Author Archives: Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

About Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

Laurence Worms has owned and run Ash Rare Books since 1971. He represented the antiquarian book trade on the (British) National Book Committee from 1993 to 2002 and has been six times an elected member of the Council of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association. He was largely responsible for drafting the Association’s Code of Good Practice first introduced in 1997 (and its recent update), served as Honorary Secretary of the Association from 1998 to 2001 and as President from 2011 to 2013. He is a former member of the Council of the Bibliographical Society and continues to serve on the Council of the London Topographical Society. He writes and lectures on various aspects of the history of the book and map trades, and has lectured at the universities of Cambridge, London, Reading and Sheffield, as well as at the Bibliographical Society, the Royal Geographical Society, the Warburg Institute, the National Library of Scotland and at Gresham College and Stationers' Hall. He teaches annually at the London Rare Book School, University of London. Published work includes the compilation of fourteen ‘lives’ for the “Oxford Dictionary of National Biography”, a number of articles for “The Oxford Companion to the Book” and the chapter on early English maps and atlases for the fourth volume of “The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain”. Essays on the British map trade are also appearing in “The History of Cartography” published by the University of Chicago Press. His long-awaited “British Map Engravers”, co-written with Ashley Baynton-Williams, was published to critical acclaim in 2011. He also contributed the numerous biographical notes to Peter Barber’s hugely successful “London : A History in Maps”, co-published by the British Library and the London Topographical Society in 2012.

Leonard Potts

Back in time to that more innocent world of the early 1950s and another neglected artist of British pulp fiction.  Someone about whom the reference books and online resources are seemingly entirely silent.  Highly recognisable in style — his work … Continue reading

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Bound For Her Birthday

I’ve written about the bookseller Robert Bowes (1835-1919) before (you can read it all here on the blog for 26 December 2012).  An extraordinary life – born in rural poverty in Ayrshire, educated in the Cambridge bookshop of his uncles … Continue reading

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A Cambridge Binding — John Bird Hawes (1820-1885)

Even after all these years, I’m still astonished at how little valued and appreciated many old books are.  Here’s a case in point — a book I bought inexpensively on my travels last summer.  Just how inexpensively, you can gauge … Continue reading

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Here’s a curiosity – a hand-made and hand-painted dust-jacket individually made for a copy of A. G. Street’s “Holdfast”, published by Faber & Faber in 1946 – not to replace the original dust-jacket (a typical Faber design by Berthold Wolpe) … Continue reading

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William Bellinger Northrop (1871-1929)

I was actually looking for an image of an old air-raid shelter in Myddlelton Passage in Clerkenwell (my great-grandmother Martha Worms died in there during an air-raid in 1940), when I came across this extraordinary map on the always engaging … Continue reading

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People Like Me

Just back from a summer book-hunting safari, mainly around what we might loosely call the English Mid-West, with a few stops closer to home on the return leg. Some thirty bookshops or other outlets on the itinerary, if we include … Continue reading

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The Chaucer Bookshop

Quite a while since I was last in Canterbury, but what a pleasant spot it remains.  Beautiful old houses akimbo.  And right at the heart of it, just a short walk from the Cathedral, a pleasant bookshop – the Chaucer … Continue reading

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Illustrations by A. J. Macgregor / Verses by E. M. Coghlin

A guest post by Gillian Neale. Gillian has an MA in the History of the Book from the University of London and is spending time with Ash Rare Books to gain some inside experience of the rare book trade. “Creating … Continue reading

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Percy Heath (1803?-1838)

I had been doing some unrelated work on the engravers James Heath (1757-1834) and his son Charles Heath (1785-1848) – both fine engravers, both well-known and comparatively well-documented – when I received and enquiry from a customer about a steel-engraving … Continue reading

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Boutell’s First Editions of To-Day

Having a bit of a clear-out and I came across this: First Editions of To-Day and How to Tell Them, by H. S. Boutell, published by Elkin Mathews & Marrot in 1928.  A copy given to E. A. M. Norie … Continue reading

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