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Richmond’s Oldest known Bookseller makes a Rare Appearance at Book Fair
Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012
Richmond’s Oldest known Bookseller makes a Rare Appearance at Book Fair
An historic figure dating back to the 1700s and known to have been one of Richmond’s oldest booksellers is to have a timely presence at The Station’s annual Book Fair this weekend.

The Book Fair, which runs at The Station this Sunday 23 September, will offer many first editions and rare finds, one of them being a set of four volumes entitled ‘Cauldfield’s Remarkable Persons’ published in 1819-1820 and featuring extraordinary people from British history. 

At the back of the fourth volume, a previous owner has added a further character to the list of famous people by pasting in an engraving of Miss Isabella Tinkler, born in 1702, known to have run her own bookshop on the Marketplace during the Georgian era. The etching was done by artist George Cuit, another well-known name among local historians.

Jude Haslam, a Richmond bookseller and bookbinder, discovered and purchased the set of books two years ago at The National Book Fair in York. She reports that Miss Tinkler – better known as Tabitha – was something of a formidable character. In the engraving she is pictured knitting a pair of socks while smoking a pipe and opposite the picture there is a handwritten copy of her obituary, first published in 1794 in the Gentleman’s Magazine. ‘I assume a previous owner of the books felt that she deserved her place in British history, and rightly so,’ said Mrs Haslam.

The books are just one example of many possible rare finds at the Book Fair. The event is run in conjunction with Richmond Walking and Books Festival and many stallholders will have second-hand books and first editions in a variety of subjects including art, history, and literature.

‘Tabitha’s presence may well have set a trend as I know that many of our regular booksellers will be bringing along some unusual antiquarian books of local interest,’ said Mrs Haslam, who organises the Book Fair on behalf of The Station Trust. ‘The Book Fair is always well attended and you don’t have to be a serious collector to enjoy browsing as there is something for every book lover.’

The Station will have its own stall selling less valuable second-hand books in aid of The Station Trust, while Castle Hill Books, also from Richmond, will be bringing new titles relating to this year’s Walking and Books Festival.

The Book Fair runs from 10am-5pm and entry is free. ‘Caulfield’s Remarkable Persons’ will be offered for sale on the day by Brock Books.

Photo: Jude Haslam with one of the rare books.

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