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Anniversary of Lady Chatterley acquittal

On this day in 1960, the landmark obscenity case over Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence ended with the acquittal of Penguin Books. The publisher had been sued for publishing Lawrence’s novel, which details the steamy affair between the wife of a wealthy, paralysed landowner and his gamekeeper. All this seems a million miles away […]

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Winston Churchill: The Author Who Saved Britain

Hold on, we hear you say – author? But Winston Churchill was a politician! True. But while Churchill had two stints as prime minister and is most famous for his wartime leadership, many people don’t realize that his real passion was writing. That should come as no surprise, really; his oft-quoted, inspiring and impassioned speeches […]

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Jane Austen Like You’ve Never Seen Her

Think you know everything about Jane Austen? Don’t be so sure. Our colleague Julie has compiled a list of 10 fascinating tidbits about Ms. Austen, and presents them in a most compelling – and creatively costumed- way in her video. Don’t miss out.

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A 1917 Letter: Dear Winston Churchill: OMG!

We at AbeBooks do so love a good literary letter. This 1917 example to Winston Churchill, written a year before the end of WWI, includes an early usage of “OMG”. It also includes a lot of exclamation marks. Lord Fisher (I assume naval fleet Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher) was an enthusiastic writer, also seemingly randomly […]

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Mark Twain: A Thomas Edison Joint

Shot by Thomas Edison in 1909, this short video (no sound, obviously) is apparently the only footage of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) in existence. It became part of a two-reel short film based on Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper. Twain died the year following the filming. via MentalFloss

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Pioneers in Petticoats

The toughest pioneers wore skirts. This selection of non-fiction celebrates the women who tamed the American West, conquered Canada’s frozen frontiers and explored the Australian Outback. In an era when a woman’s place was in the home, these remarkable pioneer women made history, built communities and took the wild out of wilderness.

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Dr. Seuss as Don Draper?

The Libraries at UC San Diego have a great archive up from when Dr. Seuss was in advertising, including many pieces I’d never seen before. The introduction: Before Theodore Seuss Geisel found fame as a children’s book author, the primary outlet for his creative efforts was magazines. His first steady job after he left Oxford […]

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8 Excellent Asian-Canadian Novels

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, and the CBC has a selection of excellent Asian-Canadian novels, compiled by CBC producer and Asian-Canadian history enthusiast Adrian Ma. His list includes a few I’ve read and many I haven’t, and one of my favourite books of all time, The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy. Tales from […]

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The American Guide Series

The American Guide Series is a collection of books, magazines and pamphlets published between 1937 and 1941. Meant to educate and attract, the series was put together by The Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) which provided government funding towards writing and publishing initiatives during the Great Depression. Each publication in the American Guide Series included background […]

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Yesterday’s Racist Books and Memorabilia – To Acknowledge or Ignore?

We look at many, many, many books in a day as part of the AbeBooks marketing team. They go as far back as ancient times, long before the printing press, and I see books from centuries ago every day. So it should come as no surprise that very often I end up reminded of the […]

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