Category: books


“Let’s drive better than men!” A driving manual by Mary Arnold, published by the Melbourne Vacuum Oil Co., circa 1934. (Via)

ImageAttributs au pochoir : Modèles d’enseignes et inscriptions,” book on stencil and sign design by A. Charayron & Léon Durand, Paris, 1914. 

(Via the National Library of France)

“The function of freedom is to free someone else.”

~ Toni Morrison (1931 – 2019)


“New Illustration of the Sexual System: The Temple of Flora, or Garden of Nature,” written by Robert Thornton with illustrations by Carl Linnaeus, 1807. (Via


We’ve been looking at one of our favorite illustrators represented in our special collections of children’s books: Boris

Artzybasheff (1899-1965). The Russian-born American illustrator is perhaps most widely known for illustrating more than 200 covers of Time magazine between 1941 and 1965. These beautiful images above are from our copy of his 1928 edition of The Fairy Shoemaker, and Other Fairy Poems


When Being a Lesbian Was Profitable, For Men

What a pleasant surprise to find this in the mailbox!

Building a Foundation – Knyght Errant:

I think we could all agree that if you had never been exposed to mathematics in your life, you’d be setting yourself up for failure if you began your education by jumping straight into differential equations and Fourier analysis without first developing a broad foundation in basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus etc.. We generally accept that there are prerequisite skills that we need to develop before trying to tackle more complex and advanced problems. Could you do it?  With enough motivation, raw intelligence, and a lot of time spent back-tracking, you might be able to work your way through a problem here and there and even arrive at a correct answer every so often, but your overall understanding of the material, your ability to perform consistently and to apply those skills broadly would be severely compromised. Yet we as a community of enthusiasts and hobbiests don’t think twice about trying to start with the more ‘advanced problems’ as we embark on our journey learning about arms, armor, and other aspects of historical material culture.

–Ian LaSpina (Knyght Errant)


“Physica Sacra,” a book of scientific evidence and theories in support of the Old Testament by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer with copper-plate engravings by several artists, 1731.

This just arrived in the mail. I’ve wanted it for a long time, but I only recently got around to ordering it. I read through the introduction and the first chapter. Chapter one provides a historical context for the private ownership and use of arms, as well as some basics of law and order in medieval England. One of the more fascinating topics is how different classes of landowners were expected to keep specific types of arms and armour. So far so good l. The next chapter appears to be more historical context, including the private ownership of weapons and law and order in the rest of Europe in the Middle Ages.