31 August 2017: Recently added to our library...
1970 The Journals of Susanna Moodie by Margaret Atwood First Ed Signed Poems
Atwood adopts the voice of Susanna Moodie, a noted early Canadian author, who wrote about her experiences as a settler in Canada, which was a British colony at the time. The work is divided into three sections, with the first two demonstrative of her thoughts and feelings throughout various notable moments in her life. The tone of the final section changes somewhat, with Atwood describing Moodie’s fictional reflections upon twentieth century Canada. Moodie continued to be an inspiration in Atwood’s writings, with her later novel Alias Grace. The work is based on the account of convicted murderer Grace Marks, which also appeared in Moodie’s memoir Life in the Clearings Versus the Bush.
We have in our library the first edition of The Journals of Susanna Moodie. The work is complete with six full page collage illustrations, which were designed by Atwood. The work is also signed by Margaret Atwood to the title page.
1904 Later Magic Professor Hoffmann Illustrated Angelo John Lewis Conjuring
We have recently added to our collection a fascinating instructional work on magic and conjuring by Professor Hoffman (real name Angelo Lewis). Hoffman was himself a lawyer and professor, and whilst he became a leading writer on magic, did not practise as a magician. Indeed he chose to write under the pseudonym Professor Hoffman as he was concerned that his professional prospects as a lawyer would be damaged if people realised how much he knew about such a deceptive art form. His popularity as an author within the genre began as part of a series of articles he wrote for the boy’s magazine Every Boy’s Annual, which later became the first of four works he would publish on the subject, and was titled Modern Magic.
Despite his own limited experience as a practicing magician, Professor Hoffmann’s series of four works are considered to be one of the greatest authorities on the theories of practises of magic. The work was pioneering in that it was really the first English language work to really explain how to perform magical feats, and detailed the apparatus, tricks and methods used by magicians of that period. There were very few teaching methods available at that time, so his works became a very important resource for would-be magicians. New to our library is the third book in Hoffmann’s series, entitled Later Magic. The work is profusely illustrated throughout, and details a variety of different tricks, including tricks with handkerchiefs, colour changing tricks and flag tricks.
1738 A Compendious System of Natural Philosophy with Notes Third Ed J Rowning
John Rowning was a prominent natural philosopher and mathematician. Born in Lincolnshire, he was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge and later went on to become rector in Westley Waterless and then Anderby, both in Lincolnshire. As a member of the Gentleman’s Society in Spalding, he urged the society to temporarily forgo its antiquarian pursuits and instead focus upon experimental philosophy. From this, he wrote a number of mathematical papers, one notable example being a criticism of George Berkeley’s ‘The Analyst’.
In 1735, Rowning published his most notable work, A Compendious System of Natural Philosophy. The work was extremely successful and between 1735 and 1772 went through seven editions. It was used at Cambridge and Oxford, alongside many other dissenting academies. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, used the text for his itinerant preachers and there are references in the correspondences of John Adams, William Beckford and Joseph Priestley, to name a few. Much of the work’s success is credited to its clarity in the discussion of many topics, including the properties of bodies, their laws of motion, mechanical powers, hydrostatics and pneumatics, optics, and catoptrics. The edition that has recently been added to our library is the third edition of the work, in a full calf binding and illustrated throughout, complete, with thirty plates.