Not Saussure

December 18, 2006

A rare treat

Filed under: Blogroll, Books — notsaussure @ 10:28 pm

Via Boing Boing, BibliOdyssey. This is one of the most fascinating blogs I’ve come across, devoted to rare old books and visual materials, and lavishly illustrated with old arcana and other delights, with a scholarly but accessible commentary. Here’s but a brief sample:

odin.jpgOdin, from

Sæmundar og Snorra Edda’ … the name (however accurate or otherwise) given to a 1760 Icelandic manuscript by Ólafur Brynjúlfsson.
There are two major sources that chronicle the legends of Norse mythology.
The ‘Poetic Edda’ (or ‘Sæmundar Edda’ or ‘Elder Edda’) is a collection of alliterative poems (Edda) from the 13th century Icelandic Codex Regius. [Erroneously attributed to a 12th century Icelanic priest, Sæmundar Sigfússon – so sayeth the modern scholars]. The poems are thought to date from the 10th century.


One the right, we have

‘The Greenwich Pensioner’
by N. Carpenter; Charles Dibdin, late 18th cent.

“This robust, popular image illustrates the text of Charles Dibdin’s well known song, ‘The Greenwich Pensioner’ which is printed below it (not shown on photo). The Pensioner, with a left wooden peg-leg, a stout stick under his left arm and a clay pipe in his left hand stands on the north side of the Thames, gesturing towards Greenwich Hospital, the Queen’s House and the Royal Observatory in the background with his right hand.

iicloorjp100booksboy-book-beginning-of-modern-childrens-literature-as-influenced-by-germany-1891.jpg And from an entry about an exhibition of old Japanese children’s books at the International Institute for Children’s Literature at Osaka, an 1891 book for boys, ‘marking the beginning of modern
childrens’ literature, influenced by german works.’

I’m completely bowled over by this treasure trove, as you may have noticed — it is an absolute delight. Be warned, though; it’s all too easy to spend hours browsing through it.

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1 Comment »

  1. Yes this is one of the treasures of the blog world. I have been returning intermittently since I found it again through Boing Boing earlier in the year. Thanks for reminding me.

    Comment by Colin Campbell — December 21, 2006 @ 11:56 am

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