- Août 2018 / Article paru dans Le Monde

Peter Tosh, Chronique d'une mort annoncée 
(série Crimes à pleins tubes 4/6, dirigée par Philippe Broussard).

De nombreuses figures de la musique ont été assassinées en pleine gloire. Chaque meurtre raconte à la fois l’artiste et son époque. En 1987, le pionnier du reggae, à qui ses succès avaient permis de sortir du ghetto, est rattrapé par son passé : il est abattu chez lui par un ancien de Trench Town.


- August 2018

We Love Endpapers!  A New Sect Has Emerged on Facebook...
by T. Ehrengardt

God forgive, I recently broke my own first commandment of book collecting: Thou shalt not buy a book but for its contents! Well, I did—worse, I bought a book for... its endpapers! It is not my entire fault, though. For the past few months, I have joined an apparently misleading group of weird worshippers. Their den? A Facebook group. They war cry? We Love Endpapers!

- July 2018

Suetonius and the 12 Caesars, Lives (almost) Uncensored
- by Thibault Ehrengardt

At the end of the 1st century, Pliny the Younger wrote to Suetonius: “Do me a favour, let me read your name at the frontispiece of a book.” Two thousand years later, Suetonius’ Lives of the 12 Caesars has become a worldwide classic. Let’s take a look at the first French translations of this book, especially Richer’s edition of 1611, famous for its gorgeous equestrian engravings.

- June 2018

Avec Privilège, or Death of A Pamphlet
- by Thibault Ehrengardt

This is both a very ordinary and extraordinary document! A four-page booklet printed on uncut paper in 1733. There are hundreds of those Arrêts de la Cour du Parlement—official publications emanating from the Parliament of Justice— in circulation, and they are almost worth nothing; this particular one cost 20 bucks. Some are sought-after though; those linked to some historical events or that regard the execution of a famous criminal such as Cartouche or Damiens. The one we’re talking here is about the execution not of a man but of a pamphlet—and boy, that was a serious business!

- May 2018

The Incredible Manuscripts of Mont Saint-Michel
- by Thibault Ehrengardt

Two weeks ago, the French state opposed the sale of four stunning manuscripts—40 pages bound in one volume—from the XIIth century. Their provenance itself is incredible: they are from the prestigious collection of the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel! The auctioneer Patrice Biget from Orne Enchères, in Alençon, took all the precautions he could before offering them for sale—yet the state claims them as its property.

- April 2018

Froger's Travel - Nothing wrong with killing Spaniards... and English
- by Thibault Ehrengardt

Welcome on board the Faucon Anglois (or English Falcon), one of the six vessels led by Captain Jean-Baptiste de Gennes in 1695. You are about to embark on a three-year expedition that will take you from the coast of Africa to the Strait of Magellan to the West Indies. Your guide? Mr. Froger, a nineteen-year-old French engineer. Purpose of travel? Explained page 73...

- March 2018

The Portable Lavater: Never judge a book by its forehead
- by Thibault Ehrengardt

As Jamaican singer Horace Andy once sang: you see a man’s face, but you can’t see his heart—well, actually you can read a man’s thoughts on his face, providing that you know of a little book from the early 19th century, the “portable Lavater”! And you can trust what I write, since my eyebrows match my hair.

- January 2018

Mr Cléry and “Fake-Book”, or the Last Days of Louis XVI.
- by Thibault Ehrengardt

There was a post on Facebook the other day about the new evil of our times, fake news. Spreading through social networks, it has become a worldwide weapon of misinformation. This reminded me of an old book printed in 1800—fake news is nothing new.

- December 2017

The Aristophil Scandal: the epilogue
- by Thibault Ehrengardt

The first “Aristophil sale” will take place this month in Paris, France, as an epilogue to the “biggest scandal in the history of autographs”.

- November 2017

The Memoirs of the Sansons, A French History of Violence
by Thibault Ehrengardt

Ajouter une légende

Sanson is a creepy name in the history of France, borne by a notorious dynasty of executioners. They operated in Paris from 1688 to 1847. So many broken bones, severed heads and spilled blood deserved a book, no doubt. But not the apocryphal memoirs that came out in 1830! Putting the record straight, the true descendant of the Sansons, Henri-Clément (1799-1889), gave his own version of the story in 1862. His book opens with a breath-taking preface that relates the evolution of the means of execution along the centuries. Needless to go any further to shiver with fear and disgust. The memoirs of the Sansons? A French history of violence.

- October 2017

Ernest Renan: The (Emotional) Life of Jesus.
By T. Ehrengardt

Regarded as the “first historical biography of Jesus”, Renan’s Vie de Jésus is a very emotional book. As such, it deeply irritated the historians, while selling like hot cakes. Historians and feelings had never got along very well, anyway—just like Jesus and the Pharisees.



Raveneau de Lussan... and a bottle of rum.

- A RBH article / Sept. 2017


Twenty severed heads, on a buccaneer's bark, yo-oh-oh! Welcome to the merciless world of the buccaneers* (or flibustiers), those terrible people who swarmed the Spanish Americas in the second half of the 17th century. Raveneau de Lussan's Journal du Voyage Fait à la Mer de Sud avec les Flibustiers de l'Amérique en 1684... (Coignard, 1689) is arguably the best account of its kind after Esquemeling's. Smells of blood, sweat and tears arise from the pages of the first edition published a few months after the events. Get on board, mate – but be prepared! It ain't no fairy tale.


The Untouched Collection

- Published by RBH / July 2017


A collection of old books, untouched for 200 years, was found in Bouillon, Belgium, last month. The reading room where they had remained silent for so long was haunted by the spirit of a “honnête homme” from the turn of the 19th century.

Read the article


The Wreck of the Medusa, a political parable.

- Published by Rare Book Hub / June 2017.


It is a gigantic painting, displayed in the Louvre Museum, Paris. It has darkened over the years, which makes the scene it depicts even more dreadful: this is Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa. A book inspired it: Corréard’s true relation of the wreck of the frigate Medusa, off the African coast, in 1816. Out of 150 men thrown onto the infernal sea on a hastily-made raft, only 15 came back alive. Two centuries later, it remains as terrible a reading as ever.


ISERT: A Voyage Through Slavery

- Published by Rare Book Hub / MAy 2017


Why do we read travel books instead of travelling ourselves? Well, only an old book like Paul Erdman Isert’s Voyages en Guinée & dans les îles Caraibes en Amérique (Maradan, 1793) will take you to the West coast of Africa in... the 1780s! Right in the middle of the slave trade. And that’s what his book will do—carry you away.

Read the ARTICLE


It's A Man's Man's Man's World

Published by RBH / March 2017


It is a modest booklet of 54 pages entitled De l’influence des femmes dans l’ordre civil et politique / Of the Influence of Women in Politics and Civil Order. But the topic and the date of publication, 1789, make it worthy of attention. As a matter of fact, it happens to be at the root of feminism—well, in a slightly macho way. The first paragraph of the famous Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 reads: “Men were born and remain free and equal in rights...” Suddenly, a bold and female voice rose: “What about women?

Le street art jamaïcain

Publié par BRAIN Magazine / Mars 2017


Fendre en voiture la pollution de la capitale jamaïcaine, toutes vitres baissées... Sentir les exhalaisons de l’asphalte surchauffé, l’humidité tropicale, la saleté... Subir la cacophonie. Bienvenue à Kingston, l’une des capitales mondiales du crime, au cœur d’une permanente messe païenne, célébration de vie et de mort, décor naturel de rêve pour un street-art abreuvé de bruit et de fureur et qui, depuis quelques années, est en pleine ébullition.


Who Skinned James Allen?

Published by RBH / February 2017.


There is, in the vaults of the private library Boston Athenaeum , a peculiar book with a creepy sentence written in Latin on its front cover: Hic liber Waltonis cute compactus est—this book is bound in the skin of Walton. This “skin book”, as it is affectionately referred to, tells the story of James Allen, alias George Walton, a notorious Bostonian highwayman, who died in prison in 1837; a guy who had crime under his skin. 

Read the Article


Poules de luxe sous Louis XV...

Publié par BRAIN Magazine / Janvier 2K17.


Mesdemoiselles ! Sachez qu’un corps sain dans un corset vaudra toujours mieux qu’un esprit sain dans un corps de boudin. Sous Louis XV déjà, les Zahia du XVIIIème siècle bénéficiaient des faiblesses de la chair. On n’a rien contre les têtes pleines d’eau, tant qu’elles sont bien faites.

Django Un-censored... Un vrai pulp de cul-blanc.

Publié par BRAIN Magazine / Janvier 2K17.


Comme un gamin avec ses jouets, le réalisateur règle ses comptes avec l'Histoire, foulant au pied la mémoire d’un Sud ranci dont il fait table rase dans une explosion finale aux allures de gigantesque orgasme artistique. Enfin, quand TF1 ne joue pas les peine-à-jouir.


Voyage de Paris à St. Cloud...

Published by RBH / Jan. 2017


According to the authoritative Larousse dictionary, the French word “badaud” refers to someone who “wanders around town, being curious of the various spectacles of life, and stopping to contemplate them.” But in the 18th century, a “badaud” was a simpleton, a typical Parisian character depicted in a funny booklet entitled Le Voyage de Saint-Cloud par Mer & par Terre (La Haye—in fact, Paris—, 1748).


La Vente Zoummeroff (part 2) : Délits et châtiments...

Article publié par BRAIN magazine / Décembre 2016

Du sang, des crimes et des pleurs : tels sont les ingrédients de la vente de la « bibliothèque Zoummeroff », orchestrée ce vendredi par Pierre Bergé & Associés à Drouot (Paris).

Lire l'article


Cartouche, l'histoire du premier ennemi public

Publié par VICE.fr / Décembre 2016

Il y a 295 ans, le 28 novembre 1721 vers 13 heures, on allonge le brigand Louis Dominique Cartouche sur la croix de Saint-André, à Paris. Celle-ci est située en place de Grève, l'actuelle place de l'Hôtel de Ville. Le bandit apparaît pâle, affaibli, les jambes broyées par une séance de torture « aux brodequins » survenue la veille, au cours de laquelle il a pensé mourir. Il n'a pas dormi de la nuit. Car il a parlé, enfin !



From Champlain to Monville....

Published by RBH / December 2016.

Samuel Champlain was in Paris the other day, and since he had come with his iconic map of New France, many people came to see him. In fact, the showroom at Drouot was overcrowded with various travellers from the past centuries, and with as many booksellers. Rare Book Hub attended the meeting and collected the figures. Welcome on board of the Binoche et Giquello’s sale of November 16, 2016!

Read the ARTICLE


Thanksgiving, et les amers Indiens.

Publié par BRAIN Magazine, le 4 Novembre 2016.


Aujourd’hui, l’Amérique entière célèbrera Thanksgiving. Autour d’une dinde fumante, elle remerciera le Seigneur pour Sa mansuétude. Toute l’Amérique ? Non. Dans l’ombre du modèle blanc, les Amérindiens grimacent. Pour eux, ce quatrième jeudi de novembre, marqué au sceau de l’infamie, commémore ce triste jour qui sonna le glas du bonheur. Retour sur une fête pas si joyeuse, qui révèle les fractures profondes d’un empire en déliquescence.


Zimmerman, Son Of A Gun.

Publié par BRAIN Magazine, mai 2016.

Il s’agit d’un pistolet Kel-Tec PF-9 de calibre 9mm ; il est apparu sur le site aux enchères américain Gunbroker.com jeudi dernier. Mais dès vendredi, il était retiré de la vente. Son propriétaire, George Zimmerman, en demandait 5 000 dollars. Une somme. Il faut dire que cette arme a tué, en 2012 en Floride, un jeune Noir de 17 ans. La victime, Trayvon Martin, rentrait chez sa belle-mère après avoir acheté des bonbons dans une épicerie de quartier. Pris en chasse, Trayvon ne devait jamais rentrer chez lui. Preuve de l’authenticité du 9mm, un numéro inscrit par la justice au marqueur permanent sur le canon lors du procès retentissant qui a abouti à l’acquittement de Zimmerman et où se mêlent les ingrédients habituels du mal américain : paranoïa raciale, haine ordinaire et arme à feu - la recette classique de «l’american pizza». Bon appétit.



Le Mystère Jérôme Bosch

Publié par BRAIN Magazine. Oct. 2016

Le documentaire Le Mystère Jérôme Bosch de José Luis Lopez-Linares sort sur nos écrans le 26 octobre. A travers l'étude d'un seul triptyque, Le Jardin des délices, exposé au Prado à Madrid, il nous entraîne sur les traces du peintre le plus énigmatique de la fin du Moyen-Âge. A l’heure où Brice de Nice remet le couvert, avouons que ça détonne !



Persian Letters... Part 2!

Published by RBH (Nov. 2016)


Are you serious? You mean, you never knew that Candid, getting tired of retirement, eventually left his peaceful garden again? He went to Persia, where he first became the sex slave of a tyrannical master; afterwards, he was appointed Governor of the province of Chusistan, where he lost his leg. Are you telling me that you didn't read the second part of the novel?

Read the article.

Police des moeurs sous Louis XIV.

Publié par BRAIN Magazine (Oct. 2016) :

Le dernier numéro d’Enquêtes Exclusives vous a glacé le sang ? Prostituées de Pigalle, clubs échangistes glauques, fils de bourgeois qui s’acoquinent avec les wesh-wesh de Barbès pour vendre du shit, vous vous êtes dit que Paris, c’était mieux avant ? Mais non, vieux cons ! Crime, prostitution, jeu, alcool ou mœurs déviantes, un petit survol des papiers officiels de René d’Argenson, lieutenant de police sous Louis XIV, confirme ce que l’on sait depuis toujours : les gens n’ont pas attendu l’an 2000 pour s’enfiler, s’abuser et s’assassiner.

Lire l'article.


Rockers, le film ultime sur le reggae...

Publié par Slate.fr / Octobre 2016


Si peu d'amateurs du genre connaissaient le nom de Theodoros Bafaloukos (à gauche sur la photo), mort début septembre à l’âge de 70 ans, son film Rockers (1979) reste celui qui a le mieux saisi l'essence de cette musique alors à son apogée.


Et tout en bas brûle un soleil..

Publié par BRAIN Magazine / Octobre 2016


Pêcheurs, repentez-vous ! Car bientôt, «le quatrième ange de l’Apocalypse déversera sa fiole sur le soleil pour déclencher le pouvoir qui lui a été conféré de cuire les Hommes dans le feu et dans les chaleurs terribles». À l’heure du grand barbecue, ce feu brûlera vos entrailles sans les consumer, vous procurant douleurs et regrets éternels. Bon, ce point étant réglé, parlons logistique. Où donc recevoir toutes ces vilaines gens ? Rien que les démons sont légions - le tiers des étoiles du ciel, nous dit la Bible. Sans parler des pêcheurs qui, Dieu nous pardonne, n’ont guère fait défaut depuis la nuit des temps. (...)

Lire l'article


Daillant de la Touche, "Do You Have What It Takes?"

Published by RBH, Oct. 2016.

There are men whose silhouettes vanish in time,” writes Cristina Trinchero in the collective study La ricerca della verità. Jean_Daillant_de_La_Touche “That’s what happened to François-Jean Daillant de la Touche, who is totally forgotten today.” Well, not totally. First, some people like Miss Trinchero do remember him. Then, a few old books are still going around that testify of the tribulations of this “bel esprit” from the 18th century.


Paris and (the not yet) old books.

September 2016 / Published by RBH

Welcome back to the dark and smelly streets of the French capital in the 18th century, with the same guide, Mercier’s second edition of Tableau de Paris (Amsterdam, 1782)—but with a different focus. Let's talk about what really matters, books when they were not old yet.

Read the Article

Une photo rare de Bob Marley qui raconte bien des choses

September 2016 / Published by Slate.fr

Une photo (presque) inédite et iconique de Bob Marley en Éthiopie, la terre sainte rasta, vient de reparaître au grand jour comme l’avant-garde d’une biographie annoncée. Histoire d’un cliché unique à travers lequel se révèlent les différentes facettes du mythe Marley.

Lire l'Article


Welcome to Paris! In the 18th century...

August 2016 / Published by RBH

 A few months ago, a team from the University of Lyon-2, France, made an audio reconstruction of Paris in the 18th century. Though captivating, the video lacks an essential part: people. Fortunately, a famous book renders the customs and lifestyle of the Parisians of the time. Let's take a walk in the dirty, insane and yet fascinating streets of the French capital on the edge of the Revolution. Your guide? The second edition of Mercier's Tableau de Paris (Amsterdam, 1782).

Read the ARTICLE


July 2016 / Published by RBH.

The Scarron Pamphlet
A Deadly Book

Would you believe that an unhappy book, nowadays insignificant and pale when compared to what we can say or write against our kings; that such a small book caused the death of several people?” asks Charles Nodier in his Bulletin du Bibliophile, in 1843. He is referring to one of the most famous pamphlets of the 17th century entitled Scarron Apparu à Madame de Maintenon et les reproches qu’il lui fait sur ses amours avec Louis le grand / Scarron Appearing to Mme de Maintenon, blaming her love affair with Louis the Great (A Cologne, chez Jean Le Blanc, 1694). A little deadly book, indeed! 

Read the article


June2016 / Published by RBH.

The Last of the Monks

A recent discussion with a few book lovers on social media ended up with the listing of the last known copy of an alleged extinct ‘edition’ on French soil: the rarest translation of Matthew G. Lewis’ The Monk—Le Moine. The only other known copy—with a prestigious provenance—lies on a shelf of the library of the University of Virginia. This is all about various editions and reversed engravings. 

Read the article


May 2016 (French) / Published by BRAIN Magazine

Le Black Panther Party, 
Une Révolution poétique

En 1966, deux Noirs s’appuient sur le second amendement de la Constitution pour descendre armés dans les rues d’Oakland, en Californie, afin de surveiller les «porcs» (lisez policiers). En quelques mois, ils font des dizaines de milliers d’émules à travers les USA et leur parti, le Black Panther Party (BPP), devient la bête noire du FBI. La réplique sera à la hauteur de l’affront. Mais pendant quelques années, le BPP règne au cœur de Babylone. Et les réactions à l’hommage rendu par Beyoncé lors de sa prestation au dernier Super Bowl prouvent qu’un «Nègre avec un fusil» reste une image insoutenable pour la blanche Amérique.


May 2016 - Published by RBH

or the Thieves of the 5th Republic

The economic crisis, the Panama Papers affair, and the many financial scandals lately revealed in France have weakened the current 5th Republic and generated a general discontent reminiscent of the Régence of Louis XV (1715-1723). The bankruptcy following the system of Law (the first attempt to impose paper-money) occurred in 1720. One year later, Louis-Dominique Cartouche was broken on the wheel. The police of the time, hoping to restore the authority of the Régent, turned Cartouche into a diabolical gang leader. But for the people of Paris, he was a champion of the Have-nots. The system had created a monster that would partake in its destruction. And it was foretold in a short play, Cartouche ou Les Voleurs, given in Paris a few days before the bandit was put to death.

Read the ARTICLE


Published by RHB  / April 2016.

François-Antoine DESRUES,
(Not) Just ANother Villain

Nobody knows about Antoine-Francois Desrues (1744-1777) nowadays. Yet, he once stood among the most notorious French villains. The story of his life even made it to the peddling books—some small and attractive books that dealt with nothing but bankable topics—at the turn of the 19th century. He was just another villain, who had murdered a woman and her son to rob them. But was he as hated as some publications pretend? And how come so many engravings linked to his petty crimes were printed? Looks like all these suspicious details lead us to... the police of books.

Read the Article


FRENCH / Publié par BRAIN, Avril 2016.

L'Art du Duel,
Tu Veux ma gravure ?

Qui n’a jamais insulté son prochain au volant ? Regardé de travers un passant innocent, jusqu’à le défier d’un terrible « tu veux ma photo ? ». Ces altercations peu glorieuses portent rarement à conséquence. Pourtant, fut un temps en France où la moindre anicroche se réglait en champ clos ou derrière un buisson, l’arme à la main et l’honneur en bandoulière. 

Lire l'article


Published by RBH, March 2016.

Dr Charron,  
Barking Fools.

In 1783, Jean-François Bastien put out an edition of Pierre Charron’s De La Sagesse,, arguing that all former editions (including those of the Elzeviers) had been incorrect and unfaithful to the first edition of 1601 ; mostly because they were “incorrect and inaccurate”—so he says.
Read the ARTICLE


Publié par BRAIN Magzine, February 2016.

Lynchages  pastoraux et cartes postales du Sud galant des Etats-Unis

Si l’on reconnaît un arbre à ses fruits, que dire de ces peupliers des États du sud des États-Unis qui, entre 1877 et 1950, donnèrent près de 4 000 « fruits étranges » à la peau noire ? Lynchés au cœur de ce «Sud galant» par des foules furieuses et hilares, ils ont vécu un calvaire immortalisé par des clichés saisissants. Ces scènes «pastorales», chantées avec douleur par Billie Holiday en son temps, s’avèrent insoutenables ; moins, peut-être, à cause des cadavres mutilés qu’elles représentent, que du faciès ravis des spectateurs qui posent devant l’objectif.

Lire l'ARTICLE sur Brain Magazine


Published by RBH, February 2016.

The Creation of a Monumental Catalogue

Exceptional sales require exceptional catalogues. On your coffee table, weighing 6 pounds, being several hundred full colour pages thick and more than 10 inches tall, here is the catalogue of the first sale of the Pierre Bergé sale!

Read the ARTICLE.


Published by RBH January 2016.

The Golden Calf - the first Pierre Bergé sale

The Golden Calf (Nicolas Poussin)

The first sale of Pierre Bergé’s collection was a success as it generated 11.7 millions euros. But are the exorbitant prices of these books a good omen for the future of old books?

Read the ARTICLE at RBH.


Published by RBH December 2015.

The Sun Shines For the Devils

Sinners, repent! Or thou shalt burn in a fire that will forever consume without destroying thee, thus leaving thee to suffer eternal pains and remorse in a giant barbecue. Now, this being said, let’s talk about logistics. Which place on Earth could possibly hold the numerous fallen angels and the countless sinners among mankind? A huge underground cave, probably. No, objects Tobias Swinden in his book An Inquiry Into the Nature and Place of Hell published in 1741 (London), as this place is of pure water. Furthermore, it would be far too small. There is only one place Hell can be found, the body of the Sun.

Read the ARTICLE.


Published by Brain Magazine - November 2015.

William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid.
- Le "môme" Billy, Pour une poignée (de millions) de dollars.

130 ans après la mort du mythe le plus vivace du Far West, un cliché acheté 67 cents vient d'être estimé à près de 5 millions de dollars ! Mais s'agit-il bien du second cliché authentifié de Billy the Kid ou d'une arnaque au souvenir ? Les experts auto-proclamés s'affrontent à coups d'arguments un peu vaseux. Règlement de comptes à Pieds-Tendres Corral

Lire l'ARTICLE sur BRAIN Magazine.


Published by RBH - November 2015.

- Old Books On-Line, The Words of an eBay Bookseller.

Vincent Pannequin is a professional bookseller who closed down his physical bookstore, Dioscures, in 2013 to sell books exclusively on eBay.fr. A good move, as the last year of exploitation had been quite disappointing. Nowadays, his pseudonym Amaterasu55 (more than 3,000 sales and 99.8% of satisfied clients) is known among buyers, as his selection of books from the 18th and the 17th centuries is regularly updated with interesting books in good to very good condition.

Read the article at RBH.


Published by Brain Magazine - October 2015.

- Les Petites Bizarreries de la Bibliothèque Bergé.

Pierre Bergé se sépare de sa prestigieuse bibliothèque, au cours d’une demi-douzaine de ventes qui mettent déjà en émoi tous les bibliophiles de France et de Navarre. Petit tour d’horizon de quelques bizarreries littéraires.

Lire l'article sur Brain Magazine. (in French)


Published by RBH / October 2015.
- LOUISE LABBE, Head Corner Stone
The nicest known copy.

This is the kind of book that you’ll see once in a lifetime. Or, more likely, that you’ll never see in a lifetime. This is the fiery and disturbing testimony of a one of a kind woman, who lived in Lyon, France, in the 16th century, and whose sensuality—not to say eroticism—, gave birth to a masterpiece of French literature. Her name was Louise Labé, and her passionate poems keep on disturbing people almost five centuries after they were published, chez Jean de Tovrnes, in 1555. An original copy will be sold in Paris this winter, bound in contemporary vellum; it is said to be “the nicest known copy,” by the expert for the sale, Benoit Forgeot.

Read the ARTICLE at RBH.