Did you know?  Check our Rare Books Page

A Brief History of Serial Fiction

By Brian Hoey. Dec 29, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Charles Dickens

In Rob Reiner’s 1987 cult classic The Princess Bride (based on William Goldman's 1973 book of the same name), the story begins with a grandfather’s proclamation to his ailing grandson that “back in (his) day, television was called books.” While the old man’s dictum may be an overly bold one, it’s certainly true that books used to be a lot more like television. Indeed, the serialized format that modern television viewers have come to love-hate began nearly a century before the TV’s inception with the rise of serialized novels.

     
Read more...


Charles Dickens and Christmas: The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain

By Matt Reimann. Dec 3, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Charles Dickens, Christmas Books

Charles Dickens published his final Christmas novella, The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain, A Fancy for Christmas-Time, in 1848. While it has been upstaged by the most famous of his yuletide stories, A Christmas Carol, both share a distinct similarity: a ghostly plot. While Dickens is often credited with inventing the modern idea of Christmas, that of trees and garlands and presents, he also cast a spooky, haunting mood over the holiday. To Dickens, Christmas was not only a time for festive warmth, but one for dark examination, too.

     
Read more...


Charles Dickens' Show-Stealing Entrance to Serial Fiction

By Kristin Masters. Mar 31, 2014. 10:31 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Charles Dickens

On March 31, 1836, Chapman and Hall published the first installment of Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers. The story bore little resemblance to what the publishers thought they were going to print--to the advantage of the young Dickens, who was quickly vaunted to literary fame. The Pickwick Papers was certainly not the first serial novel, but it did make an indelible mark on the publishing world. 

     
Read more...


The Short-Lived Friendship of Dickens and Irving

By Andrea Koczela. Mar 30, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature, Charles Dickens

The friendship between writers Washington Irving and Charles Dickens began in 1840, after the publication of Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop. Irving wrote a letter to Dickens complimenting him on the novel, and Dickens replied enthusiastically. The two continued to correspond until Dickens arrived in America in January 1842.

The two writers finally met in person when Dickens traveled to New York. At a party celebrating his visit, Dickens gave a speech in honor of his friend, Irving:

     
Read more...


Favorite Christmas Books by Legendary Authors

The holidays are fast approaching, and the spirit of the season can be seen everywhere! This time of year, we often turn to favorite books like Clement Clarke Moore's beloved The Night Before Christmas or Hilary Knight's whimsical Christmas Nutshell Library. If you collect Christmas books or books by legendary authors, you may also want to add these tomes to your personal library. Though relatively unknown, these three books delightfully capture the Christmas spirit with all the style and panache one would expect from Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, or JRR Tolkien.  

     
Read more...


Famous Authors and Their Pseudonyms (Part One)

By Kristin Masters. Jul 16, 2013. 6:35 PM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Book News

This week the literary world has been in an uproar! Joanne Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter series, admitted that she wrote The Cuckoo's Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. It should come as no surprise that Rowling would choose to write under a false name; after all, she originally hid her identity by writing as JK Rowling, and she's not the first legendary author to use a pseudonym.

     
Read more...


Did Charles Dickens Want a Different Ending for 'Great Expectations'?

By Kristin Masters. Jun 4, 2013. 10:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting, Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens began writing Great Expectations in 1860. According to his friend and biographer John Forster, Dickens indicated in a letter around October 12, 1860, that he intended the new novel to be "humorous and droll."*

Clearly the book took a different turn--including a final one after Dickens had already submitted the final chapters to the printer in June 1861. At the advice of a trusted friend, Dickens changed the ending to Great Expectations, a decision that has intrigued critics and collectors ever since.

     
Read more...


Charles Dickens, Father of Modern Christmas

By Kristin Masters. Dec 25, 2012. 1:50 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Charles Dickens

Today families around the world gathered around a Christmas tree to open gifts. This tradition seems as old as the holiday itself, but in reality these practices—and many others—are relatively new inventions. And Charles Dickens can be credited with introducing or popularizing some of our favorite elements of the Christmas holiday

     
Read more...


Legendary Authors: Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens has inspired generations of writers, readers, and book lovers. Born in 1812, Dickens earned the reputation of preeminent novelist of the Victorian era. His contributions to literature mean that Charles Dickens’ books remain incredibly appealing to rare book collectors. Bet you didn’t know these tidbits about Charles Dickens:

     
Read more...


About this blog

How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

Get blog notifications per email:

Download the James Bond Dossier

Recent Posts

Book Glossary
Get your free Guide to Book Care

Blog Archive

> see older posts
A Guide to Historic Libraries Part I