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This report is taken from PN Review 234, Volume 43 Number 4, March - April 2017.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
I BECAME A MEMBER of the Folio Society in the late 1950s, when you signed up to purchase a minimum of four volumes from the annual list and received a bonus book into the bargain. Charles Ede, who (with Christopher Sandford and Alan Bott) launched the society in 1947, when the book trade was still in austerity mode, must have had in mind people like me. Inspired by the sumptuous library of Professor Gwyn Jones at Aberystwyth, which I viewed with awe whenever I dared raise my eyes from Beowulf, I wanted a shelf of fine-looking spines to call my own. I relished every Folio Society classic I received, and the free gifts, often profusely illustrated essays on historical themes, were equally desirable. On the basis of what had become, after a shaky start, a commercially successful venture, in 1960 Charles Ede started Collectors’ Corner as a branch of the Society. You applied, via your membership, to receive catalogues of original prints, drawings and watercolours, antiquities, manuscripts, early maps, rare books and so on. I had no idea that it was possible to buy genuine art and historical objects, many of surpassing interest and beauty, over the counter, or at least by Royal Mail (postage and packing free!). I was a little slow off the mark, but by 1966 was certainly on the mailing list. Many of the catalogues I received have disappeared over the years, but I still have a bundle of them, starting with number xxxix, which I look over from time to time, my interest tinged with regret. With a modest income from teaching, and family commitments, my ...


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