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New Arrivals

Dozens of new items are added to our stock each day - here's a sampling from our full list.

Today's Highlights

The crème de la crème of our online inventory, the best rare books that belong in the best rare book collections...

Cover Image: The Caretaker by PINTER, Harold

The Caretaker

First Methuen edition, wrappered issue (preceded slightly by an acting... more>>

Cover Image: The Unsinkable Molly Brown by MORRIS, Richard and Meredith Willson

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

First edition. Fine in an about fine dustwrapper with slight age-toning. Long... more>>

Cover Image: 2001: A Space Odyssey by CLARKE, Arthur C.

2001: A Space Odyssey

First edition. Fine in fine, white dustwrapper with three short, closed tears... more>>

Cover Image: Prejudices: Sixth Series by MENCKEN, H.L.

Prejudices: Sixth Series

First edition. One of 50 numbered copies printed on Japanese vellum, bound in... more>>

3D Rotating Books

Ever shop for a book online and wish you could see it from every angle? Now you can! Our site offers 1000s of books in full 3D. Just drag the mouse below, or take these books for a spin.

Book Awards

Images plus collecting tips on 100s of major award winners.

BTC News

The latest news and info from BTC.

Only at BTC

Need another reason to visit our site? All new acquisitions here at BTC can ONLY be found listed on our website for a month prior to their being available elsewhere on the Internet. In addition, some of our best books and our "secret" books are never listed anywhere but here.

Peter Harrington Opens U.S. Website

Peter Harrington, one of the leading rare book firms in the world, has opened a new U.S. website. www.peterharringtonbooks.com sells  a stock of fine books from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries in a broad range of subjects, with free delivery from their London bookshops.

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This Week...

This week in literary history.

1797 English Romantic novelist Mary Shelley, best known for her classic Frankenstein, was born in London, the daughter social philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. When she was 16 she met and eloped with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

1809 Physician and author Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., remembered for such works as the poem "Old Ironsides" and The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, and for coining the term anesthesia, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on August 29, 1809.

1836 Bret Harte, who became famous for his accounts of mining life in such tales as "The Luck of Roaring Camp" and "The Outcasts of Poker Flat," was born in Albany, New York on August 25, 1836.

1862 Belgian symbolist poet, dramatist, and Nobel laureate Maurice Maeterlinck, author of Hot House Blooms, Pelleas and Melisande, and The Blue Bird, was born in Ghent.

1867 French poet Charles Baudelaire, author of highly influential Les Fleurs du mal, died in Paris on August 31, 1867 at age 46, after two years in a semi-paralyzed state following a massive stroke (precipitated by alcohol and opium abuse). He was survived by his mother, who paid off his debts and found some comfort in his growing, posthumous fame.

1871 Theodore Dreiser, who pioneered American naturalism in novels such as Sister Carrie, Jennie Gerhardt, and An American Tragedy, was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on August 27, 1871.

1875 Scottish historian, stateman, and thriller-writer John Buchan, best known for his Richard Hannay mystery The Thirty-Nine Steps (made into the classic Alfred Hitchcock film), was born in Perth, Perthshire.

1875 Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 1, 1875.

1884 Mystery writer Earl Derr Biggers, creator of Charlie Chan, was born in Warren, Ohio on August 26, 1884. The first of more than 50 films adapted from his work was a 1917 version of Seven Keys to Baldpate starring George M. Cohan and Hedda Hopper.

1892 American writer George William Curtis, author of Prue and I, died of cancer of the stomach at age 68 on August 31, 1892 in New York.

1896 Irish writer Liam O'Flaherty, best known for his novel The Informer, was born in Inishmore on August 28, 1896.

1899 C.S. Forester, creator of the popular British naval officer Horatio Hornblower, as well as non-Napoleonic novels such as The African Queen, was born in Cairo, Egypt on August 27, 1899.

1904 Christopher Isherwood, who wrote of the decline of the Wiemar Republic and the rise of Nazism in Mr. Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye to Berlin, was born in Cheshire, England. His works were the basis for the musical and subsequent film Cabaret.

1913 Canadian man-of-letters Robertson Davies, known for The Deptford Trilogy and other works, was born on August 28, 1913 in Thamesville, Ontario.

1922 Poet and novelist John Williams, whose historical fiction Augustus won the National Book Award, was born in Clarksville, Texas on August 29, 1922.

1922 American author, Rosa Guy was born in Trinidad on September 1, 1922. Along with John Oliver Killens, Guy helped form what was to become the Harlem Writers Group in 1950.

1929 Ira Levin, who wrote his first novel, the thriller A Kiss Before Dying, when he was 22, was born in New York City. He also wrote the long-running play Deathtrap, but really hit his stride with a string of inventive blockbusters: Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives, and The Boys from Brazil.

1957 Georgiana Ann Randolph, better known as mystery writer Craig Rice, the first mystery writer to appear on the cover of Time Magazine, died in Los Angeles at age 49.

1963 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech during the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

1967 English poet and novelist Siegfried Sassoon, known for such antiwar works as The Old Huntsman and Counterattack, died in Heytesbury, Wiltshire on September 1, 1967 a few days before his 81st birthday. He became widely known in part for his public affirmation of pacifism while he was still in the army and after having won the Military Cross. His antiwar protests were at first attributed to shell shock and he was for a time confined in a sanatorium (where he met another pacifist soldier-poet, Wilfred Owen, whose works he published after Owen's death at the front).

1969 Controversial journalist Drew Pearson, whose widely syndicated column "Washington Merry-Go-Round" attacked such public figures as General George S. Patton and Senator Joseph McCarthy, often with good cause but also with innuendo and lackadaisical journalistic standards, died in Washington, DC on September 1, 1969 at age 71.

1970 French Nobel laureate Francois Mauriac, whose novel Vipers' Tangle is often considered his masterpiece, died in Pairs at age 84.

1976 Swedish novelist Eyvind Johnson, author of Return to Ithaca and The Days of His Grace, died in Stockholm on August 25, 1976 at age 76. He shared the 1974 Nobel Prize for Literature with fellow Swede Harry Martinson which brought about some controversy as both were on the Nobel panel. Ironically, Johnson was responsible for thwarting Isak Dinesen's bid for a Nobel Prize in 1959, when he successfully argued that Italian Salvatore Quasimodo should win due to the fact that Scandinavian authors had won the prize too often.

1983 Mystery author Zenith Jones Brown died of pneumonia in Baltimore, Maryland on September 1, 1983. She wrote under the pseudonyms Leslie Ford, Brenda Conrad, and as David Frome created the timid Welsh widower-sleuth Evan Pinkerton.

1984 Author Truman Capote, whose many well-known works included Other Voices, Other Rooms, The Grass Harp, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and In Cold Blood, died in Los Angeles, California at age 59 of liver disease complicated by a drug overdose.

1985 Prolific and popular Anglo-American novelist Taylor Caldwell died in Greenwich, Connecticut a week before her 85th birthday. The first of her many bestsellers was the 1938 novel Dynasty of Death.

1989 Irving Stone, best known for his fictionalized biographies including Lust for Life (about Vincent Van Gogh) and The Agony and the Ecstasy (about Michaelangelo), died in Los Angeles of a heart attack at age 86.

1992 British children's book author Mary Norton, best known for The Borrowers and The Magic Bed Knob (basis for the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks), died in Hartland, Devonshire of a stroke on October 29, 1992 at age 88.

2006 Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz died in his native Cairo at age 94. Known for his portraits of contemporary Egyptians balancing tradition with the modern world, his Cairo Trilogy (Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, and Sugar Street) is generally considered his masterpiece. Also known for his moderate politics, at the age of 82 he survived a stabbing by a militant assassin acting on a fatwa inspired by his 1959 novel Children of Our Alley.

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