A Passion For Books—Chatting With Miranda Neville

CE-avatar Bio_pic Cara/Andrea here, with a special treat for all of you who love books (and don't we all!) I'm chatting today with Miranda Neville, whose delightful new release hit the shelves this month. The story revolves around a widowed bookseller and an auction of fabulous rareities (which she based on an actual event—-the sale of the Duke of Roxburghe’s library in 1812. I confess, that made the story even more special for me, as I have played a round of golf with the present Duke of Roxburghe and seen his private library at Floors Castle . . . Trust me, the collection is still extremely impressive!)

That Miranda can wax poetic on the subject of rare books is no surprise, as you will soon discover. After a childhood "misspent devouring Georgette Heyer and Jean Plaidy" (her words, not mine!) she studied history at Oxford and went on to work for Sotheby's auction house in London and New York. Home is now rural Vermont, where she lives with her daughter Becca and two cats.

So, without further ado . . .

Welcome Miranda! Your new release, The Wild Marquis, highlights a sexy rogue, a spicy romance and more than a few rare books—what an irresistible combination! Tell us a little about the story.

TWMCover The Marquis of Chase (nickname Cain) is close to a social outcast. He was thrown out of the house at the age of sixteen by his late and unlamented father. Wandering into Sotheby’s one day (yes, it was Sotheby’s in 1819) he discovers a priceless manuscript for sale that he thought was in his family’s collection. By discovering why his father sold the treasure, he sees a way to restore his reputation and win back his estranged mother and sister. To help him navigate the world of rare books, he hires an expert.
Juliana Merton is a widow struggling to keep her rare book shop afloat after her husband’s murder. Though Lord Chase doesn’t seem like promising collector material, she desperately needs a rich client. Her own background is shadowy and the prim bookseller and rakish peer are drawn together by their social exclusion as well as a budding attraction and passion for books. When it emerges that someone wants to harm Juliana, the pair set out to find the mystery of her past, as well as his.

It’s the first in a new series. Will the others continue the book theme?

Rowlandson-book-auction In a sense, my hero is redeemed from his rather aimless life by discovering the joy of bibliophilia. In the process he makes friends with two young collectors who are the heroes of my next two books. Avon has extended the series to four with the addition of two secondary characters from the next book. The hero of The Dangerous Viscount (October 2010) is the complete opposite of a rake: a bespectacled bookworm who collects historic book bindings and avoids women.

You grew up in England. Were you always surrounded by books?

I lived in the Wiltshire countryside and longed to live an exotic urban life. Bored stiff, I read just about everything in the house. To this day I’ve never met another soul who plowed through the collected plays of George Bernard Shaw. After my mother died, my father moved to smaller premises and was agonized to learn that he had to get rid of 90% of his books, an almost 80-year accumulation. (I swear he never got rid of a book; in my indiscriminating teens I read some appallingly dated 1930s novels.) My sisters and I weeded them out for him. Occasionally he complains when he misses a certain volume and we buy him a copy online.

The heroine in The Wild Marquis is a rare book dealer, and I was fascinated to discover that you have a real expertise in the field. I’d love to hear more about your background.

I worked as an expert in rare books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s for several years. That’s how I ended up in the US, when I transferred from London to the New York office.

You must have had the privilege of handling quite a number of fabulous rarities while working at Sotheby’s. Do you have a special favorite—a book or manuscript that simply took your breath away?

Redouteiris1 I was lucky enough to handle lots of absolutely wonderful books and manuscripts. Perhaps the greatest was a copy of Redouté’s Les Liliacées (Lilies). Redouté is best known for his illustrations of roses, drawn from the gardens of the Empress Josephine at Malmaison, but the Lilies, with over 400 illustrations, is regarded by many as his greatest work. This copy was printed on vellum (as opposed to paper, in itself making it special) and had belonged to Josephine’s son Eugène de Beauharnais. But wait for it! Instead of the printed plates, the illustrations were Redouté's original drawings. Really, it still makes me quite faint to recall the day I was called to look at a book in a warehouse in New York City and found this.

Did you ever discover a hidden treasure?

Once day a client came in with a bundle of letters written by Walt Whitman when he was a young man teaching school on Long Island. Letters by great writers always excited me, but these were particularly thrilling because they illuminated a period of Whitman’s life that was almost unknown. I’m happy to say the Library of Congress bought them.

Was there any “eureka” moment in your rare book career when you suddenly realized you wanted to create your own stories, not just study the literary treasures of the past?

I wish I could come up with a colorful story, but alas, no. After I married and moved to Vermont, I worked first as a cataloguer in Special Collections at Dartmouth College and then as a reporter and editor for a local newspaper. I’d been writing non-fiction all my life, but as a Regency romance fan I’d often thought of trying to write one. I
found fiction wonderfully liberating. It’s so lovely to control what people do and say, instead of having to double-check every fact and quote for accuracy.

Dessert+careme The heroine of your first book is a chef, and your website features a lot of wonderful information on food and cooking, so it seems you’re as adept with a cleaver as you are with a keyboard. Any similarity between cooking and writing?

Now you mention it, the way I cook is somewhat reminiscent of my writing technique: take what’s in the pantry/refrigerator, toss it into a pot, and see what happens. Seriously, my books are a bit more planned than my meals. However, I love the history of food and cooking and that inspired me to create a heroine who was a pastry cook and employed by the great chef Carême at the Brighton Pavilion. I’d love to write another food romance, if I can think of a plot.

Which historical figures would you invite for an intimate dinner party? And what would you serve them?

MadameS Oh good! I love this game. I’ve always thought the nightmare dinner party would feature Madame de Staël and the historian, Thomas Babington Macaulay. Both were notorious for “holding forth” at the dinner table and never letting anyone else get a word in. That would be quite the duel.
A good party should always include the witty and the charming. Oscar Wilde would be top of my list; I suspect Shakespeare would be entertaining and I have so many questions I want to ask him. Madame de Pompadour was delightful but she can come without Louis XV; kings have too much ego to be good company. Empress Josephine, also alone for the same reason. (Plus Napoleon hated lingering over the dinner table and bolted his meals in twenty minutes.) Mozart: I have a weakness for the bad puns he enjoyed and perhaps he could be persuaded to play after dinner. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Sam Clemens, and Louisa May Alcott. La Pompadour makes me think of her biographer, Nancy Mitford, who had the reputation for being a brilliant conversationalist. If I’m allowed fictional characters I’d invite Lord Peter Wimsey and Elizabeth Bennet for starters. I could go on, but you asked for intimate and I couldn’t fit any more in my house.

Careme As for the menu, am I cooking? If so, you’ll get a one-dish meal such as a stew or paella, salad and bread, cheese, and a dessert from the bakery. If I have a chef in the kitchen (Carême for example!) and a few footmen, I’ll serve a full Georgian dinner with two or three courses and several dozen dishes. My guests may be surprised to see so many vegetables (and those not boiled to a soggy mess and covered with sauce). I’m not a vegetarian, but vegetables make up the bulk of my diet and I wouldn’t have liked those protein-heavy meals. Roast beef for breakfast? Ugh!

Thanks for visiting with us!

And as an extra treat, Miranda has kindly offered to give away a copy of "The Wild Marquis. A lucky winner will be chosen from among those who leave a comment here between today and Sunday morning.

165 thoughts on “A Passion For Books—Chatting With Miranda Neville”

  1. A romance about book collectors! How wonderful, I must read that. I’ve always dreamed of a time machine to go shopping with – for books, but I must admit also for clothes. Think of the bargains you could find in the flea markets. Heaven to a book and costume collector.
    I cannot claim to have read Shaw’s collected plays from cover to cover, but I have read an awful lot of them in my teens in a big, black one-volume collection that was in the house. That’s another thing I’d use that time machine for: stock my best reading years with better reading material!

    Reply
  2. A romance about book collectors! How wonderful, I must read that. I’ve always dreamed of a time machine to go shopping with – for books, but I must admit also for clothes. Think of the bargains you could find in the flea markets. Heaven to a book and costume collector.
    I cannot claim to have read Shaw’s collected plays from cover to cover, but I have read an awful lot of them in my teens in a big, black one-volume collection that was in the house. That’s another thing I’d use that time machine for: stock my best reading years with better reading material!

    Reply
  3. A romance about book collectors! How wonderful, I must read that. I’ve always dreamed of a time machine to go shopping with – for books, but I must admit also for clothes. Think of the bargains you could find in the flea markets. Heaven to a book and costume collector.
    I cannot claim to have read Shaw’s collected plays from cover to cover, but I have read an awful lot of them in my teens in a big, black one-volume collection that was in the house. That’s another thing I’d use that time machine for: stock my best reading years with better reading material!

    Reply
  4. A romance about book collectors! How wonderful, I must read that. I’ve always dreamed of a time machine to go shopping with – for books, but I must admit also for clothes. Think of the bargains you could find in the flea markets. Heaven to a book and costume collector.
    I cannot claim to have read Shaw’s collected plays from cover to cover, but I have read an awful lot of them in my teens in a big, black one-volume collection that was in the house. That’s another thing I’d use that time machine for: stock my best reading years with better reading material!

    Reply
  5. A romance about book collectors! How wonderful, I must read that. I’ve always dreamed of a time machine to go shopping with – for books, but I must admit also for clothes. Think of the bargains you could find in the flea markets. Heaven to a book and costume collector.
    I cannot claim to have read Shaw’s collected plays from cover to cover, but I have read an awful lot of them in my teens in a big, black one-volume collection that was in the house. That’s another thing I’d use that time machine for: stock my best reading years with better reading material!

    Reply
  6. Wow! What a fabulous interview! The more I learn about Romance authors, the more I realize how fortunate I am to be a reader!
    Miranda – how did you become an expert in rare manuscripts and how did you find yourself employed by Sotheby’s?
    Cara – how did you find yourself playing golf with the Duke of Roxburghe?
    You both are very impressive with your talents and hobbies!

    Reply
  7. Wow! What a fabulous interview! The more I learn about Romance authors, the more I realize how fortunate I am to be a reader!
    Miranda – how did you become an expert in rare manuscripts and how did you find yourself employed by Sotheby’s?
    Cara – how did you find yourself playing golf with the Duke of Roxburghe?
    You both are very impressive with your talents and hobbies!

    Reply
  8. Wow! What a fabulous interview! The more I learn about Romance authors, the more I realize how fortunate I am to be a reader!
    Miranda – how did you become an expert in rare manuscripts and how did you find yourself employed by Sotheby’s?
    Cara – how did you find yourself playing golf with the Duke of Roxburghe?
    You both are very impressive with your talents and hobbies!

    Reply
  9. Wow! What a fabulous interview! The more I learn about Romance authors, the more I realize how fortunate I am to be a reader!
    Miranda – how did you become an expert in rare manuscripts and how did you find yourself employed by Sotheby’s?
    Cara – how did you find yourself playing golf with the Duke of Roxburghe?
    You both are very impressive with your talents and hobbies!

    Reply
  10. Wow! What a fabulous interview! The more I learn about Romance authors, the more I realize how fortunate I am to be a reader!
    Miranda – how did you become an expert in rare manuscripts and how did you find yourself employed by Sotheby’s?
    Cara – how did you find yourself playing golf with the Duke of Roxburghe?
    You both are very impressive with your talents and hobbies!

    Reply
  11. Good morning!
    Ingrid, how interesting to collect costumes – much harder to find than books because the survival rate is lower. What always strikes me in my researches into the early 19th century is how very expensive clothes were in relative terms. As a result they were recycled endlessly until a once fine garment was reduced to rags. I particularly thought of this because I have a running gag in The Wild Marquis about the secondhand shop where the heroine buys her clothing.
    The big volume of Shaw I read was in a green binding! You are right to call the teens the “best reading years.” I’ve never read as much as I did then, with a mind like blotting paper and too much time on my hands. Between TV and the endless extra-curricular activities kids have these days, I think they miss out on the important unstructured side of education.

    Reply
  12. Good morning!
    Ingrid, how interesting to collect costumes – much harder to find than books because the survival rate is lower. What always strikes me in my researches into the early 19th century is how very expensive clothes were in relative terms. As a result they were recycled endlessly until a once fine garment was reduced to rags. I particularly thought of this because I have a running gag in The Wild Marquis about the secondhand shop where the heroine buys her clothing.
    The big volume of Shaw I read was in a green binding! You are right to call the teens the “best reading years.” I’ve never read as much as I did then, with a mind like blotting paper and too much time on my hands. Between TV and the endless extra-curricular activities kids have these days, I think they miss out on the important unstructured side of education.

    Reply
  13. Good morning!
    Ingrid, how interesting to collect costumes – much harder to find than books because the survival rate is lower. What always strikes me in my researches into the early 19th century is how very expensive clothes were in relative terms. As a result they were recycled endlessly until a once fine garment was reduced to rags. I particularly thought of this because I have a running gag in The Wild Marquis about the secondhand shop where the heroine buys her clothing.
    The big volume of Shaw I read was in a green binding! You are right to call the teens the “best reading years.” I’ve never read as much as I did then, with a mind like blotting paper and too much time on my hands. Between TV and the endless extra-curricular activities kids have these days, I think they miss out on the important unstructured side of education.

    Reply
  14. Good morning!
    Ingrid, how interesting to collect costumes – much harder to find than books because the survival rate is lower. What always strikes me in my researches into the early 19th century is how very expensive clothes were in relative terms. As a result they were recycled endlessly until a once fine garment was reduced to rags. I particularly thought of this because I have a running gag in The Wild Marquis about the secondhand shop where the heroine buys her clothing.
    The big volume of Shaw I read was in a green binding! You are right to call the teens the “best reading years.” I’ve never read as much as I did then, with a mind like blotting paper and too much time on my hands. Between TV and the endless extra-curricular activities kids have these days, I think they miss out on the important unstructured side of education.

    Reply
  15. Good morning!
    Ingrid, how interesting to collect costumes – much harder to find than books because the survival rate is lower. What always strikes me in my researches into the early 19th century is how very expensive clothes were in relative terms. As a result they were recycled endlessly until a once fine garment was reduced to rags. I particularly thought of this because I have a running gag in The Wild Marquis about the secondhand shop where the heroine buys her clothing.
    The big volume of Shaw I read was in a green binding! You are right to call the teens the “best reading years.” I’ve never read as much as I did then, with a mind like blotting paper and too much time on my hands. Between TV and the endless extra-curricular activities kids have these days, I think they miss out on the important unstructured side of education.

    Reply
  16. Hi Kim. Good to see you here. I got my job in rare books by dumb luck. I’d just graduated from college and I knew someone who knew someone who knew the job was open. I learned on the job.

    Reply
  17. Hi Kim. Good to see you here. I got my job in rare books by dumb luck. I’d just graduated from college and I knew someone who knew someone who knew the job was open. I learned on the job.

    Reply
  18. Hi Kim. Good to see you here. I got my job in rare books by dumb luck. I’d just graduated from college and I knew someone who knew someone who knew the job was open. I learned on the job.

    Reply
  19. Hi Kim. Good to see you here. I got my job in rare books by dumb luck. I’d just graduated from college and I knew someone who knew someone who knew the job was open. I learned on the job.

    Reply
  20. Hi Kim. Good to see you here. I got my job in rare books by dumb luck. I’d just graduated from college and I knew someone who knew someone who knew the job was open. I learned on the job.

    Reply
  21. The series about the antigue book trade sounds wonderfully different and intriquing. You would faint if you saw how inconsiderately I treat my books published from 1790 to 1820. I have them on the shelf with the more modern books, though a few are not exposed to air so much. I wish I knew more about the care and repair of them . Any way to lighten the brown pages?
    We didn’t have books around when I was growing up but my older sister took me to the adult library ( the children and adult collections were in different buildings) when I was nine and hid me among the G’s and H’s . I read all the Zane Greys and Grace Livingstone Hill and Earle Stanley Gardner books as they were the ones within reach. Quite plebian stock, I admit– (mine, I mean).
    Look forward to reading the book.
    Nancy

    Reply
  22. The series about the antigue book trade sounds wonderfully different and intriquing. You would faint if you saw how inconsiderately I treat my books published from 1790 to 1820. I have them on the shelf with the more modern books, though a few are not exposed to air so much. I wish I knew more about the care and repair of them . Any way to lighten the brown pages?
    We didn’t have books around when I was growing up but my older sister took me to the adult library ( the children and adult collections were in different buildings) when I was nine and hid me among the G’s and H’s . I read all the Zane Greys and Grace Livingstone Hill and Earle Stanley Gardner books as they were the ones within reach. Quite plebian stock, I admit– (mine, I mean).
    Look forward to reading the book.
    Nancy

    Reply
  23. The series about the antigue book trade sounds wonderfully different and intriquing. You would faint if you saw how inconsiderately I treat my books published from 1790 to 1820. I have them on the shelf with the more modern books, though a few are not exposed to air so much. I wish I knew more about the care and repair of them . Any way to lighten the brown pages?
    We didn’t have books around when I was growing up but my older sister took me to the adult library ( the children and adult collections were in different buildings) when I was nine and hid me among the G’s and H’s . I read all the Zane Greys and Grace Livingstone Hill and Earle Stanley Gardner books as they were the ones within reach. Quite plebian stock, I admit– (mine, I mean).
    Look forward to reading the book.
    Nancy

    Reply
  24. The series about the antigue book trade sounds wonderfully different and intriquing. You would faint if you saw how inconsiderately I treat my books published from 1790 to 1820. I have them on the shelf with the more modern books, though a few are not exposed to air so much. I wish I knew more about the care and repair of them . Any way to lighten the brown pages?
    We didn’t have books around when I was growing up but my older sister took me to the adult library ( the children and adult collections were in different buildings) when I was nine and hid me among the G’s and H’s . I read all the Zane Greys and Grace Livingstone Hill and Earle Stanley Gardner books as they were the ones within reach. Quite plebian stock, I admit– (mine, I mean).
    Look forward to reading the book.
    Nancy

    Reply
  25. The series about the antigue book trade sounds wonderfully different and intriquing. You would faint if you saw how inconsiderately I treat my books published from 1790 to 1820. I have them on the shelf with the more modern books, though a few are not exposed to air so much. I wish I knew more about the care and repair of them . Any way to lighten the brown pages?
    We didn’t have books around when I was growing up but my older sister took me to the adult library ( the children and adult collections were in different buildings) when I was nine and hid me among the G’s and H’s . I read all the Zane Greys and Grace Livingstone Hill and Earle Stanley Gardner books as they were the ones within reach. Quite plebian stock, I admit– (mine, I mean).
    Look forward to reading the book.
    Nancy

    Reply
  26. As a dedicated bookworm (I prefer the term “bookbug”) and a romance author myself, I revere books. I have books on shelves, in boxes and bags all over the house. My husband groans every time I announce a trip to Chapters, but I tell him he has it easy when it comes to gift-giving occasions – just give me a gift card to the local bookstore chain and I’m happy!
    As for antique books, I have a book that, while not a real antique, is something of a family heirloom. My dad, who was largely self-educated (he left school at 10 to work with his father) loved learning. Every time he read something and came across a word he didn’t recognize, he’d take out his huge Funk & Wagnall dictionary and look it up, and he made sure we kids did the same. Three years after his passing, I have that book on a special shelf on my desk, and everu to,e I open it, I feel as if Dad’s there, looking over my shoulder with a smile.
    Can’t wait to read The Wild Marquis!
    Cynthia

    Reply
  27. As a dedicated bookworm (I prefer the term “bookbug”) and a romance author myself, I revere books. I have books on shelves, in boxes and bags all over the house. My husband groans every time I announce a trip to Chapters, but I tell him he has it easy when it comes to gift-giving occasions – just give me a gift card to the local bookstore chain and I’m happy!
    As for antique books, I have a book that, while not a real antique, is something of a family heirloom. My dad, who was largely self-educated (he left school at 10 to work with his father) loved learning. Every time he read something and came across a word he didn’t recognize, he’d take out his huge Funk & Wagnall dictionary and look it up, and he made sure we kids did the same. Three years after his passing, I have that book on a special shelf on my desk, and everu to,e I open it, I feel as if Dad’s there, looking over my shoulder with a smile.
    Can’t wait to read The Wild Marquis!
    Cynthia

    Reply
  28. As a dedicated bookworm (I prefer the term “bookbug”) and a romance author myself, I revere books. I have books on shelves, in boxes and bags all over the house. My husband groans every time I announce a trip to Chapters, but I tell him he has it easy when it comes to gift-giving occasions – just give me a gift card to the local bookstore chain and I’m happy!
    As for antique books, I have a book that, while not a real antique, is something of a family heirloom. My dad, who was largely self-educated (he left school at 10 to work with his father) loved learning. Every time he read something and came across a word he didn’t recognize, he’d take out his huge Funk & Wagnall dictionary and look it up, and he made sure we kids did the same. Three years after his passing, I have that book on a special shelf on my desk, and everu to,e I open it, I feel as if Dad’s there, looking over my shoulder with a smile.
    Can’t wait to read The Wild Marquis!
    Cynthia

    Reply
  29. As a dedicated bookworm (I prefer the term “bookbug”) and a romance author myself, I revere books. I have books on shelves, in boxes and bags all over the house. My husband groans every time I announce a trip to Chapters, but I tell him he has it easy when it comes to gift-giving occasions – just give me a gift card to the local bookstore chain and I’m happy!
    As for antique books, I have a book that, while not a real antique, is something of a family heirloom. My dad, who was largely self-educated (he left school at 10 to work with his father) loved learning. Every time he read something and came across a word he didn’t recognize, he’d take out his huge Funk & Wagnall dictionary and look it up, and he made sure we kids did the same. Three years after his passing, I have that book on a special shelf on my desk, and everu to,e I open it, I feel as if Dad’s there, looking over my shoulder with a smile.
    Can’t wait to read The Wild Marquis!
    Cynthia

    Reply
  30. As a dedicated bookworm (I prefer the term “bookbug”) and a romance author myself, I revere books. I have books on shelves, in boxes and bags all over the house. My husband groans every time I announce a trip to Chapters, but I tell him he has it easy when it comes to gift-giving occasions – just give me a gift card to the local bookstore chain and I’m happy!
    As for antique books, I have a book that, while not a real antique, is something of a family heirloom. My dad, who was largely self-educated (he left school at 10 to work with his father) loved learning. Every time he read something and came across a word he didn’t recognize, he’d take out his huge Funk & Wagnall dictionary and look it up, and he made sure we kids did the same. Three years after his passing, I have that book on a special shelf on my desk, and everu to,e I open it, I feel as if Dad’s there, looking over my shoulder with a smile.
    Can’t wait to read The Wild Marquis!
    Cynthia

    Reply
  31. Kim, I got to play with the duke as I was part of a group of golf journalists touring through Scotland. The duke is an avid golfer and built a country manor hotel and 18-hole championship course on his lands (the signature hole includes an ancient Roman aqueduct!) He then invited us back to his castle for a lunch in his private quarters. As you can imagine, it was quite a memorable day!

    Reply
  32. Kim, I got to play with the duke as I was part of a group of golf journalists touring through Scotland. The duke is an avid golfer and built a country manor hotel and 18-hole championship course on his lands (the signature hole includes an ancient Roman aqueduct!) He then invited us back to his castle for a lunch in his private quarters. As you can imagine, it was quite a memorable day!

    Reply
  33. Kim, I got to play with the duke as I was part of a group of golf journalists touring through Scotland. The duke is an avid golfer and built a country manor hotel and 18-hole championship course on his lands (the signature hole includes an ancient Roman aqueduct!) He then invited us back to his castle for a lunch in his private quarters. As you can imagine, it was quite a memorable day!

    Reply
  34. Kim, I got to play with the duke as I was part of a group of golf journalists touring through Scotland. The duke is an avid golfer and built a country manor hotel and 18-hole championship course on his lands (the signature hole includes an ancient Roman aqueduct!) He then invited us back to his castle for a lunch in his private quarters. As you can imagine, it was quite a memorable day!

    Reply
  35. Kim, I got to play with the duke as I was part of a group of golf journalists touring through Scotland. The duke is an avid golfer and built a country manor hotel and 18-hole championship course on his lands (the signature hole includes an ancient Roman aqueduct!) He then invited us back to his castle for a lunch in his private quarters. As you can imagine, it was quite a memorable day!

    Reply
  36. Nancy, I think it’s wonderful you are using and reading your old books: it’s what they were designed for. The best advice is to handle them tenderly and keep them humid. Dry air is perhaps the biggest enemy of old books since it tends to make the bindings dry out and crumble. One of the reasons Britain is so good for old books (and antiques in general) is the damp climate. Keeping constant humidity is a challenge in many parts of the US. Of course, excessive damp is bad too. I once visited a collection that belonged to a man from Nashville. When he retired to the Florida Keys, even with a dehumidifier he had trouble keeping the books mold free and had to sell them.
    Cynthia: That’s a lovely story about your dad’s dictionary. I love reference books of all kinds and dictionaries most of all. I have several, both British and American. Plus I have an online subscription to the complete Oxford English Dictionary. A terrible extravagance but I love it, use it almost every day and can always waste an hour of two browsing words and their histories.
    Cara: when we meet I’m going to get the full story of this date with a duke

    Reply
  37. Nancy, I think it’s wonderful you are using and reading your old books: it’s what they were designed for. The best advice is to handle them tenderly and keep them humid. Dry air is perhaps the biggest enemy of old books since it tends to make the bindings dry out and crumble. One of the reasons Britain is so good for old books (and antiques in general) is the damp climate. Keeping constant humidity is a challenge in many parts of the US. Of course, excessive damp is bad too. I once visited a collection that belonged to a man from Nashville. When he retired to the Florida Keys, even with a dehumidifier he had trouble keeping the books mold free and had to sell them.
    Cynthia: That’s a lovely story about your dad’s dictionary. I love reference books of all kinds and dictionaries most of all. I have several, both British and American. Plus I have an online subscription to the complete Oxford English Dictionary. A terrible extravagance but I love it, use it almost every day and can always waste an hour of two browsing words and their histories.
    Cara: when we meet I’m going to get the full story of this date with a duke

    Reply
  38. Nancy, I think it’s wonderful you are using and reading your old books: it’s what they were designed for. The best advice is to handle them tenderly and keep them humid. Dry air is perhaps the biggest enemy of old books since it tends to make the bindings dry out and crumble. One of the reasons Britain is so good for old books (and antiques in general) is the damp climate. Keeping constant humidity is a challenge in many parts of the US. Of course, excessive damp is bad too. I once visited a collection that belonged to a man from Nashville. When he retired to the Florida Keys, even with a dehumidifier he had trouble keeping the books mold free and had to sell them.
    Cynthia: That’s a lovely story about your dad’s dictionary. I love reference books of all kinds and dictionaries most of all. I have several, both British and American. Plus I have an online subscription to the complete Oxford English Dictionary. A terrible extravagance but I love it, use it almost every day and can always waste an hour of two browsing words and their histories.
    Cara: when we meet I’m going to get the full story of this date with a duke

    Reply
  39. Nancy, I think it’s wonderful you are using and reading your old books: it’s what they were designed for. The best advice is to handle them tenderly and keep them humid. Dry air is perhaps the biggest enemy of old books since it tends to make the bindings dry out and crumble. One of the reasons Britain is so good for old books (and antiques in general) is the damp climate. Keeping constant humidity is a challenge in many parts of the US. Of course, excessive damp is bad too. I once visited a collection that belonged to a man from Nashville. When he retired to the Florida Keys, even with a dehumidifier he had trouble keeping the books mold free and had to sell them.
    Cynthia: That’s a lovely story about your dad’s dictionary. I love reference books of all kinds and dictionaries most of all. I have several, both British and American. Plus I have an online subscription to the complete Oxford English Dictionary. A terrible extravagance but I love it, use it almost every day and can always waste an hour of two browsing words and their histories.
    Cara: when we meet I’m going to get the full story of this date with a duke

    Reply
  40. Nancy, I think it’s wonderful you are using and reading your old books: it’s what they were designed for. The best advice is to handle them tenderly and keep them humid. Dry air is perhaps the biggest enemy of old books since it tends to make the bindings dry out and crumble. One of the reasons Britain is so good for old books (and antiques in general) is the damp climate. Keeping constant humidity is a challenge in many parts of the US. Of course, excessive damp is bad too. I once visited a collection that belonged to a man from Nashville. When he retired to the Florida Keys, even with a dehumidifier he had trouble keeping the books mold free and had to sell them.
    Cynthia: That’s a lovely story about your dad’s dictionary. I love reference books of all kinds and dictionaries most of all. I have several, both British and American. Plus I have an online subscription to the complete Oxford English Dictionary. A terrible extravagance but I love it, use it almost every day and can always waste an hour of two browsing words and their histories.
    Cara: when we meet I’m going to get the full story of this date with a duke

    Reply
  41. a childhood “misspent devouring Georgette Heyer and Jean Plaidy”
    Never! A childhood spent with those authors is a childhood well spent. Once I turned 10 or so, mine was spent with Victoria Holt and I’ll never regret those hours.
    I love old books. I have several I’ve collected and a few that were family books from the late 1800’s. I much prefer the older ones for reference and such. I can’t imagine though, having the opportunity to work in the rare book field! Imagine the hands that must have touched those books over the years.
    I need to read The Wild Marquis. It has the best of everything for me. Romance, rare books and the Regency era.
    Oh, and can you seat me next to Lord Peter? Fictional, he may be, but I still find him totally fascinating. :o)

    Reply
  42. a childhood “misspent devouring Georgette Heyer and Jean Plaidy”
    Never! A childhood spent with those authors is a childhood well spent. Once I turned 10 or so, mine was spent with Victoria Holt and I’ll never regret those hours.
    I love old books. I have several I’ve collected and a few that were family books from the late 1800’s. I much prefer the older ones for reference and such. I can’t imagine though, having the opportunity to work in the rare book field! Imagine the hands that must have touched those books over the years.
    I need to read The Wild Marquis. It has the best of everything for me. Romance, rare books and the Regency era.
    Oh, and can you seat me next to Lord Peter? Fictional, he may be, but I still find him totally fascinating. :o)

    Reply
  43. a childhood “misspent devouring Georgette Heyer and Jean Plaidy”
    Never! A childhood spent with those authors is a childhood well spent. Once I turned 10 or so, mine was spent with Victoria Holt and I’ll never regret those hours.
    I love old books. I have several I’ve collected and a few that were family books from the late 1800’s. I much prefer the older ones for reference and such. I can’t imagine though, having the opportunity to work in the rare book field! Imagine the hands that must have touched those books over the years.
    I need to read The Wild Marquis. It has the best of everything for me. Romance, rare books and the Regency era.
    Oh, and can you seat me next to Lord Peter? Fictional, he may be, but I still find him totally fascinating. :o)

    Reply
  44. a childhood “misspent devouring Georgette Heyer and Jean Plaidy”
    Never! A childhood spent with those authors is a childhood well spent. Once I turned 10 or so, mine was spent with Victoria Holt and I’ll never regret those hours.
    I love old books. I have several I’ve collected and a few that were family books from the late 1800’s. I much prefer the older ones for reference and such. I can’t imagine though, having the opportunity to work in the rare book field! Imagine the hands that must have touched those books over the years.
    I need to read The Wild Marquis. It has the best of everything for me. Romance, rare books and the Regency era.
    Oh, and can you seat me next to Lord Peter? Fictional, he may be, but I still find him totally fascinating. :o)

    Reply
  45. a childhood “misspent devouring Georgette Heyer and Jean Plaidy”
    Never! A childhood spent with those authors is a childhood well spent. Once I turned 10 or so, mine was spent with Victoria Holt and I’ll never regret those hours.
    I love old books. I have several I’ve collected and a few that were family books from the late 1800’s. I much prefer the older ones for reference and such. I can’t imagine though, having the opportunity to work in the rare book field! Imagine the hands that must have touched those books over the years.
    I need to read The Wild Marquis. It has the best of everything for me. Romance, rare books and the Regency era.
    Oh, and can you seat me next to Lord Peter? Fictional, he may be, but I still find him totally fascinating. :o)

    Reply
  46. Funny thing is, Theo, I never got into the Victoria Holt books, but I adored the Plaidys.
    I expect you remember that Lord Peter was a book collector. I gather Dorothy Sayers loved rare books so she sublimated her collecting urges in her character. Harriet gives him an autograph letter by John Donne as a wedding present. As I said in my post, I loved handling writers’ letters – imagining the ideas flowing from the brain onto that very page. (I never sold a Donne: that’s a very rare bird)

    Reply
  47. Funny thing is, Theo, I never got into the Victoria Holt books, but I adored the Plaidys.
    I expect you remember that Lord Peter was a book collector. I gather Dorothy Sayers loved rare books so she sublimated her collecting urges in her character. Harriet gives him an autograph letter by John Donne as a wedding present. As I said in my post, I loved handling writers’ letters – imagining the ideas flowing from the brain onto that very page. (I never sold a Donne: that’s a very rare bird)

    Reply
  48. Funny thing is, Theo, I never got into the Victoria Holt books, but I adored the Plaidys.
    I expect you remember that Lord Peter was a book collector. I gather Dorothy Sayers loved rare books so she sublimated her collecting urges in her character. Harriet gives him an autograph letter by John Donne as a wedding present. As I said in my post, I loved handling writers’ letters – imagining the ideas flowing from the brain onto that very page. (I never sold a Donne: that’s a very rare bird)

    Reply
  49. Funny thing is, Theo, I never got into the Victoria Holt books, but I adored the Plaidys.
    I expect you remember that Lord Peter was a book collector. I gather Dorothy Sayers loved rare books so she sublimated her collecting urges in her character. Harriet gives him an autograph letter by John Donne as a wedding present. As I said in my post, I loved handling writers’ letters – imagining the ideas flowing from the brain onto that very page. (I never sold a Donne: that’s a very rare bird)

    Reply
  50. Funny thing is, Theo, I never got into the Victoria Holt books, but I adored the Plaidys.
    I expect you remember that Lord Peter was a book collector. I gather Dorothy Sayers loved rare books so she sublimated her collecting urges in her character. Harriet gives him an autograph letter by John Donne as a wedding present. As I said in my post, I loved handling writers’ letters – imagining the ideas flowing from the brain onto that very page. (I never sold a Donne: that’s a very rare bird)

    Reply
  51. Welcome to Word Wenches, Miranda. (and great post Wench Cara/Andrea)
    Old books are my guilty passion (along with going to “junk” auctions where I’ve bought most). I am very much looking forward to reading your book, Miranda.
    My favorite (and the one I read most often) is a beautiful (green) leather bound volume (complete with brass clasps) titled “Starks Handbook”. A collection of prayers and devotions, my edition was printed in American during the Civil War, but a German Methodist Minister wrote the original words in the mid 1700’s. And they still stand true, today.
    My favorite single collection is a complete 19-volume set of the Pennsylvania Archives. Printed in 1880, Almost every word contained within was copied directly from original documents. (ships’ manifests, officers’ private journals and order books, citizenry opinion for and against King George, Washington’s correspondence with the Pennsylvania Militia.) To me, it’s as real as history can get.
    Many more line my shelves, several of which I can’t even read because they’re in old-world German, but I love the smell of them every time I walk into my writing chamber.
    What book (or text) do you hope to someday find, Miranda?

    Reply
  52. Welcome to Word Wenches, Miranda. (and great post Wench Cara/Andrea)
    Old books are my guilty passion (along with going to “junk” auctions where I’ve bought most). I am very much looking forward to reading your book, Miranda.
    My favorite (and the one I read most often) is a beautiful (green) leather bound volume (complete with brass clasps) titled “Starks Handbook”. A collection of prayers and devotions, my edition was printed in American during the Civil War, but a German Methodist Minister wrote the original words in the mid 1700’s. And they still stand true, today.
    My favorite single collection is a complete 19-volume set of the Pennsylvania Archives. Printed in 1880, Almost every word contained within was copied directly from original documents. (ships’ manifests, officers’ private journals and order books, citizenry opinion for and against King George, Washington’s correspondence with the Pennsylvania Militia.) To me, it’s as real as history can get.
    Many more line my shelves, several of which I can’t even read because they’re in old-world German, but I love the smell of them every time I walk into my writing chamber.
    What book (or text) do you hope to someday find, Miranda?

    Reply
  53. Welcome to Word Wenches, Miranda. (and great post Wench Cara/Andrea)
    Old books are my guilty passion (along with going to “junk” auctions where I’ve bought most). I am very much looking forward to reading your book, Miranda.
    My favorite (and the one I read most often) is a beautiful (green) leather bound volume (complete with brass clasps) titled “Starks Handbook”. A collection of prayers and devotions, my edition was printed in American during the Civil War, but a German Methodist Minister wrote the original words in the mid 1700’s. And they still stand true, today.
    My favorite single collection is a complete 19-volume set of the Pennsylvania Archives. Printed in 1880, Almost every word contained within was copied directly from original documents. (ships’ manifests, officers’ private journals and order books, citizenry opinion for and against King George, Washington’s correspondence with the Pennsylvania Militia.) To me, it’s as real as history can get.
    Many more line my shelves, several of which I can’t even read because they’re in old-world German, but I love the smell of them every time I walk into my writing chamber.
    What book (or text) do you hope to someday find, Miranda?

    Reply
  54. Welcome to Word Wenches, Miranda. (and great post Wench Cara/Andrea)
    Old books are my guilty passion (along with going to “junk” auctions where I’ve bought most). I am very much looking forward to reading your book, Miranda.
    My favorite (and the one I read most often) is a beautiful (green) leather bound volume (complete with brass clasps) titled “Starks Handbook”. A collection of prayers and devotions, my edition was printed in American during the Civil War, but a German Methodist Minister wrote the original words in the mid 1700’s. And they still stand true, today.
    My favorite single collection is a complete 19-volume set of the Pennsylvania Archives. Printed in 1880, Almost every word contained within was copied directly from original documents. (ships’ manifests, officers’ private journals and order books, citizenry opinion for and against King George, Washington’s correspondence with the Pennsylvania Militia.) To me, it’s as real as history can get.
    Many more line my shelves, several of which I can’t even read because they’re in old-world German, but I love the smell of them every time I walk into my writing chamber.
    What book (or text) do you hope to someday find, Miranda?

    Reply
  55. Welcome to Word Wenches, Miranda. (and great post Wench Cara/Andrea)
    Old books are my guilty passion (along with going to “junk” auctions where I’ve bought most). I am very much looking forward to reading your book, Miranda.
    My favorite (and the one I read most often) is a beautiful (green) leather bound volume (complete with brass clasps) titled “Starks Handbook”. A collection of prayers and devotions, my edition was printed in American during the Civil War, but a German Methodist Minister wrote the original words in the mid 1700’s. And they still stand true, today.
    My favorite single collection is a complete 19-volume set of the Pennsylvania Archives. Printed in 1880, Almost every word contained within was copied directly from original documents. (ships’ manifests, officers’ private journals and order books, citizenry opinion for and against King George, Washington’s correspondence with the Pennsylvania Militia.) To me, it’s as real as history can get.
    Many more line my shelves, several of which I can’t even read because they’re in old-world German, but I love the smell of them every time I walk into my writing chamber.
    What book (or text) do you hope to someday find, Miranda?

    Reply
  56. Hi Minna, Hi Nina
    Nina, those sound like fascinating books. My little ears prick up at the words “private journals.” The official stuff is all very well but it’s the records of individuals actions and thoughts that make history come alive. As for your question, these days I’m in the business of creating books rather than collecting them.

    Reply
  57. Hi Minna, Hi Nina
    Nina, those sound like fascinating books. My little ears prick up at the words “private journals.” The official stuff is all very well but it’s the records of individuals actions and thoughts that make history come alive. As for your question, these days I’m in the business of creating books rather than collecting them.

    Reply
  58. Hi Minna, Hi Nina
    Nina, those sound like fascinating books. My little ears prick up at the words “private journals.” The official stuff is all very well but it’s the records of individuals actions and thoughts that make history come alive. As for your question, these days I’m in the business of creating books rather than collecting them.

    Reply
  59. Hi Minna, Hi Nina
    Nina, those sound like fascinating books. My little ears prick up at the words “private journals.” The official stuff is all very well but it’s the records of individuals actions and thoughts that make history come alive. As for your question, these days I’m in the business of creating books rather than collecting them.

    Reply
  60. Hi Minna, Hi Nina
    Nina, those sound like fascinating books. My little ears prick up at the words “private journals.” The official stuff is all very well but it’s the records of individuals actions and thoughts that make history come alive. As for your question, these days I’m in the business of creating books rather than collecting them.

    Reply
  61. Hi, Miranda! “The Wild Marquis” has a glorious cover which stirs memories of golden cover days of yesteryear. I miss those beautiful covers! Your story line is one of my all-time favorites: sexy booksellers and hunky book lovers! How delicious! Intelligence is very attractive : )

    Reply
  62. Hi, Miranda! “The Wild Marquis” has a glorious cover which stirs memories of golden cover days of yesteryear. I miss those beautiful covers! Your story line is one of my all-time favorites: sexy booksellers and hunky book lovers! How delicious! Intelligence is very attractive : )

    Reply
  63. Hi, Miranda! “The Wild Marquis” has a glorious cover which stirs memories of golden cover days of yesteryear. I miss those beautiful covers! Your story line is one of my all-time favorites: sexy booksellers and hunky book lovers! How delicious! Intelligence is very attractive : )

    Reply
  64. Hi, Miranda! “The Wild Marquis” has a glorious cover which stirs memories of golden cover days of yesteryear. I miss those beautiful covers! Your story line is one of my all-time favorites: sexy booksellers and hunky book lovers! How delicious! Intelligence is very attractive : )

    Reply
  65. Hi, Miranda! “The Wild Marquis” has a glorious cover which stirs memories of golden cover days of yesteryear. I miss those beautiful covers! Your story line is one of my all-time favorites: sexy booksellers and hunky book lovers! How delicious! Intelligence is very attractive : )

    Reply
  66. A book about rare books! It sounds like my cup of tea. I’m looking forward to reading it.
    I’ve been fascinated all my life by words, books, and their histories. Although I have a few antique books, most of my antiques are actually writing implements: pens, inkwells, etc. I frequently wear dresses of various periods from Elizabethan to mid-Victorian and teach school childen a bit of writing history and give them the chance to try writing with quill pens — with washable ink, of course! I find it really helps to get into the mindset of a period to wear the dresses and learn, first hand, the physical limitations imposed by the various fashions.

    Reply
  67. A book about rare books! It sounds like my cup of tea. I’m looking forward to reading it.
    I’ve been fascinated all my life by words, books, and their histories. Although I have a few antique books, most of my antiques are actually writing implements: pens, inkwells, etc. I frequently wear dresses of various periods from Elizabethan to mid-Victorian and teach school childen a bit of writing history and give them the chance to try writing with quill pens — with washable ink, of course! I find it really helps to get into the mindset of a period to wear the dresses and learn, first hand, the physical limitations imposed by the various fashions.

    Reply
  68. A book about rare books! It sounds like my cup of tea. I’m looking forward to reading it.
    I’ve been fascinated all my life by words, books, and their histories. Although I have a few antique books, most of my antiques are actually writing implements: pens, inkwells, etc. I frequently wear dresses of various periods from Elizabethan to mid-Victorian and teach school childen a bit of writing history and give them the chance to try writing with quill pens — with washable ink, of course! I find it really helps to get into the mindset of a period to wear the dresses and learn, first hand, the physical limitations imposed by the various fashions.

    Reply
  69. A book about rare books! It sounds like my cup of tea. I’m looking forward to reading it.
    I’ve been fascinated all my life by words, books, and their histories. Although I have a few antique books, most of my antiques are actually writing implements: pens, inkwells, etc. I frequently wear dresses of various periods from Elizabethan to mid-Victorian and teach school childen a bit of writing history and give them the chance to try writing with quill pens — with washable ink, of course! I find it really helps to get into the mindset of a period to wear the dresses and learn, first hand, the physical limitations imposed by the various fashions.

    Reply
  70. A book about rare books! It sounds like my cup of tea. I’m looking forward to reading it.
    I’ve been fascinated all my life by words, books, and their histories. Although I have a few antique books, most of my antiques are actually writing implements: pens, inkwells, etc. I frequently wear dresses of various periods from Elizabethan to mid-Victorian and teach school childen a bit of writing history and give them the chance to try writing with quill pens — with washable ink, of course! I find it really helps to get into the mindset of a period to wear the dresses and learn, first hand, the physical limitations imposed by the various fashions.

    Reply
  71. Welcome to the Wenches, Miranda! Your adventures at Sotheby’s make me want to fall upon my fainting couch and fan myself!
    Bookworm, bookrat–my preferred term is bookrat, since it applies some of the hoarding characteristics of the packrat. *G*
    Mustn’t invite Lord Peter to dinner without Harriet Vane. It would be pure pleasure to watch the two of them banter. *g*

    Reply
  72. Welcome to the Wenches, Miranda! Your adventures at Sotheby’s make me want to fall upon my fainting couch and fan myself!
    Bookworm, bookrat–my preferred term is bookrat, since it applies some of the hoarding characteristics of the packrat. *G*
    Mustn’t invite Lord Peter to dinner without Harriet Vane. It would be pure pleasure to watch the two of them banter. *g*

    Reply
  73. Welcome to the Wenches, Miranda! Your adventures at Sotheby’s make me want to fall upon my fainting couch and fan myself!
    Bookworm, bookrat–my preferred term is bookrat, since it applies some of the hoarding characteristics of the packrat. *G*
    Mustn’t invite Lord Peter to dinner without Harriet Vane. It would be pure pleasure to watch the two of them banter. *g*

    Reply
  74. Welcome to the Wenches, Miranda! Your adventures at Sotheby’s make me want to fall upon my fainting couch and fan myself!
    Bookworm, bookrat–my preferred term is bookrat, since it applies some of the hoarding characteristics of the packrat. *G*
    Mustn’t invite Lord Peter to dinner without Harriet Vane. It would be pure pleasure to watch the two of them banter. *g*

    Reply
  75. Welcome to the Wenches, Miranda! Your adventures at Sotheby’s make me want to fall upon my fainting couch and fan myself!
    Bookworm, bookrat–my preferred term is bookrat, since it applies some of the hoarding characteristics of the packrat. *G*
    Mustn’t invite Lord Peter to dinner without Harriet Vane. It would be pure pleasure to watch the two of them banter. *g*

    Reply
  76. Virginia, yes, the cover does grab the eye – and stands out well in the store too. I wish I could show you the cover for my next book. I think it’s even better, but I have to keep it under wraps for another couple of months.
    Pearl. Your classroom presentations sound such fun and I bet the children appreciate the hands-on history lessons. Personally I am extremely happy I never had to write with a quill. When I think of writers like Sir Walter Scott and Edward Gibbon who wrote huge books that way, I can only marvel at their persistence. Incidentally, among the manuscripts I’ve seen are those of a couple of novels by Wilkie Collins, the father of detective fiction. Not until then did I truly appreciate the terms cut and paste. He had pages and pages of sections chopped up and stuck back together again. I am so grateful for word processing.

    Reply
  77. Virginia, yes, the cover does grab the eye – and stands out well in the store too. I wish I could show you the cover for my next book. I think it’s even better, but I have to keep it under wraps for another couple of months.
    Pearl. Your classroom presentations sound such fun and I bet the children appreciate the hands-on history lessons. Personally I am extremely happy I never had to write with a quill. When I think of writers like Sir Walter Scott and Edward Gibbon who wrote huge books that way, I can only marvel at their persistence. Incidentally, among the manuscripts I’ve seen are those of a couple of novels by Wilkie Collins, the father of detective fiction. Not until then did I truly appreciate the terms cut and paste. He had pages and pages of sections chopped up and stuck back together again. I am so grateful for word processing.

    Reply
  78. Virginia, yes, the cover does grab the eye – and stands out well in the store too. I wish I could show you the cover for my next book. I think it’s even better, but I have to keep it under wraps for another couple of months.
    Pearl. Your classroom presentations sound such fun and I bet the children appreciate the hands-on history lessons. Personally I am extremely happy I never had to write with a quill. When I think of writers like Sir Walter Scott and Edward Gibbon who wrote huge books that way, I can only marvel at their persistence. Incidentally, among the manuscripts I’ve seen are those of a couple of novels by Wilkie Collins, the father of detective fiction. Not until then did I truly appreciate the terms cut and paste. He had pages and pages of sections chopped up and stuck back together again. I am so grateful for word processing.

    Reply
  79. Virginia, yes, the cover does grab the eye – and stands out well in the store too. I wish I could show you the cover for my next book. I think it’s even better, but I have to keep it under wraps for another couple of months.
    Pearl. Your classroom presentations sound such fun and I bet the children appreciate the hands-on history lessons. Personally I am extremely happy I never had to write with a quill. When I think of writers like Sir Walter Scott and Edward Gibbon who wrote huge books that way, I can only marvel at their persistence. Incidentally, among the manuscripts I’ve seen are those of a couple of novels by Wilkie Collins, the father of detective fiction. Not until then did I truly appreciate the terms cut and paste. He had pages and pages of sections chopped up and stuck back together again. I am so grateful for word processing.

    Reply
  80. Virginia, yes, the cover does grab the eye – and stands out well in the store too. I wish I could show you the cover for my next book. I think it’s even better, but I have to keep it under wraps for another couple of months.
    Pearl. Your classroom presentations sound such fun and I bet the children appreciate the hands-on history lessons. Personally I am extremely happy I never had to write with a quill. When I think of writers like Sir Walter Scott and Edward Gibbon who wrote huge books that way, I can only marvel at their persistence. Incidentally, among the manuscripts I’ve seen are those of a couple of novels by Wilkie Collins, the father of detective fiction. Not until then did I truly appreciate the terms cut and paste. He had pages and pages of sections chopped up and stuck back together again. I am so grateful for word processing.

    Reply
  81. Miranda said…”My little ears prick up at the words “private journals.” ”
    The set has many, but my favorite two are dictated accounts of two women (who could not write) abducted by Indians when they were children and then escaped (to Philadelphia) about ten years later.

    Reply
  82. Miranda said…”My little ears prick up at the words “private journals.” ”
    The set has many, but my favorite two are dictated accounts of two women (who could not write) abducted by Indians when they were children and then escaped (to Philadelphia) about ten years later.

    Reply
  83. Miranda said…”My little ears prick up at the words “private journals.” ”
    The set has many, but my favorite two are dictated accounts of two women (who could not write) abducted by Indians when they were children and then escaped (to Philadelphia) about ten years later.

    Reply
  84. Miranda said…”My little ears prick up at the words “private journals.” ”
    The set has many, but my favorite two are dictated accounts of two women (who could not write) abducted by Indians when they were children and then escaped (to Philadelphia) about ten years later.

    Reply
  85. Miranda said…”My little ears prick up at the words “private journals.” ”
    The set has many, but my favorite two are dictated accounts of two women (who could not write) abducted by Indians when they were children and then escaped (to Philadelphia) about ten years later.

    Reply
  86. Hooray!! A book about a hero and heroine with skills other than spying. I like my Regency spy books, no matter how inaccurate (thanks for the earlier column!), but it’s nice to see something different.
    Even better, it’s a book about book lovers, which is both fascinating and funny. Not many of those on this site :).
    So thank you for a breath of fresh air!

    Reply
  87. Hooray!! A book about a hero and heroine with skills other than spying. I like my Regency spy books, no matter how inaccurate (thanks for the earlier column!), but it’s nice to see something different.
    Even better, it’s a book about book lovers, which is both fascinating and funny. Not many of those on this site :).
    So thank you for a breath of fresh air!

    Reply
  88. Hooray!! A book about a hero and heroine with skills other than spying. I like my Regency spy books, no matter how inaccurate (thanks for the earlier column!), but it’s nice to see something different.
    Even better, it’s a book about book lovers, which is both fascinating and funny. Not many of those on this site :).
    So thank you for a breath of fresh air!

    Reply
  89. Hooray!! A book about a hero and heroine with skills other than spying. I like my Regency spy books, no matter how inaccurate (thanks for the earlier column!), but it’s nice to see something different.
    Even better, it’s a book about book lovers, which is both fascinating and funny. Not many of those on this site :).
    So thank you for a breath of fresh air!

    Reply
  90. Hooray!! A book about a hero and heroine with skills other than spying. I like my Regency spy books, no matter how inaccurate (thanks for the earlier column!), but it’s nice to see something different.
    Even better, it’s a book about book lovers, which is both fascinating and funny. Not many of those on this site :).
    So thank you for a breath of fresh air!

    Reply
  91. Nina. Those tales of Indian captivity are amazing.
    Jessica – there are some great Regency spy stories! It is a challenge to find a variety of acceptable occupations for historical characters, as long as one is confined to the upper classes. My current heroine the bookseller aside, my book lovers are all going to be people of fortune, I am afraid.

    Reply
  92. Nina. Those tales of Indian captivity are amazing.
    Jessica – there are some great Regency spy stories! It is a challenge to find a variety of acceptable occupations for historical characters, as long as one is confined to the upper classes. My current heroine the bookseller aside, my book lovers are all going to be people of fortune, I am afraid.

    Reply
  93. Nina. Those tales of Indian captivity are amazing.
    Jessica – there are some great Regency spy stories! It is a challenge to find a variety of acceptable occupations for historical characters, as long as one is confined to the upper classes. My current heroine the bookseller aside, my book lovers are all going to be people of fortune, I am afraid.

    Reply
  94. Nina. Those tales of Indian captivity are amazing.
    Jessica – there are some great Regency spy stories! It is a challenge to find a variety of acceptable occupations for historical characters, as long as one is confined to the upper classes. My current heroine the bookseller aside, my book lovers are all going to be people of fortune, I am afraid.

    Reply
  95. Nina. Those tales of Indian captivity are amazing.
    Jessica – there are some great Regency spy stories! It is a challenge to find a variety of acceptable occupations for historical characters, as long as one is confined to the upper classes. My current heroine the bookseller aside, my book lovers are all going to be people of fortune, I am afraid.

    Reply
  96. Miranda,
    Yes, the kids do love trying to write with quills, and realising that most people hold a pen a little bit differently from their fellows. This leads to them trying a number of quills I’ve cut in different ways in order to find one that works for them. Once they realise how much work it is to write a single sentence with a quill, they are also grateful for ball points and computers.
    cheers,
    Pearl (who wrote rough drafts of university essays in the style you describe for Wilkie Collins — back in the ’70’s)

    Reply
  97. Miranda,
    Yes, the kids do love trying to write with quills, and realising that most people hold a pen a little bit differently from their fellows. This leads to them trying a number of quills I’ve cut in different ways in order to find one that works for them. Once they realise how much work it is to write a single sentence with a quill, they are also grateful for ball points and computers.
    cheers,
    Pearl (who wrote rough drafts of university essays in the style you describe for Wilkie Collins — back in the ’70’s)

    Reply
  98. Miranda,
    Yes, the kids do love trying to write with quills, and realising that most people hold a pen a little bit differently from their fellows. This leads to them trying a number of quills I’ve cut in different ways in order to find one that works for them. Once they realise how much work it is to write a single sentence with a quill, they are also grateful for ball points and computers.
    cheers,
    Pearl (who wrote rough drafts of university essays in the style you describe for Wilkie Collins — back in the ’70’s)

    Reply
  99. Miranda,
    Yes, the kids do love trying to write with quills, and realising that most people hold a pen a little bit differently from their fellows. This leads to them trying a number of quills I’ve cut in different ways in order to find one that works for them. Once they realise how much work it is to write a single sentence with a quill, they are also grateful for ball points and computers.
    cheers,
    Pearl (who wrote rough drafts of university essays in the style you describe for Wilkie Collins — back in the ’70’s)

    Reply
  100. Miranda,
    Yes, the kids do love trying to write with quills, and realising that most people hold a pen a little bit differently from their fellows. This leads to them trying a number of quills I’ve cut in different ways in order to find one that works for them. Once they realise how much work it is to write a single sentence with a quill, they are also grateful for ball points and computers.
    cheers,
    Pearl (who wrote rough drafts of university essays in the style you describe for Wilkie Collins — back in the ’70’s)

    Reply
  101. Once I get dressed I’m off to the bookstore! I envy your career with rare and valuable things—the closest I’ve come was the three years I spent at an island historical society, where I wore white gloves by necessity, not for propriety.:)Your series sounds fabulous!

    Reply
  102. Once I get dressed I’m off to the bookstore! I envy your career with rare and valuable things—the closest I’ve come was the three years I spent at an island historical society, where I wore white gloves by necessity, not for propriety.:)Your series sounds fabulous!

    Reply
  103. Once I get dressed I’m off to the bookstore! I envy your career with rare and valuable things—the closest I’ve come was the three years I spent at an island historical society, where I wore white gloves by necessity, not for propriety.:)Your series sounds fabulous!

    Reply
  104. Once I get dressed I’m off to the bookstore! I envy your career with rare and valuable things—the closest I’ve come was the three years I spent at an island historical society, where I wore white gloves by necessity, not for propriety.:)Your series sounds fabulous!

    Reply
  105. Once I get dressed I’m off to the bookstore! I envy your career with rare and valuable things—the closest I’ve come was the three years I spent at an island historical society, where I wore white gloves by necessity, not for propriety.:)Your series sounds fabulous!

    Reply
  106. Hi Miranda,
    I really enjoyed this interview. I had no idea Sotheby’s was that old.
    What a fabulous career you had. But I am more then happy you decided to write. :)I’m looking forward to reading The Wild Marquis.I always enjoy your books.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

    Reply
  107. Hi Miranda,
    I really enjoyed this interview. I had no idea Sotheby’s was that old.
    What a fabulous career you had. But I am more then happy you decided to write. :)I’m looking forward to reading The Wild Marquis.I always enjoy your books.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

    Reply
  108. Hi Miranda,
    I really enjoyed this interview. I had no idea Sotheby’s was that old.
    What a fabulous career you had. But I am more then happy you decided to write. :)I’m looking forward to reading The Wild Marquis.I always enjoy your books.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

    Reply
  109. Hi Miranda,
    I really enjoyed this interview. I had no idea Sotheby’s was that old.
    What a fabulous career you had. But I am more then happy you decided to write. :)I’m looking forward to reading The Wild Marquis.I always enjoy your books.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

    Reply
  110. Hi Miranda,
    I really enjoyed this interview. I had no idea Sotheby’s was that old.
    What a fabulous career you had. But I am more then happy you decided to write. :)I’m looking forward to reading The Wild Marquis.I always enjoy your books.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

    Reply
  111. The book sounds intriguing; I’m looking forward to reading it. I like a smart & independent heroine on a bit of a mission. And such a different world to be delving into – rare book collector, particularly for the female of the period. Sounds like you have an interesting background; it must be nice to be able to write about an area you were involved in yourself. Did it make it a little easier to develop that “world” for the book, or actually make it more difficult? Congrats on the new release.

    Reply
  112. The book sounds intriguing; I’m looking forward to reading it. I like a smart & independent heroine on a bit of a mission. And such a different world to be delving into – rare book collector, particularly for the female of the period. Sounds like you have an interesting background; it must be nice to be able to write about an area you were involved in yourself. Did it make it a little easier to develop that “world” for the book, or actually make it more difficult? Congrats on the new release.

    Reply
  113. The book sounds intriguing; I’m looking forward to reading it. I like a smart & independent heroine on a bit of a mission. And such a different world to be delving into – rare book collector, particularly for the female of the period. Sounds like you have an interesting background; it must be nice to be able to write about an area you were involved in yourself. Did it make it a little easier to develop that “world” for the book, or actually make it more difficult? Congrats on the new release.

    Reply
  114. The book sounds intriguing; I’m looking forward to reading it. I like a smart & independent heroine on a bit of a mission. And such a different world to be delving into – rare book collector, particularly for the female of the period. Sounds like you have an interesting background; it must be nice to be able to write about an area you were involved in yourself. Did it make it a little easier to develop that “world” for the book, or actually make it more difficult? Congrats on the new release.

    Reply
  115. The book sounds intriguing; I’m looking forward to reading it. I like a smart & independent heroine on a bit of a mission. And such a different world to be delving into – rare book collector, particularly for the female of the period. Sounds like you have an interesting background; it must be nice to be able to write about an area you were involved in yourself. Did it make it a little easier to develop that “world” for the book, or actually make it more difficult? Congrats on the new release.

    Reply
  116. Pearl: It never occurred to me to cut and paste my essays, but I rarely did more than one draft. When you have to write by hand most people are far more careful about thinking a sentence through before committing it to paper. (Perhaps that’s just me talking: I’m fundamentally lazy.)
    Chelsea and Maggie. Thank you so much. I hope you read and enjoy The Wild Marquis. I love all the little historical societies in the US. They are such great guardians of local history that might otherwise be lost.
    Carol. Sotheby’s has actually been around under a number of slightly varying names since the 1740s. For most of its history it almost exclusively sold books. Christie’s, founded later in the 18th century, sold art. Only in the 20th century did Sotheby’s match its rival as a general art auctioneer. (That’s probably much more information than you wanted!)
    Donna Ann: It always helps in research if you already know the basics. I’ll admit that some of the book trade practices I describe quite likely date from later in the nineteenth century. There isn’t as much documentation for the earlier period.

    Reply
  117. Pearl: It never occurred to me to cut and paste my essays, but I rarely did more than one draft. When you have to write by hand most people are far more careful about thinking a sentence through before committing it to paper. (Perhaps that’s just me talking: I’m fundamentally lazy.)
    Chelsea and Maggie. Thank you so much. I hope you read and enjoy The Wild Marquis. I love all the little historical societies in the US. They are such great guardians of local history that might otherwise be lost.
    Carol. Sotheby’s has actually been around under a number of slightly varying names since the 1740s. For most of its history it almost exclusively sold books. Christie’s, founded later in the 18th century, sold art. Only in the 20th century did Sotheby’s match its rival as a general art auctioneer. (That’s probably much more information than you wanted!)
    Donna Ann: It always helps in research if you already know the basics. I’ll admit that some of the book trade practices I describe quite likely date from later in the nineteenth century. There isn’t as much documentation for the earlier period.

    Reply
  118. Pearl: It never occurred to me to cut and paste my essays, but I rarely did more than one draft. When you have to write by hand most people are far more careful about thinking a sentence through before committing it to paper. (Perhaps that’s just me talking: I’m fundamentally lazy.)
    Chelsea and Maggie. Thank you so much. I hope you read and enjoy The Wild Marquis. I love all the little historical societies in the US. They are such great guardians of local history that might otherwise be lost.
    Carol. Sotheby’s has actually been around under a number of slightly varying names since the 1740s. For most of its history it almost exclusively sold books. Christie’s, founded later in the 18th century, sold art. Only in the 20th century did Sotheby’s match its rival as a general art auctioneer. (That’s probably much more information than you wanted!)
    Donna Ann: It always helps in research if you already know the basics. I’ll admit that some of the book trade practices I describe quite likely date from later in the nineteenth century. There isn’t as much documentation for the earlier period.

    Reply
  119. Pearl: It never occurred to me to cut and paste my essays, but I rarely did more than one draft. When you have to write by hand most people are far more careful about thinking a sentence through before committing it to paper. (Perhaps that’s just me talking: I’m fundamentally lazy.)
    Chelsea and Maggie. Thank you so much. I hope you read and enjoy The Wild Marquis. I love all the little historical societies in the US. They are such great guardians of local history that might otherwise be lost.
    Carol. Sotheby’s has actually been around under a number of slightly varying names since the 1740s. For most of its history it almost exclusively sold books. Christie’s, founded later in the 18th century, sold art. Only in the 20th century did Sotheby’s match its rival as a general art auctioneer. (That’s probably much more information than you wanted!)
    Donna Ann: It always helps in research if you already know the basics. I’ll admit that some of the book trade practices I describe quite likely date from later in the nineteenth century. There isn’t as much documentation for the earlier period.

    Reply
  120. Pearl: It never occurred to me to cut and paste my essays, but I rarely did more than one draft. When you have to write by hand most people are far more careful about thinking a sentence through before committing it to paper. (Perhaps that’s just me talking: I’m fundamentally lazy.)
    Chelsea and Maggie. Thank you so much. I hope you read and enjoy The Wild Marquis. I love all the little historical societies in the US. They are such great guardians of local history that might otherwise be lost.
    Carol. Sotheby’s has actually been around under a number of slightly varying names since the 1740s. For most of its history it almost exclusively sold books. Christie’s, founded later in the 18th century, sold art. Only in the 20th century did Sotheby’s match its rival as a general art auctioneer. (That’s probably much more information than you wanted!)
    Donna Ann: It always helps in research if you already know the basics. I’ll admit that some of the book trade practices I describe quite likely date from later in the nineteenth century. There isn’t as much documentation for the earlier period.

    Reply
  121. I have this book and I’m eager to read it. I really enjoyed your first book, Miranda; I’m a sucker for cross-dressing heroines, since it’s my academic specialty. But my very favorite romantic element is an intellectual main couple, so I’m thinking I may like this book even more.
    I’m very glad to know that Avon has signed you for a series. Congratulations!

    Reply
  122. I have this book and I’m eager to read it. I really enjoyed your first book, Miranda; I’m a sucker for cross-dressing heroines, since it’s my academic specialty. But my very favorite romantic element is an intellectual main couple, so I’m thinking I may like this book even more.
    I’m very glad to know that Avon has signed you for a series. Congratulations!

    Reply
  123. I have this book and I’m eager to read it. I really enjoyed your first book, Miranda; I’m a sucker for cross-dressing heroines, since it’s my academic specialty. But my very favorite romantic element is an intellectual main couple, so I’m thinking I may like this book even more.
    I’m very glad to know that Avon has signed you for a series. Congratulations!

    Reply
  124. I have this book and I’m eager to read it. I really enjoyed your first book, Miranda; I’m a sucker for cross-dressing heroines, since it’s my academic specialty. But my very favorite romantic element is an intellectual main couple, so I’m thinking I may like this book even more.
    I’m very glad to know that Avon has signed you for a series. Congratulations!

    Reply
  125. I have this book and I’m eager to read it. I really enjoyed your first book, Miranda; I’m a sucker for cross-dressing heroines, since it’s my academic specialty. But my very favorite romantic element is an intellectual main couple, so I’m thinking I may like this book even more.
    I’m very glad to know that Avon has signed you for a series. Congratulations!

    Reply
  126. I am so glad I read this interview! I am fascinated by the world of old books…
    Can’t wait to get my hands on this one! 🙂

    Reply
  127. I am so glad I read this interview! I am fascinated by the world of old books…
    Can’t wait to get my hands on this one! 🙂

    Reply
  128. I am so glad I read this interview! I am fascinated by the world of old books…
    Can’t wait to get my hands on this one! 🙂

    Reply
  129. I am so glad I read this interview! I am fascinated by the world of old books…
    Can’t wait to get my hands on this one! 🙂

    Reply
  130. I am so glad I read this interview! I am fascinated by the world of old books…
    Can’t wait to get my hands on this one! 🙂

    Reply
  131. Denise, Chey and Amy. Thanks for stopping by.
    SonomaLass. I’m so glad you enjoyed Never Resist Temptation. I hope you won’t be disappointed in The Wild Marquis. I wouldn’t describe my hero and hero as intellectuals exactly, though they are smart and have some intellectual interests. I’ve known book dealers and collectors who are not that interested in the content of the volumes they collect – and I poke a little fun at that attitude to books as objects.

    Reply
  132. Denise, Chey and Amy. Thanks for stopping by.
    SonomaLass. I’m so glad you enjoyed Never Resist Temptation. I hope you won’t be disappointed in The Wild Marquis. I wouldn’t describe my hero and hero as intellectuals exactly, though they are smart and have some intellectual interests. I’ve known book dealers and collectors who are not that interested in the content of the volumes they collect – and I poke a little fun at that attitude to books as objects.

    Reply
  133. Denise, Chey and Amy. Thanks for stopping by.
    SonomaLass. I’m so glad you enjoyed Never Resist Temptation. I hope you won’t be disappointed in The Wild Marquis. I wouldn’t describe my hero and hero as intellectuals exactly, though they are smart and have some intellectual interests. I’ve known book dealers and collectors who are not that interested in the content of the volumes they collect – and I poke a little fun at that attitude to books as objects.

    Reply
  134. Denise, Chey and Amy. Thanks for stopping by.
    SonomaLass. I’m so glad you enjoyed Never Resist Temptation. I hope you won’t be disappointed in The Wild Marquis. I wouldn’t describe my hero and hero as intellectuals exactly, though they are smart and have some intellectual interests. I’ve known book dealers and collectors who are not that interested in the content of the volumes they collect – and I poke a little fun at that attitude to books as objects.

    Reply
  135. Denise, Chey and Amy. Thanks for stopping by.
    SonomaLass. I’m so glad you enjoyed Never Resist Temptation. I hope you won’t be disappointed in The Wild Marquis. I wouldn’t describe my hero and hero as intellectuals exactly, though they are smart and have some intellectual interests. I’ve known book dealers and collectors who are not that interested in the content of the volumes they collect – and I poke a little fun at that attitude to books as objects.

    Reply

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