1686 • Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe leaves his island after 28 years
1776 • The American Crisis by Thomas Paine appears, with its famous opening “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
1890 • Start of Sherlock Holmes “Adventure of Beryl Coronet“
1732 • Benjamin Franklin begins publication of “Poor Richard’s Almanack” under the name Richard Saunders. containing weather predictions, humor, proverbs and epigrams, eventually selling nearly 10,000 copies per year.
I might in this place attempt to gain thy Favour, by declaring that I write Almanacks with no other View than that of the publick Good; but in this I should not be sincere; and Men are now a-days too wise to be deceiv’d by Pretences how specious soever. The plain Truth of the Matter is, I am excessive poor, and my Wife, good Woman, is, I tell her, excessive proud; she cannot bear, she says, to sit spinning in her Shift of Tow, while I do nothing but gaze at the Stars; and has threatned more than once to burn all my Books and Rattling-Traps (as she calls my Instruments) if I do not make some profitable Use of them for the good of my Family. The Printer has offer’d me some considerable share of the Profits, and I have thus begun to comply with my Dame’s desire. . . .
Friend and Servant
lost n’ found • an update on the conservation of the 9thc psalter found in an Irish peat bog last summer. (via the Book Guide UK)
spoils • McMaster University Library in Hamilton, Ont., has obtained the diaries, correspondence and early material of Leslie McFarlane, author of 21 of the Hardy Boys books.
idiot alert • Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is being challenged by parents in Westport CT.
resurrectionists • WAPO gives us a piece on the New York Review Children’s Collection which is reprinting 8-10 out of print books each year.
naughty, naughty • Philobiblios has a little something to say about the son of a bitch a who bought a unique £47,000 67 volume Devonshire rector’s bible only to cut out the prints and now wants to resell the carcass.
groupies • did anyone else know there was a national council on bookstore tourism? and why didn’t they ask any of US to join?