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Some past events below:
Appraisal Day, Sunday, March 22, 2015, 1 to 4 p.m. at Chicago Rare Book Center. What's Your Old Book Worth?   Sign up for a spot when you get here on our sign-up sheet. $5 for each verbal appraisal, with a maximum of 3 books per person. 

Downton Abbey: Centuries in the Making. A program presented by landscape historian, Barbara Geiger at Chicago Rare Book Center.  Two dates, choose either one: Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. or Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. $12. Reservations: 847-328-2132, or email us at Refreshments will be served.

The real life soap opera began hundreds of years before Edith wrote her letter to the Turkish ambassador! Yet the aristocratic way of life that had evolved at places like Downton Abbey was nearly in ruins by the time we first meet the Crawleys in 1912. How did a few families come to own so much property?

Why did Robert's family need him to marry an American heiress like Cora?

Andy why do places like Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle in real life) look the way they do?

Learn about landscape designers, land ownership patterns, and inheritance laws that produced great estates like Downton, and why radical changes were inevitable.

A slide lecture in Powerpoint, about 50 minutes in length. Call Chicago Rare to register at 847-328-2132

Publication Party! for Woman with Guitar: Memphis Minnie's Blues. Sunday, October 26, 2014, 2 to 5 p.m. at Chicago Rare Book Center. Join authors Paul and Beth Garon for a book signing of the revised and expanded edition of this book, that includes much new information, new images, and an extended discography that includes digital formats. Paul Garon is one of the owners of Chicago Rare Book Center. Refreshments. Music provided by Memphis Minnie!

from the book cover: "Universally recognized as one of the greatest blues artists, Memphis Minnie (1897-1973) wrote and recorded hundreds of songs. Blues people as diverse as Muddy Waters, Johnny Shines, Big Mama Thornton, and Chuck Berry have acknowledged her as a major influence. At a time when most female vocalists sang Tin Pan Alley material, Minnie wrote her own lyrics and accompanied her singing with virtuoso guitar playing. Thanks to her merciless imagination and dark humor, her songs rank among the most vigorous and challenging popular poetry in any language."

"Woman with Guitar is a fascinating, thorough, and extremely valuable biography of one of American musical history's most vibrant and pioneering artists. As the first singer/songwriter/guitarist to ever reach stardom, the story of her life in music, on and off the stage, during one of the most important and formative periods of the origins of popular music, is an indelible, crucial window into that history." --Bonnie Raitt

"Woman with Guitar has been, since it was first published in 1992 and now with this new revised and expanded edition, still the only real definitive biography of Memphis Minnie, the most important female singer, songwriter, and guitarist in the history of Delta blues." --Lucinda Williams

"As a most ardent and devoted lifelong fan of Memphis Minnie and her music, I avidly devoured the original Woman with Guitar when it first came out in 1992. Now I am excited to be reading this new edition, and so grateful for its additional rare photos and carefully researched details, which shed even more light on this seminal, iconic, almost mythical musical pioneer, who was way ahead of her time, and whose soulful music and life so deeply inspired and influenced so many! A must read -- whether you are already a Memphis Minnie fan or just discovering her for the first time!"  -- Maria Muldaur

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 12:00 p.m to 5 p.m. in Hyde Park, Chicago
Children's Book Fair 2014, Nichols Park, 55th Street and Kimbark. Activities, Stories, Music, Dance, Books For sale!

Chicago Rare will have tables set up there with many inexpensive kid's books for sale. In case of rain, the fair is held on site in the field house. Always a fun time!


Sunday, May 18, 2014, 3:00 p.m. at Chicago Rare Book Center
Jane Austen's Landscapers: Capability Brown and Humphry Repton.
a presentation by Barbara Geiger 

Reservations, please: 847-328-2132. Admission: $10. Refreshments

When Jane Austen's heroines stride across the lawn, or she locates a tryst in the shrubbery, master designer Capability Brown or Humphry Repton has created the scenery for her. Explore the projects and theories of these two eminently significant and influential English landscape gardeners. And discover the connection between their work and our approach to gardening today (hint: Brown designed the grounds at Highclere Castle/Downton Abbey in the 1770s).

Landscape historian Barbara Geiger specializes in 19th and 20th century naturalistic designed landscapes. She teaches in the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago Botanic Garden, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and other schools in the Chicago area.

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