Philobiblon: This month's acquisitions

Saturday, January 29, 2005

This month's acquisitions

I have been reasonably restrained this month, but did splash out at the OUP sale, which produced the following bargains:

* England: an archaeological guide, Timothy Darvill, Paul Stamper and Jane Timby, which reminds me that one of these days I must get to Grime's Graves in Norfolk, which are not burial places but Neolithic flint mines. Worked between 3,000BC and 1,900BC, there are traces of at least 350 shafts spread over nine hectares, the guide says.

"Calculations suggest that 1,000 tons of overburden was removed to create a single shaft, which yielded approximately 8 tons of nodular flint. The exploitation of the mine could have been undertaken over a period of two to three months by a workforce of 15 to 16 people. If all the flint won from the mine was converted into axes in an efficient manner something like 10,250 blades could have been produced; even at worst over 6,000 axes could have been made. The whole site may have produced between 2.5 million and 5 million axes during its working life." (p. 232-3)

That's what you call an industry, at a time well before you'd expect to be using the word.

* Oxford Archaeological Guides: Southern France, Henry Cleere

* The Enigma of Easter Island, John Flenley and Paul Bahn

* The Renaissance Bazaar: From the Silk Road to Michelangelo, Jerry Brotton. The blurb says it "explodes the myth of the European Renaissance as a founding moment of cultural superiority; it was the time when East and West encountered each other as equals". Sounds like it should be a good companion to the Turks exhibition.

* A Land of Liberty: England 1689-1727 Julian Hoppit (because I'm unable to resist a cheap reference book).

* Agnew Bowker's Cat: Travesties and Transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England, David Cressy. (More on this soon.)

Purchased elsewhere:

* Behsharam (Shameless), a play by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, bought as a small gesture of solidarity for the author, whose latest production was stopped by Sikh religious protests. A Guardian review of this play here.

* North Korea: Another Country, Bruce Cumings, because having been there around 10 years ago, I want to catch up on the latest.

* Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, by Susan Jacoby, because it would be nice to think there was one.


Blogger Sharon said...

I bought the Julian Hoppitt book too. I got it from the library a while back and was very impressed. Not just political history, as these survey texts sometimes tend to be.

I've had Agnes Bowker's Cat for quite a while; I'll be interested to see what you think of it. Some very interesting essays, but I'm not sure that it engages as much as it could with recent cultural history.

I also bought Robert Colls' Idea of England in the sale. I'm not sure if I like it yet; it seems to be another of those books that hasn't thought too much about the difference between England and Britain...

1/29/2005 11:36:00 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

Yay for Hoppit! I can't believe you all bought that book cheap as well. I did a course with him two years ago and near the end saw his book for £2.99(!) in Waterstones Remainders. When we told him about it he wasn't very impressed and replied: "Bugger! That means they haven't sold any!"

1/30/2005 06:36:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

Yes, I do feel slightly guilty that so many of the books that I buy are remainders, but then again, that way you can buy many more books!

1/31/2005 12:11:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On North Korea and on books thereon see the current
New York Review of Books. Ronnie Smartt

1/31/2005 11:40:00 am  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

Thanks Ronnie - will check it out next time I'm at the IHR

1/31/2005 12:39:00 pm  

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