The physics of superheroes

(The physics of superheroes by James Kakalios. Photo credit: Duckworth Overlook) (Image above is designed to look like the front cover of a comic. It shows an image of a masked and caped superhero holding up a sign. The sign is the title of the book: The physics of superheroes. Also on the cover is […]

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Do we need pandas?

(Do we need pandas? by Ken Thompson. Photo credit: Green Books) (Image above shows the title and the name of the author alongside a picture of a panda) Do we need pandas? is a fascinating look at what we do and don’t understand about biodiversity. In his book, author Ken Thompson covers what we know […]

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David Hume – Treasures Display

A new Treasures display opening today at the National Library of Scotland celebrates the 300th birthday of David Hume, the great Scottish philosopher although better known in his own time as historian and essayist.  It runs until 28 June. The curators working on this display found it very close to their hearts.  In addition to his other […]

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Written by a Scottish Jesuit

We recently bought a book that’s now 525 years old! It was written by the Scottish Jesuit John Hay (1547-1607), and its English title is “Certaine demandes concerning the Christian religion”. The book consists of 166 questions on points of religious controversy. It is still in its original binding: Hay moved from Scotland to Rome in […]

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Isolation in Thought

Upon the commencement of John George Bartholomew’s tenure as director of John Bartholomew & Co. in 1888, there is a marked tendency towards the cartographic. The riotous miscellany which characterised earlier times was replaced by better and better mapping. However, there are always exceptions to this rule, with the subject of this entry being just […]

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Alice in Wonderland – Treasures Display

A new Treasures display celebrating Lewis Carroll’s much-loved children’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland opens today at the National Library of Scotland and runs until 2 May 2011. Treasures on show include a rare first issue of the first edition, letters from the author, and a selection of delightful early editions of both Alice’s Adventures in […]

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A Gothic Romance

Last December we purchased a novel by the Scottish poet and novelist Isabella Kelly, née Fordyce (1759-1857). ‘The secret’ (shelfmark: RB.s.2807-2810) is a Gothic romance, set in an ancient abbey in the imaginary village of Llanleeven in North Wales. It was published in Brentford, England, in 1805, and printed by and for P. Norbury. Title […]

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Anti-slavery Campaign in Haddington

We recently bought an abolitionist broadside printed in Haddington, East Lothian, in 1814 – seven years after the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed. It is simply entitled Slave Trade. Beneath the title is a telling woodcut  followed by an abolitionist poem: The inhabitants of Dunbar, a coastal town in East Lothian, had met in June 1814 […]

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