Rare English Literature

Obelisk Scarcity

by The bookworm on November 21, 2014

A mix of censorship and bad novel-writing can provide the right ingredients in bringing about scarcity in rare books. That is exactly what the 1930’s, semi-underground literature publisher Jack Kahane created through his production at Obelisk Press. This is not to say that Obelisk published strictly smutty books since well known writers such as Henry […]


The most valuable collection of Shakespeare’s works was accumulated by Henry Clay Folger, a millionaire Standard Oil executive, who died two weeks after he laid the cornerstone to the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1930. He appointed the Trustees of Amherst College to administer the library located in Washington, DC and the collection that includes 79 […]


What would the Christmas season be without A Christmas Carol? A Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol, that is. The beloved story which was adopted into film a few times and is frequently staged during the holiday season in a theatrical production near you captures the essence of the Christmas spirit. The book itself is the world’s […]


Virginia Woolf, a rare book icon

by Liz on March 15, 2013

At the very forefront of nineteenth century writings on feminism and rebellion against societal norms for women was the writer and journalist, Virginia Woolf. Woolf lived during a time of strict and traditional standards for women and the roles which they were expected to play, yet through her writings she expressed an alternative and freeing […]


Once more the world is believed to be ending on December 21, 2012. This time it is believed to have been the prediction of our famous prophet from the 16th century,  Nostradamus (Michel de Nostredame)   The year 1999, seventh month,  From the sky will come a great King of Terror:  To bring back to […]


Dickens 2012

by Luke Chrysanthou on July 16, 2012

Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on the 7th February 1812 in Mile End Terrace, Portsmouth, England. The son of a pay office clerk, no one could have imagined that young Charles would become one of the greatest novelists of all time, responsible for such acclaimed works as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Christmas […]

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It was the end of the 18th century. Wealthy British boys would go to grammar schools while girls from well off families would also attend school to learn accomplishments like embroidery and music, rather than academic subjects. Wealthy young men would go on a ‘grand tour’ of Europe taking one or two years before returning. […]


You are probably familiar with the term Beatlemania, but did you ever hear of Sherlockiana, the other term to originate from the British Isles?  It defines anything about, inspired by, or tangentially concerning the adventures of the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes, his biographer, Dr. John Watson, and the author of the series, Sir Arthur […]


 No other Charles Dickens book has been through significant controversy quite like Oliver Twist. Published by Richard Bentley in 1838, it is considered to be Charles Dickens’ second novel following The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.  Despite the long story’s popularity, Oliver Twist was criticized for introducing criminals and prostitutes; was delivered by an […]

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Charles Dickens is considered to be one of the greatest English writers of all times and certainly the greatest English novelist of the Victorian period. He wrote many books and many of his first editions are among the rarest books in the world. His most well known novels are: A Christmas Carol; Great Expectations; Oliver […]