New on the shelves

I am excited to announce that the new collection of books, garnered during my recent travels in England, are in the Shop!

Philip and I had so much fun scouring the countryside for the authors and titles suited to my little niche of a shop—he has become quite the book scout, able to spot a first-edition Goudge or a rare Elizabeth Gaskell a mile off. As the stacks kept mounting in our little Dorset cottage, we both wondered (I, rather mildly; Philip with a bit more concentration) how under heaven we were going to get them home. Let’s just say it was an adventure, and not always of the un-harrowing sort. But they have all safely immigrated to The Colonies, now, and are ready to be dispatched to homes of their own.

People often ask me how I can bear to part with my books. Well, my answer is two-fold. For one thing, sometimes I can’t. There was definitely a small but growing pile of books destined for a forever home with me. I think I bought half of my book club reading list at my favorite Evergreen Livres in the Cotswolds, with a couple more as candidates for the next list on special recommendation from the proprietress. But there is always the immense satisfaction and joy of turning up a really beautiful book that I know one of my customers will love. I have been so blessed to be admitted into so many of your personal tastes and affinities, and I genuinely consider it an honor to connect worthy books with those who cherish them.  I have said this before, but the books in my shop are there because I can vouch for them, because I have a long-standing confidence in the author or because I know that particular title to be of merit, literary, moral, or otherwise.

There are several new Gaskells in inventory, including some really nice early 20th-century copies. I also have a number of beautiful volumes illustrated by the beloved artist, Hugh Thomson. Working chiefly with the Macmillan Press in London, Thomson typified the gentle nostalgia of such classics as Cranford and the works of Jane Austen with drawings that expressed the sentiment and sensibility of days gone by. (I, for one, admit to a distinct weakness for anything that has his name on it—I just love the way that he captured the flounce on a skirt or a coy rural meeting, awakening a reader’s imagination in perfect sympathy with the original intent of the author.)

Of course, there are new Elizabeth Goudge titles, as well as some really nice George Eliots. Also, several sweet little editions of English poetry, including Robert Herrick and George Herbert. And Dickens lovers will be happy to know that dear old ‘Boz’ is well-represented among the latest acquisitions. If I didn’t already have a copy of The Old Curiosity Shop I fear I wouldn’t be able to let that one go…

So, have a look around—remember to sort by ‘Date Added’—and please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about any of the books. I will do my best to answer them. 🙂

18 Responses to “New on the shelves”

  1. Pete says:


    Does that copy of Milton’s works contain the Paradise Lost illustrations by Dore?

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      Pete, no, it doesn’t. The engravings are nice, but they are not Dore. This illustrator obviously wasn’t famous enough to get credit on the title page. 😉

  2. Pete says:

    Well darn. I’ve been looking for a copy of Paradise Lost with Dore’s illustrations for years. Hard to find. I think he did 50 of them for that book and all the modern collections I’ve seen only feature about 20-30.

  3. just put in an order!

  4. Ashley S. says:

    Wonderful choices, Lanier! Not sure I’d ever be able to decide which one I would love to have most. Shopping for old books in England must have been a great experience. I was in London a few weeks ago, and I stumbled across a little used book market on the South bank of the Thames. Most of the items were used paperbacks and such, but I did come across an 1810 5th edition of Scott’s “Lady of the Lake” for about $30, which, needless to say, came home with me. They also had lots of old prints of illustrations from Dickens’ novels that I would have loved to had as well, but unfortunately couldn’t afford at the moment. I highly recommend checking it out if you are ever in London!

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      Ashley, we actually did go to London on this last trip, but it is probably a good thing that I didn’t know about the Thames book market! At that point in our trip we had been forced to place a moratorium on buying books. 😉 But I will definitely check it out next time I’m over there. Thank you for the recommendation! 🙂

  5. jodi says:

    While at school in England, our son was able to purchase some lovely books–a first edition Houseman for his sister Joy who loves that poet. It’s also where Zach met his wife, another American studying at Oxford. Seems that England is the place to find treasures. 🙂

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      I didn’t know your son studied at Oxford, Jodi! Now you’ve got the Innocence Mission song “Curious” stuck in my head. (Even though his wife is American, still seems to fit. ;))

      • Ligia says:

        Speaking of the Innocence Mission… Lanier, I just had to stop by and thank you oh so much for having introduced your readers to their perfectly unique music. They are such an exquisite treasure, and the world so much more beautiful because of them! The Lord used their songs to comfort and heal me to an extent I wouldn’t have thought possible. I am deeply indebted to them – and to you, for having written that review over at the Rabbit Room, last year… (Just today I have watched the Youtube video of Karen singing “Curious” live:)

        • Lanier Ivester says:

          Ligia, I am delighted and honored to think I introduced you IM. They are just amazing, and their music reaches places in my soul that nothing else does. Praise God for the way that He has used them in your life. Thank you for sharing…

  6. I’m sighing…. not with discontent, but with joy that you have experienced something I’ve dreamed of too. Oh my, it all sounds perfectly lovely. My bookish heart is so glad to have stopped by today!

    Your posting so reminds me of the movie with Ann Bancroft and Antholn Hopkins “84 Charing Cross Road”. Isn’t that a wonderful movie… the books is just as enjoyable; as I read it after seeing the movie, my imagination delightfully remembers scenes and favorite lines from the movie!

    I’ve just recently been introduced to Elizabeth Goudge for the first time… what a treasure she is!

    And so… here’s wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected book shops and shelves…..

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      Thank you, Brenda! That is so sweet of you, and I’m so glad you stopped by!

      And, yes, I adore 84, Charing Cross Road–book and movie. So dear. When we were in London a couple of weeks ago, my mother and I made a pilgrimage to find at least the location where the shop had been. Unfortunately, the numbers have been changed along Charing Cross, so we never knew exactly which it was. We only knew we’d passed it a couple of times. 😉

      And, oh! Enjoy Elizabeth Goudge! She is a treasure indeed!

  7. Josh says:

    Speaking of illustrators, have you ever come across the work of Edward Ardizzone? His pen and ink drawings are absolutely charming, and save Ernest Shepard, he’s certainly my most favorite illustrator.

    I’ve been told that he illustrated a few of Dickens’s novels, but have never been able to find any. If you were to find one, I’d be most interested in it. 🙂

    P.S. A lovely little collection of his work may be found here: 🙂

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      Josh, I have seen some of Edward Ardizzone’s work–your comment made me remember it. Yes, you are right, he’s fabulous. It is amazing how an illustrator can just capture the soul of a book. Thanks for the link! And I will definitely let you know if I come across any of his Dickens work! 🙂

  8. Janice says:

    I just packed up about 10 bqgs of books from my collection. I had almost a complete set of Victoria Holt. I am bringing them to work Tuesday to just let whoever wants them have them. I have probably just as many waiting on my cedar chest to be read. Wish I could have seen some of those shops and places you found your copies in.

  9. Jon Slone says:

    Love the sunset picture…its like all you do is eat life and drink in beauty. I think if I ever heard one of your blog posts start off like, “Well, today while working at Blockbuster video I noticed ah…” I would die of shock.

    Please click on my blog…, I wrote about my daughter…and how she’s so perfect, its like we’re just babysitting some Angel’s Kid.

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