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The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read by Stuart Kelly

The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read

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Sue Baker's view...

One can’t – and doesn’t want to read everything but there’s reassurance in knowing that somewhere every book is stashed away and can be accessed but Kelly overturns that theory with his revelation of the huge amount of books that have been lost to us. Fire, war, stupidity and damage have done their worst and often all that’s left is a few lines, a quotation or even just the author’s name. Stuart Kelly, in a series of short essays has amassed an amazing catalogue of lost works, putting them in context, giving us tantalising glimpses of what might have been.

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Who is Sue Baker

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The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read by Stuart Kelly

The sequel to The Odyssey - Sylvia Plath's second novel - Stuart Kelly provides a wry and erudite account of books destroyed, misplaced, never finished, or never even begun - from ancient Greek and Arabic masters through Shakespeare, Dante and Hemingway right up to the present day. Described by the New York Times as 'an absolute joy ...a work of great passion, insight and scholarship', the breadth of Kelly's knowledge and his enthusiasm impressed critics in the UK and the USA.


'Lively and diverting'
The Spectator

'A fascinating anthology of writings, which will be quite new to most people and certainly deserve to be preserved'

'Clever and highly entertaining ... recall[s] John Aubrey's gossipy 'Brief Lives'
and Lytton Strachey

's 'Eminent Victorians' ... a many-splendored thing'

About the Author

Stuart Kelly

Stuart Kelly was born and brought up in the Scottish Borders. He studied English at Oxford. He is the Literary Editor of Scotland on Sunday and a freelance critic and writer.

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Book Info

Publication date

21st June 2010


Stuart Kelly

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Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General


416 pages


The Real World
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Literary studies: general



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