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Posts from the Berg Collection of English and American Literature

Desperately Seeking Alice

The plot of Linda Fairstein’s Lethal Legacy, set in the New York Public Library‘s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, pivots on a copy of a rare 1866 edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 1866 marks the year of the earliest approved edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice, illustrated by Punch cartoonist John Tenniel. Copies of the 1866 edition in the New York Public Library are in the double digits. The Henry 

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The Queen of the Birds

Flannery O'Connor, who would have been 84 today, is best known for her dystopic portrayals of the South and Southerners in her novels Wise Blood, and The Violent Bear it Away, and in short stories like "

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"There was only one catch. . ."

“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22”

Books can accumulate a lot of personal baggage. Keep them in your life for long enough, and they’re likely to become encrusted with memories. This dust jacket is from my personal copy of Catch-22 and goes back a long way, as you can tell from the $2.45 price drastically marked down to $2.19. This was the second and more durable copy I owned after I read ragged the more familiar blue paperback with the dancing airman on the cover. The library’s copy in the

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Mixed Feelings About Charles Dickens

I have mixed feelings about Charles Dickens. This is probably an embarrassing admission from someone who’s preparing a public presentation on the works of Dickens for the fall and winter, but the fact remains. I’ve read most of the major novels, some more than once, and while I always start them with lots of gusto and enthusiasm, I’m never sorry to see them end. Many years ago, in an over-flowing of Dickensian high spirits, I bought a set of the Oxford Illustrated Dickens from Scribner’s bookstore on Fifth 

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