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Julian Mackenzie

Welcome to the Shapero Rare Books Blog. Here you can find articles on rare books written by our Specialists on subjects ranging from Pirate books to modern first editions; on authors such as Ian Fleming and Roald Dahl; and on illustrators including Quentin Blake. Sign up to our weekly newsletter at the bottom of this page to receive regular updates.

Iraq, The Land Where Writing Began by Julian M...

As book lovers we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Sumerians, the ...

Qur'ans by Roxana Kashani

Where collecting is concerned, the Qur’an is a multi-faceted text ...

The Natural History Books Of Edward Donovan

The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw the publicati...

The Barbary Coast by Julian Mackenzie

Thinking of the British and Africa, I suppose the things that comes ...

Travels to the Roof of the World by Julian Mac...

The Tibetan plateau, situated at some 15,000 feet (4500 metres), sur...

St Petersburg by Eleanor Moore

On the boggy delta of the Neva, Peter the Great founded his ‘windo...

Did they really do that? by Julian Mackenzie

Did they really do that? Some of the greatest feats o...

The Holy Land in the original cloth by Julian ...

The other day I received an e-mail offering me a copy of Brand’s H...

Aubrey Beardsley Exhibition | 'I have one aim ...

An exhibition of the illustrated works of Aubrey Beardsley who shocked and thrilled audiences.

April 28, 1789: The Mutiny on the Bounty

The Mutiny on the Bounty William Bligh (1754-1815) wi...

Books not Borders - An interview with our Gift...

An interview with Angus Robb as part of our Books not Border series, wherein we're bre...

Retracing the Footsteps of 19th Century Explor...

The great natural history museum collections have at their foundation, specimens collected by 1...

The Greatest Polar Exploration Literature

Lines in the Ice: Marginalia My recent talk at Shapero Rare Books gave me the opportun...

Mutiny! The Court-Martial Documents of the Bou...

On 28 April 1789, disaffected crewmen took control of the HMS Bounty and cast the captain, Capt...

Last Portraits of the Antarctic Heroes

The discovery of John Franklin's HMS Terror at the bottom of an Arctic bay this September co...

Layard and the Antiquities of Assyria

Today we are all too aware of the appalling damage inflicted by ISIS on the ancient sites of Ir...

Napoleon's Description of Egypt

The extraordinary success of a megalomaniac, an uncharted world, and a team of savant explorers

Larger than Life – The Explorer Sir Richard ...

The explorer Sir Richard Burton, after the painting by Lord Leighton.   Frequentl...

Ernest Shackleton, a Tale of the Antarctic

Ernest Shackleton, born in County Kildare, Ireland, in 1874, was for many years the forgotten m...

Sir John Barrow - Unsung Champion of the Empir...

Civil servant, naval secretary, developer, publicist, settler, author and all-round-adventurer ...

China in Print

During late November we  journey across the high seas to China in Print, Hong Kong’s lead...

Henry Morton Stanley: 'Bula Matari'

From a workhouse in Wales to establishing one of the wealthiest countries in Africa, the story ...

Great Explorers: James Bruce

The industrial revolution in the United Kingdom spawned a host of great British explo...

William Beckford: Aesthete and Book Collector,...

In the second of our series on great collectors of rare books, we investigate William ...

William Beckford: Aesthete and Book Collector

In the first of our series on great collectors of rare books, we introduce William Beckford.  ...

Ideas, ideas, ideas!

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas. So many of them around, not always that great, but we are just putting the...

Exploring the Nile

One of the greatest legends associated with Africa concerned the source or sources of the River...