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Monday, 1 December 2014

Shelf Life 1

Welcome to Shelf Life - a weekly blog featuring a randomly chosen shelf from the inside of the world's oldest antiquarian bookshop Henry Sotheran.

The aim is to give a glimpse of what is in the shop and why we think it is interesting.

Shelf Life 1 features the top shelf in a large walk-in cupboard on the right-hand side of the shop with a full height glass door.  Affectionately known in the shop as the Grand Cabinet (pronounced a la francais) this is in fact the original lift shaft from the interior of our early premises on Piccadilly itself.

List of Books in Shelf Life 1

The books in the Grand Cab come from various departments but tend as a rule to be either more expensive, more fragile or simply things that we don't quite know where else to put.

The range is typically Sotheranesque and eclectic.  Charles Dickens first editions jostle with Kylie Minogue, facsimiles of the Gutenberg Bible and illuminated manuscripts rub shoulders with a book on military camouflage. There's a little bit of 1920s French erotica, some signed Walter Mosley detective fiction, a few Rubaiyats of Omar Khayyam, and amongst all this Spike Milligan and Barry Humphreys vie for position with a John Martin illustrated edition of Paradise Lost. To top it off there is an album of original photographs which form part of a diary kept by a young New Yorker on his tour of Europe in 1913, including an account of his voyage over on the Carpathia, only a  year after she had collected survivors from the Titanic.

Sotheran's is proud to be a shop where you can come and browse books and prints from a very wide selection of subjects and at a similarly wide choice of prices.  Not everything costs hundreds of pounds - indeed prices start from about £10.  Something for everyone - we hope.

Shelf Life will try to show you a weekly snapshot of the shop.  We hope that you find something of interest in each shelf. 

This shelf was chosen by Andrew McGeachin

Next week Chris will be sharing his selection for Shelf Life 2.

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