11 Nov 2017
The Metric System
Today, as we celebrate both World Science Day for Peace and Development and the "Dia de las librerías" here in Barcelona, we invite you to discover this precious book from 1796, intended to publicize the metric system- the implementation of which was one of the most brilliant manifestations of the rational and universalist ideals of the French Revolution!
The 17 memoirs, plates and tables that make up this collection first appeared separately, before being bound here together under a collective title; the work also contains the text of the law of Germinal, 18th, Year III (1795) which established the metric system throughout the territory of the French Republic.

May peace and centimeters be upon you!

posted by  Benjamin at  11:52 | permalink | comments [0]

20 Oct 2017
So British!
Next week, we will look forward to seeing you at INK Fair, in London! Julien Comellas has filled his suitcases with a hundred fantastic books! Among them, this precious collection of 38 original drawings of women’s hats, certainly the work of Parisian fashion designer from the 1920s!

posted by  Benjamin at  17:00 | permalink | comments [0]

13 Oct 2017
"La théorie des chances"
Did you know that, on Friday, 13th, while many around the globe fear they might be hit by some bad luck, most French people hope to get lucky and win the traditional Friday 13th lottery?!
So if you feel like defying the odds of the lottery and taking your ultimate chance at fulfilling your secret dream of a scholarly retreat on a distant island, let me recommend you read Antoine Cournot's Exposition de la Théorie des Chances et des Probabilités (Paris, 1843), of which it is our pleasure to present to you a beautiful copy of the first edition!
I know that the odds of winning are about 1 out of 139000000, but there is absolutely no way I give in to "paraskevidekatriaphobia"!
You do as you please! I will send you postcards from my island!

posted by  Benjamin at  17:33 | permalink | comments [0]

6 Oct 2017
"Liars Academy"
According to some commentators of the political spectacle, we would have entered a new era, that of the "post-truth", in which conspiracy theories , emotions and "fake news" would finally have prevailed over objectivity, reason and truth.

It seems to us, however, that some commentators seem to forget a little quickly that lying is old as the hills...old as politics!

The truth is, in these days, many a politician could easily graduate from the “Académie des menteurs”! (Paris, 1838)


posted by  Benjamin at  17:36 | permalink | comments [0]

29 Sep 2017
We're back !
The truth is we were never really gone, you know that! After a very intense summer here in Barcelona, we are ready for an autumn (*) which promises to be tempestuous!

All aboard! Captain's on the helm! The course is set! The crew is on deck, ready for reefing if necessary! This journey will not be a quiet one, but you can always come always come visit our quarters: the shelves are here filled with wonderful books for you to discover! Be our guests!

(*) For the uninitiated, an ancestral municipal ordinance stipulates that in Barcelona the summer lasts at least until October, 10th, with a minimum temperature of 25ºC at noon, four times a week, preferably on weekends.
posted by  Benjamin at  18:07 | permalink | comments [0]

7 Jul 2017
Of Erudites and Marriage
Dear lovers of knowledge, of books and of shelves, is there any room for marriage
in your libraries? In your opinion, should maverick intellectuals, hermit scholars and collectomaniac bibliophiles take the oath of marriage?

Inspired, not by personal questioning (well, maybe a little bit...), but by a curious German work from the early eighteenth century, we are asking for your personal position on a delicate question of eternal relevance!

Published in 1715 under the pseudonym of Irénée Carpentier, Eruditorum Coelibum Centuria Singularis is a collection of short biographical notices of great minds who never married, by a certain Gottfried Wagener – whose marital status we may guess!... Curiously enough, the work also includes the first edition of the treatise on the marriage of scholars by the German poet Mellemann – according to which scholars should not flee from matrimonial union – as well as Daniel Heinsius’s letter on “the qualities of a woman suitable for a scholar”... It seems, then, that long before us, Mr. Wagener also had his own doubts!

Dear enlightened minds, do you think it reasonable to take the plunge ? For both parties? ...Dear spouses of bibliophiles, were you really aware of the phenomenon when the two of you exchanged wedding rings ? Or is it that you were seduced by his collection of incunabula?

posted by  Benjamin at  17:34 | permalink | comments [0]

23 Jun 2017
The Story of the Devil’s Trial (1604)

For more information on the manuscript, click here.

posted by  Benjamin at  15:18 | permalink | comments [2]

16 Jun 2017
"The true inventor of the lightning rod"
While yesterday, June, 15th , some mentioned the anniversary of the night that Benjamin Franklin braved the violent summer storm that struck Philadelphia in order to conduct the famous kite experience, our thoughts went to the French physicist Jacques de Romas (1718-1776), considered by many as the true inventor of the lightning rod!

The detailed account of his experiences and of the controversies related to the paternity of the discovery is to be found in this Mémoire sur les moyens de se garantir de la foudre dans les maisons; suivi d'une lettre sur l'invention du cerf-volant électrique, avec les pièces justificatives de cette même lettre which was printed in Bordeaux at the twilight of Romas’s life, and of which we’d like to present to you a very fine copy!

posted by  Benjamin at  15:44 | permalink | comments [2]

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