Also included, free, was a copy of WM Issue 58.
I look forward to reading it, has anybody else read it? I have an original copy but have only ever leafed through it.
If anyone sees another one for £10 snap it up, or email me at once!! I will happily take it for that price (or even let you take a wee profit!).
The US edition (Duffield & Green, New York, 1934) is nice but not so valuable or rare. Either way $255 is silly - but it won't seem so silly in a few years time, I reckon.
Canongate have held back the main release of the new edition to October but you can order now online from Royal Mile Whiskies who have stock.
Well done Ian !!!!!!
I already have a copy, otherwsie wild horses wouldn't persuade me to part with this one.
There was a copy of this book sold very recently for $255 (see earlier in this string - I tracked it down and then noticed it sold very quickly) and I paid £120 for my copy some while ago (tho' that copy does have a personal inscription from Christopher Morley which pushes up the value). This edition is collected (1) by book collectors (for the 'Briefcase Breviary' Henry & Longwell edition status), (2) for the connection to Christopher Morley (look him up!) and (3) for its iconic whisky status.
Anyone getting this under £100 is onto a bargain that will look cheap in a few years time. It's also a beautifully produced little thing. If you are tempted, don't fight it. You know it makes sense!
Perhaps I'll keep it.....
jmrl wrote:I forgot to mention the fine bit of detective work detailed at the introduction to the book which uncovered the author's true identity. There, that should seal favour when I place my order for Mr Buxton's Nettleton reprint.
I am also ready to place an order on the Nettleton reprint
If you notice, a good few posts ago, I predicted that this book was going to go up sharply in value. Well, about a month ago, there was a copy of the single chapter Henry & Longwell edition from 1930 on a rare books site at $450.
It was gone in 24 hours!
You were warned.
The most interesting thing about the content, imho, is MacDonald's eloquently-expressed contempt for the "the tasteless distillate of grain" and the "insipid charms of the grain-containing blends".
These Porpoise 1st editions are fetching good money now, especially with the lovely original jacket. There was one a few weeks ago on abebooks at about £300 but it's gone now. There is one there now, no d/j and slightly damaged, at £56. And several of the USA 1st edition at £130 and up.
Probably worth snapping the Porpoise one up quickly, even lacking the jacket and slightly damaged - only 1,600 were ever printed. A few years ago you could have found this for a tenner!
Ian Buxton wrote:He was a prophet (tho' without honour in his own country sadly) that's for sure.
No doubt there are many today who would call him a "whisky snob" for his championing of single malts over blends. Not me - I reckon the man knew what he was talking about!
... back in the day grain whisky could possibly of been used literaly traight from the coffee still and mixed with whiskey to create blends and that is why there was so much anti grain sentiment during those times or silent spirit as it was also known. It was rife in both the Scotch and Irish Whiskey in the late 19th early 20th centurys. A popular con was to use either unaged/little whiskey or grain whiskey and mix with prune juice to psss off as regular whiskey.
So it is understandable the purist stances of certian quarters during that time as also expressed by 'Truths Of Whiskey' a proganda book issued by the Big 4 Dublin Distillers of the era too.
But it's right to say that everything has to be read in the context of its time. MacDonald (actually a pseudonym for a fervently Scottish writer and journalist called Thomson) was writing during the Depression of the 1920s and early 1930s and he was concerned that a) whisky was in decline and this was a symptom of the wider economic and cultural decline of Scotland and b) that the almost universal presence of blends was killing off a sense of 'real' whisky and thus Scotland.
He was influential in the development of nationalist politics in Scotland. For him, whisky was part of Scotland's national identity and cultural heritage: a profoundly important and almost mystical thing. That is why the book is so poetic and lyrical in parts and continues to be relevant and appealing today.
'Truths About Whisky' is earlier but shares a sympathetic attitude to blending, though the abuses were much worse then and the Irish had other problems also. There was resistance to blending in Scotland but the influence of the Distillers Company (DCL) was so pervasive that these voices were seldom heard.
This string is getting quite intellectual, isn't it? Time for a dram I think.
"It was nothing short of a sin against the light to lump malt whisky with neutral industrial spirit as if it too were something to burn in lamps, to drive engines or to clean clothes."
Not a man to mince his words!
(and I'm sure the SWA would be happy to see that he refers to vattings of different malts as "blended malts" - which was, I think, quite common before the term "vatted malts" caught on during the second half of the 20th century )
I'm off to pour a dram and read some more.
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