Philobiblon: This week's acquisitions

Sunday, November 28, 2004

This week's acquisitions

* My Journey to Lhasa, Alexandra David-Neel, "The personal story of the only white woman who succeeded in entering the forbidden city". First published 1927, my copy is a 1940 war-time austerity edition with some wonderful adverts in it that I might get around to scanning later. With a faithful companion lama, Yongden, she pretended to be a mendicant pilgrim, an arjopa. For the women writers reading group.

* Memoirs of Hadrian, Margeurite Yourcenar, prompted by the earlier discussion of another of Yourcenar's books.

*Fanny Burney, by Christopher Lloyd, 1936, Longmans, London, claimed to be the first biography. The introduction says of her: "As a result of a curious connection of circumstances, she, the most retiring of women in that garish age, was drawn into the Court of George III and Napoleonic France. Her attitude even after she had attained fame as the outstanding novelist of her day, was always the same : that of an intelligent, humourous, essentially feminine observer; ready to note the absurdities of the world and yet always idealising those she loved as a result of her deep sense of loyalty: passive, conservative, modest, amused - a very woman". (p. 9) Mmm ...

* Dame Alicia Chamberlayne of Ravensholme, Gloucestershire: Memories of Troublous Times, by Emma Marshall, 1887, Selley and Co, London. An interesting piece of Victorian fiction. I'm wondering why the Victorians seem to have been so keen on historical fiction, particularly, it seems from what I've stumbled across, about the Civil War. (This covers the siege of Gloucester of 1643.)

* The Measure of Man: Incursions in Philosophical and Political Anthropology, David J. Levy, 1993 - a second-hand bookshop sale (always fatal). It may have some relevance to current musings on atheism - that's the excuse anyway.

* Woman in the Nineteenth Century and Other Writings, by the American feminist and journalist Margaret Fuller, of whom I confess I have not previously heard. "Susan B. Anthony judged that Fuller had a greater influence on the nascent women's movement than any other writer of her time."

* Lying in State, a thriller by Julian Rathbone. (I really enjoyed his Kings of Albion, so couldn't resist another sale cheapie.)


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