In the News

"Walden" First Edition Leads Strong Sale at PBA Galleries

PBA Galleries started 2018 off strongly with their first sale of the year on... read more

Iconic Vintage Lewis W. Hine Prints Lead Swann Photographs Auction

New York— Swann Auction Galleries launches into 2018 with the wide-ranging auction Icons &... read more

"Facing the Camera" Opens January 24

New York - Facing the Camera will be on view at Hans P. Kraus... read more

Waverly Rare Books at Quinn's Auction Galleries to Auction Rare Botanical & Zoological Prints

Falls Church, VA - On Thursday, January 25, the Waverly Rare Books & Prints... read more

The Todd Webb Archive Announces Sale of Rare Vintage Prints at AIPAD 2018

Todd Webb (1905-2000), best known for his photographs of New York, Paris, Georgia O'Keeffe... read more

The Yale Center for British Art Expands Its Collection of Modern and Contemporary British Photographs

New Haven, CT—The Yale Center for British Art has expanded its collection of photographs... read more

Gouache on Paper of Iconic Apple Logo Attributed to Andy Warhol Headlines February 1 Sale

Franklin, MA — A mid-1980s gouache on paper rendering of the iconic Apple Macintosh... read more

The Library of Milanese Collector Sergio Rossetti Headed to Sotheby’s Milan on February 20

On February 20th 2018, Sotheby’s Milan will offer up for sale the library of... read more

Follow us on TwitterLike us on Facebook
Auction Guide
Advertise with Us
2015 Bookseller Resource Guide
Dear Reader

Going Places

Fine Books and Collections editor Ann J. Loftin
Editor Ann J. Loftin

When writer Erica Olsen called to ask whether Fine Books would like an article about her impending trip to Norway, I have to confess that nothing much popped into my mind. I just said, “Sure,” dimly remembering performances of A Doll’s House and my youthful attempt to understand Knut Hamsen’s Hunger. So I am grateful to Erica for taking us around, to the bookstores and printing museum, to the Ibsen museum in the summer resort town of Grimstad, and to the canning museum in Stavanger, where by 1915 some 350 million cans of sardines were being packed for export. She stayed with cousins on her father’s side (who gave her major Brownie points for coming in wintertime), impressed them with her rudimentary command of Norwegian (few Americans speak a word of it), and was lucky enough to find the house where her great-grandfather grew up. As for Ibsen, she said, “he was omnipresent, almost a pop culture figure,” the only world-renowned Norwegian writer who didn’t embarrass his native land. (Knut Hamsun is respected as a writer, but his support for the Nazis continues to offend these deeply humane people; they refuse to have a street named after him.) In a churchyard in Fjaere, a small town outside of Grimstad where her paternal grandmother grew up, Erica found a monument to Ibsen’s “Terje Vigen,” an epic poem as well known to every Norwegian as Longfellow’s Hiawatha is known to Americans. The poem, set during the Napoleonic Wars, when the coast of Norway was under a blockade by the British, tells the story of the semi-legendary Terje Vigen, who heroically tried to row a small boat to Denmark to bring back food for his starving family. Ibsen himself never starved—but he was poor enough, during the years after leaving his job as an apprentice pharmacist in Grimstad, to become thoroughly disenchanted with the artistic life in Norway, and so in 1864 he moved to Italy. He would not return to his native land for 27 years, his reputation by then well-established.

Also in this issue is the story behind the so-called “Big Book,” the bible of Alcoholics Anonymous, related by Connecticut rare book dealer Bill Schaberg. First editions of this book are highly prized—the annotated “master copy” sold at Sotheby’s for $1.5 million five years ago—but few people know the back story behind the movement that just celebrated its 70th anniversary, and Schaberg spent a lot of time digging in the AA archives to ferret it out.

So, whether you’re on the wagon or on the road this summer, I hope you’ll find something to hold your attention in these pages.

comments powered by Disqus