time to time referred to a book’s rarity. When I read Darley’s words, I thought to myself—why not conduct a kind of census for each title in my book by looking for copies on a meta-search engine such as AddAll. I’ve now started to do that— and what an enourmous help (as well as a lot of work) has it provided to be! To conclude, the bibliography has catered very well for the rational collector, and will prove to be an excellent addition to his shelves.” —George Locke, Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association Newsletter

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