Graffiti, History of Print Style

Think bibliography is too stuffy? There are plenty of scandalous tales in the history of printing. One of the most infamous is the story of the Uncle Silas plate in the first edition of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.     Twain expected Huck to be a major hit, and the huge number of advance orders…

Take Another Look at Mark Twain: Innocents Abroad

Today the average reader hears of Mark Twain and thinks three things: Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and hilarity. For the first twenty years of Twain’s incredibly successful writing career, the average reader heard of Mark Twain and thought three things: lectures, travelogues, and hilarity.   Long before The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn became a serious…

Why Ulysses S. Grant is America’s Julius Caesar

From a bookseller perspective, I see General Grant as the worthy successor of Julius Caesar. Which is to say—from the perspective of their contributions to literature. Caesar and Grant were both amazing military leaders whose writings are among the most beautiful and stylistically flawless of their genres. Each man’s work is a giant in its…