Tag Archives: Books

1922: Seek the Kingdom of Heaven through Contempt of the World

Melchior Lechter’s frontispiece, title page, and first chapter title page for a 1922 edition of Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ. Written in the early 15th century, the work promotes piety, simplicity, and devotion as the key to a personal … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1655: Remedies

Selections from Thomas Lupton’s book A Thousand Notable Things on Various Subjects: Disclosed from the Secrets of Nature and Art, Practicable, Profitable, and of Great Advantage: Set Down from Long and Curious Study and Experience (1655): The Soles of the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1750: Estimate

In 1750, astronomer Thomas Wright estimated the number of inhabited planets in the observable universe: Of…habitable Worlds, such as the Earth, all which we may suppose to be also of a terrestrial or terraqueous Nature, and filled with Beings of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1920: Mother and Father Had Turned Into Cabbages

A selection from Charles William Kimmins’s book Children’s Dreams (1920): A lady was sitting on my bed, and the King and Queen were under the bed eating bread and butter, and a lot of ladies with them. The sun and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1673: Life Being So Short and Books So Plentiful

In 1673, Antonio Magliabechi became librarian to Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was an eruidite scholar, fluent in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and—according to his contemporary and biographer Giacinto Gimma—versed in physics, mathematics, rhetoric, grammar, history, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1865: O Roaches!

A quite common superstitious practice, in order to rid a house of Cockroaches, is in vogue in our country at the present time. It is no other than to address these pests a written letter containing the following words, or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

1994: An Insane Premise

In an afterword to the 25th anniversary edition of Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth tells a story about the first lines of his novels. When he was living in Chicago in the late 1950’s, he says, he once went to a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment