Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thus, the Croyden publican buys the iron railing, to make himself more conspicuous to drunkards.

A quick trip to MacLeod's Book Shop in gorgeous Vancouver, BC, sends us home with another stack of books, including:

The Seven Lamps of Architecture
The Crown of Wild Olive
Munera Pulveris

all of which were written by John Ruskin, and all of which were purchased in handsome old editions (the last title in an 1872 printing, the first two in volumes printed within a couple of years after Ruskin's death in 1900). MacLeod's is the first shop in which I've been invited to browse "the Ruskin shelf," and where I was also invited to purchase (but did not) a five-volume set of Modern Painters ($250) and an autographed first-edition three-volume set of Stones of Venice ($2000). MacLeod also had an autographed pamphlet from 1880 or so, containing a couple of Ruskin's lectures on politics. We were sorely tempted by the Stones set but not enough this time. Perhaps next year, if MacLeod still has them. We always manage to drop a bundle of cash at MacLeod's whenever we visit Vancouver.

I also picked up John Cowper Powys' Wolf Solent in a decent trade paperback, and Fontane's Effie Briest as well as a couple of nonfiction titles for my own research use. No unfamiliar Chekhov showed itself, nor any interesting editions of other dead Russians.

Vancouver is a lovely and clean city, highly walkable. I am glad, however, that our traveling is done for the year.


  1. I was similarly impressed by Victoria; if I were forced to moved from the U.S. to a Canadian city, Victoria would be my first choice. And, of course, I am envious of your bookstore excursions and purchases. My life in the boondocks of the Redneck Rivera has kept me away from the delights of first-rate book stores; Books-a-Million and Barnes and Noble simply are grotesque distortions of what bookstores should be. And now I shall look forward to hearing from you about the Ruskin books in future postings.

    1. I'm lucky to have good used shops within striking distance. But we manage somehow to buy books whenever we travel, no matter how off-the-beaten-paths our destination. I just remembered that in Prague last year, I picked up a collection of Dickens' Christmas stories that Gustav Meyrinck had translated into German. That'll be fun when I get around to it.

  2. I do like Vancouver and Victoria. Had some fabulous meals in Vancouver.

    Don't think I've heard you mention John Cowper Powys before... Are you a fan? He's such an interesting writer. Although I think "Wolf Solent" is one of those books best read in late youth (I mean, for young eggheads.)

    1. Vancouver has a lot of great food. We stumbled across some excellent restaurants in Victoria two years ago, too. Those Canadians know how to feed people.

      I read Weymouth Sands this summer (because Pykk wrote a long series on his books). Wolf Solent will be my second JCP. Hopefully I'm not too old nor post-egghead to appreciate it! But I'm a fan of English Modernism and he seems to fit right into that so I'll (hopefully) read more of him in future. For now I'm reading Wilkie Collins' Woman in White for the first time. It's just delightful.