Another Troubadour Sale.

I’ve posted about Troubadour Books quite a few times (first almost exactly a decade ago; most recently two weeks ago), and I’m here to report on the results of my latest expedition to take advantage of their sale, which is going on through the weekend, and I urge you to visit if you’re in the area — not only are the books inside very reasonably priced and 35% off, but there are many tables of $1 books outside, and there are so many treasures there I barely made it indoors. Here are some of the items of LH interest:

Catherine the Great: A Short History, by Isabel de Madariaga
Современная русская пунктуация, by Анна Николаевна Наумович
The First Guidebook to Prisons and Concentration Camps of the Soviet Union, by Avraham Shifrin
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, by Azar Nafisi
Tolstoy’s ‘War And Peace’: A Study, by R. F. Christian
Major Lyricists of the Northern Sung: 960-1126 A.D., by James J. Y. Liu
Mandarin Chinese: An Introduction, by Mobo C. F. Gao
All Russia Is Burning!: A Cultural History of Fire and Arson in Late Imperial Russia, by Cathy A. Frierson
Molotov’s Magic Lantern: Travels in Russian History, by Rachel Polonsky

I was particularly excited to find the first (1973) edition of Endymion Wilkinson’s The History of Imperial China: A Research Guide (now Chinese History: A New Manual), because just the day before I had read an encomium to him and his work at the Log, and the Wikipedia article intrigued me so much I was on the lookout. As I said in my comment in response, “Way out of date, I know, and I hope to get a more recent version someday, but I’m only an amateur, so for the moment I’m happy with this!”


  1. Darren Shupe says

    One of my favorite bookstores in the country, and a particular favorite when I lived in Northampton. Thanks for the heads-up.

  2. A Cultural History of Fire and Arson in Late Imperial Russia—Who knew that was a thing! What’s the gist of the book? What’s unique about the subject in Imperial Russia as opposed to Victorian England, say?

    Современная русская пунктуация—I’m looking forward to a report about the more shocking tidbits.

  3. Hey, I remember Gray Matter. But I didn’t know Troubadour.

  4. I’m looking forward to a report about the more shocking tidbits

    Let’s see what it says about comma – em-dash , —

  5. I like Song dynasty better than Sung dynasty.

    The latter has a rather passé feel to it.

  6. A Cultural History of Fire and Arson in Late Imperial Russia—Who knew that was a thing! What’s the gist of the book?

    Probably easier for me to send you to the Amazon page than to try to tell you. It looks to be full of all sorts of interesting stuff.

    Hey, I remember Gray Matter. But I didn’t know Troubadour.

    They merged in 2014.

    The latter has a rather passé feel to it.

    The book came out in 1974. If it was published now, of course it would use pinyin. (And I wouldn’t have gotten it so cheaply.)

  7. I forgot to mention that I got — for a dollar! — an eighteenth-century volume containing Colley Cibber’s Love’s Last Shitt [er, Shift rather!] (in a 1767 version) and John Vanbrugh’s The Relapse, Or Virtue in Danger, the exact 1761 edition you can see here in Google Books, bound together and with the title page of the Cibber missing (so that I had to google the first line to discover the author and title).

  8. I wonder why antique printed books are so ridiculously cheap.

    Seems like market failure. In any reasonable society, they should be considered treasures and worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.

    But they don’t.


    Here is another example from

    11 Antiquarian Books 1829 Panckoucke Latine-Française Poeme Latin French Classic
    Price: £0.01

  9. Well, by the 18th century they were published in large quantities, so they’re not rare, and if they’re in bad condition (e.g., missing the boards and title page, like this one) nobody wants them as antiquarian. I think you’re vastly overestimating the rarity and value of books a couple of centuries old. Most of them were junk then and are still junk.

  10. I own a collection of late 19th century Russian books. Judging by prices on Russian sites, my collection is worth close to 10 thousand dollars.

    The prospect that suddenly they might stop be so valuable and sell for less than 1 US cent per volume really worries me.

  11. Colley Cibber’s Love’s Last Shitt

    *Raises eyebrow Roger Moore-fashion*


  12. No. Though Colley Cibber was a tasteless git, he wasn’t as tasteless as that, and the title is Love’s Last Shift. In modern terms, it is a chick flick with dick jokes.

  13. Cibber himself refers to it as containing “a great deal of puerility and frothy stage-language.”

  14. Really?

    Oopsie! That may be the best typo I’ve ever personally perpetrated.

    While Cibber was no Shakespeare, it’s my understanding that he took a lot of undeserved flak for creating plays based on effectiveness on the stage rather than on the page, and all the high-minded people who were used to reading plays as if they were simply extended poems were appalled (cf. the reaction of devotees of the Great American Songbook to rock and roll).

  15. …has a rather passé feel to it
    (I think he was making a sly joke there. Took me a moment too.)

  16. Ha! Thanks, I get it now. Sorry, SFReader! It’s gray and gloomy today, and my brain is dank and slow.

  17. David Marjanović says

    Oh. Thanks for notifying me, it didn’t occur to me either. 🙂

  18. If I remember my history correctly, they were the sunk dynasty at the end.

  19. We’re all sunk in the end.

  20. Well, in this case the dynasty was sunk literally (or drowned, if you prefer.)

  21. The Egyptian 18th Dynasty suffered a related fate.

  22. I knew someone would get it 😉

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