A Five-Volume Set of Bird Illustrations Sells for $191,000 ?

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Yes, it’s true. AbeBooks has revealed that it sold an Italian ornithology on birds from 1765 for an astonishing $191,000 in 2015. Published in Florence, the set — commissioned by the Grand Duchess of Tuscany — contained more than 600 hand-colored engraved plates of birds. The book seller noted that the set’s “fine condition enhanced its value along with the fact that it is a scarce book – only 10 complete copies have been offered at auction in the past 40 years.”

Another book fetching a large sum in 2015:  A first edition of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Inscribed by Dahl with the words “For Jane and Alex with much love Roald Dahl October 1964,” the set sold for $25,000.) Apparently Knopf only published 10,000 copies of the book in 1964. Go figure! AbeBooks notes: “This copy is by far the most expensive Roald Dahl book to sell via AbeBooks and probably the most expensive Dahl book to ever be sold.”  A golden ticket indeed.

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Meanwhile a Russian book, from 1856, on the development of geometry sold for $34,245 and a first-edition set of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, signed by  J.R.R. Tolkien was purchased for nearly $20,000.

Forget about finding the Rembrandt in the basement, lovies. Look for the Dahl in grandma’s garage!

My Obsession with Adrienne Rich

Here you can simply enjoy the nature and your life

The movie “Wild” made poet & writer Adrienne Rich famous among new generation of women.
Her book “The Dream of a Common Language” includes a chapter of 21 love poems.
I’ve read and re-read XVI tonight:

Moony, inlet-warm, seabathed, I watch you sleep
the scrubbed, sheenless wood of the dressing-table
cluttered with our brushes, books, vials in the moonlight–
or a salt-mist orchard, lying at your side
watching red sunset through the screen door of the cabin,
G minor Mozart of the tape-recorder,
falling asleep to the music of the sea…

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here on English Muse.

It’s so nice to be  back….

Less is More at UK Estate

6ixteen_03What would it be like to live in a world without stuff? I have so many collections, I’ve never contemplated living in a house with neutral tones and few knickknacks. But I really love the decor of this UK estate featured recently on 1st Option… 6ixteen_016ixteen_10 6ixteen_09 6ixteen_17
Liberating or Blah?!?

Joan Didion Honored at the White House

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Joan Didion was one of 24 leading figures in American arts and culture who gathered on Wednesday in East Room of the White House, where President Obama made the annual presentation of the National Medals of Art and the National Humanities Medals. She looked so frail as she made her way, with a special escort, to the stage. Obama reached out to try to keep her steady.

He told the crowd in his opening remarks: “Somebody like Joan Didion, who, rightly, has earned distinction as one of most celebrated American writers of her generation. I’m surprised she hasn’t already gotten this award. But in her early years, she was in school only sporadically, basically taught herself how to read while she and her family followed her Army officer father around the country. She obviously learned quickly. She won a contest for Vogue in college; gave up her dream of being an oceanographer, writing became her world. And today, decades into her career, she remains one of our sharpest and most respected observers of American politics and culture.”

I’m sure Didion would have made a fine oceanographer, if that’s what she had decided to do. But the fact that she became a writer instead gives us a deeper understanding of what it means to live a full life, complete with hurt and loss, in this world.

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