RARE: A life among antiquarian books
Beautiful and valuable books, arcane terms and conventions, eccentric personalities – these are the mainstays of the fascinating world of antiquarian books.
Kay Craddock has lived in that world for over forty years. She embarked in business from very modest beginnings and overcame considerable personal and cultural obstacles to reach pre-eminence in the international rare book trade.
In telling their remarkable story, Rare chronicles the fascinating social history of the book trade in the second half of the twentieth century – when antiquarian bookselling emerged as a recognisable profession.
Stuart Kells has written a thoroughly compelling book which paints an unforgettable picture of the principal figures in Kay (and her mother Muriel’s circle), and which also explores how these identities influenced the supply of and demand for old, rare, finely printed and finely bound books.
Rare gives the reader access to a world that few have entered. It is also a highly personal account of the challenging journey of an amazing Australian woman.
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WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
“Stuart Kells’s life of Melbourne bookseller Kay Craddock is a shibboleth of sorts, a story password-protected for bibliophiles… The drama of Kells’s account arises from a young woman’s effort to bring her own eye (that combination of aesthetic tingle and contextual knowledge that true booksellers and collectors possess) into alignment with the exigencies of the marketplace. It turns out Craddock’s success has always relied on making the beautiful profitable.”Geordie Williamson | March, 2011
MORE REVIEWS & ARTICLES
The Sydney Morning Herald
February 28, 2011
‘Latest chapter reached in a lifetime of books’, by Carolyn Webb
March 31, 2011
The Book Show: Peter Mares interviews Kay Craddock and Stuart Kells
LIMITED COPIES REMAIN
PURCHASE AT KAY CRADDOCK’S WEBSITE
“The story of Kay Craddock Antiquarian Booksellers is a wonderful tale of a great partnership (between mother and daughter); of a small business that forged its way into Melbourne’s glorious history on Collins Street; and of a world that embraces change but has been a constant in the lives of readers from all corners of the globe.”Mary Dalmau
Publisher and Author information
Rare: A Life Among Antiquarian Books
Author: Stuart Kells
Intro: Geoffrey Blainey
Publication date: 01/03/2011