The National Trust holds around 400,000 titles in their 160 historic properties in the UK. Rarities includes William Caxton’s 1487 Lyme Missal at Lyme Park in Cheshire and the first edition of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, given by the author to Eddy Sackville-West while he was living at Knole. The charity is also increasingly putting its finest items on display, and there are currently two excellent exhibitions at Peckover House and Blickling Estate.
Jane Austen’s House Museum in England is hoping a crowdsourcing appeal will safeguard one of the author’s letters from being sold into private hands.
Firsts: London’s Rare Book Fair, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association's annual flagship event, opens its doors for the 62nd time in the capital in June. There will be plenty on view with more than 150 exhibitors from fifteen countries presenting signed first editions, maps, manuscripts, art, and ephemera.
Charles Dickens was one of the first global literary superstars who finessed his personal brand with a careful eye on an international reading public – indeed, a tenth of the books in his private library are related to travel.
Literary tourism is big business. While new book festivals continue to spring up, recent research from the VisitEngland tourist board indicated that more than half of British holidaymakers would visit a literary attraction on vacation. Another increasingly popular way of combining books with holidays is to visit one of the dozens of small villages and towns around the world devoted to bookselling.