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A Natural Selection July 17, 2012

This complete set of 108 British natural history books sold recently at Bonhams for over $8200. The New Naturalist, containing topics relevant to the British Isles, is arguably one of the most influential natural history series ever published and has been in continual publication by Collins since 1945. It was first published just after WWII ended and signaled a renewal for the beleaguered Brits at that time. In the editors’ words, it was intended to “recapture the inquiring spirit of the old naturalists” and to…

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A Library At The End Of The World January 6, 2010

Abdoul Wahim Abdarahim Tahar of Timbuktu holds a book that has been in his family for generations. ( Photo courtesy of Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post.) According to a 2006 survey conducted by its Ministry of Culture, 34% of Britons thought this city “no longer existed” and the remaining 66% thought it was “a mythical place.” They were 100% wrong. Timbuktu is a very real city today, and has been since at least the 10th…

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