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Marthe McKenna, the WWI nurse who spied

We’re seeing tremendous interest in the books of Marthe McKenna (1892-1966) after the New York Times ran an “overlooked” obituary. A nurse, McKenna, who was Belgian, spied on the Germans for almost two years in World War I. Her book I Was a Spy! became a massive bestseller after the war. It’s still in print […]

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An Electrical Fairytale from Wizard of Oz Author L. Frank Baum

At the start of the 20th century, electricity was not taken for granted. It was regarded as something almost magical by many people, including Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, who was so inspired by electricity that he wrote a fairytale about it. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900. Baum’s next […]

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Stand firm & carry on: Churchill’s 1940 instruction leaflet on surviving the German invasion

April 1940. Britain’s darkest hour as the country braced for invasion by German forces. Prime Minister Winston Churchill took the extraordinary step of printing and distributing 14 million leaflets, titled Beating the Invader, featuring instructions on what to do when German troops reached British soil. The key messages were quintessential Churchill – “Stand firm” and […]

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15 Literary Heroines for International Women’s Day

For over a century, each year on March 8th, people all around the globe take time out to celebrate the work, struggles, and achievements of women. We remember and acknowledge with gratitude those who fought for us in the past and recognize we have a long way yet to go for equal rights. Feminists and […]

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“Room for Millions of Immigrants” – railroad pamphlet from 1883 shows how American life has changed

A scarce 1883 pamphlet promoting California as a destination for immigrants has been listed for sale on AbeBooks.com. It show how immigrants were once courted in the US. “California, the Cornucopia of the World” was written by I.N. Hoag for the Southern Pacific Railroad, and was distributed to immigrants who had already reached the East […]

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It’s 70 years since John Hersey’s ‘Hiroshima’ New Yorker article shocked the world

Seventy years ago, The New Yorker published a ground-breaking piece of journalism from John Hersey. The 30,000-word article – published in the 31 August 1946 issue – was called ‘Hiroshima’. It detailed the horrific effects of the American nuclear attack on this Japanese city on 6 August 1945, which helped to finally end World War […]

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How Well Do You Know Presidential Hairlines?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about a certain politician’s hair. In fact, his unique hairstyle has spawned much debate, discussion, slideshows, memes – the list goes on. With the excitement of the upcoming US presidential election, we’ve been looking at a lot of biographies about current and past presidents and we noticed something interesting. […]

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Rare lithograph of America’s largest mass execution sells for $1,035

A rare color lithograph depicting the largest mass execution in the history of the United States has sold for $1,035 on the AbeBooks marketplace. Measuring 25 1/4 x 21 inches, ‘Execution of the Thirty-Eight Sioux Indians at Mankato, Minnesota December 26, 1862’ was sold by Nat DesMarais Rare Books from Portland. It was printed in […]

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Seven beautiful vintage photographs – from card cheats to a Zulu rickshaw driver

We have a new seller. Rarities etc, from Warwick, New York, specializes in rare photographs and prints.  Welcome aboard – take a look at these wonderful photographs from bygone ages. A humorous set-up shot of cheating card game players. More details. An image taken in 1977 of the QE2 passing the Twin Towers in New […]

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A Handbook on Hanging by Charles Duff

If you’re in the mood for some scathing, dark and wickedly barbed satire, look no further – A Handbook on Hanging by Charles Duff will fit the bill nicely. First published in 1928, this slim volume is a withering condemnation of capital punishment and the bloodthirsty nation that condones the practice, disguised as a helpful […]

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