Friday, March 20, 2009

Tulkinghorn finds a happy man

Yellowbacks were the Victorian version of mass-market paperbacks, cheaply-printed, garish, sold at railroad stations. I've attached a picture of a couple...

Reading about yellowbacks (hat tip to the Caustic Cover Critic), I came upon this description on Abebooks of a man who, I am certain, is very very happy:

Dr. Chester W. Topp is the world’s top authority on Yellowbacks. Now 92, Topp is a former professor of mathematics at Cleveland State University and has written extensively about them. He also owns one of the world’s finest collections of Yellowbacks.

“My study is filled with them,” he laughs. “My living room is filled with them, two upstairs bedrooms are filled with them and they are in the basement too. Michael Sadleir’s book in two volumes (XIX Century Fiction, A Bibliographical Record Based on His Own Collection) got me interested in yellowbacks more than 40 years ago. I was already a collector of Anthony Trollope at that time. I don’t know how many Yellowbacks I have - perhaps 2,000 and if you include all my Victorian paperbacks then I probably have around 5,000 books.”

Topp – whose son Bob runs The Hermitage Bookshop in Denver – has written nine volumes of bibliography on Yellowbacks......

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