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The Book Scorpion: The Hampshire Bookshop's newsletter

The Book Scorpion, published by the Hampshire Bookshop, May 1921

The Book Scorpion, published by the Hampshire Bookshop, May 1921.

Long before the age of websites and blogs, The Hampshire Bookshop produced The Book Scorpion, “a galley proof published most irregularly.” First issued in 1921, marking the fifth annivers ary of the founding of the Bookshop, it took the form of a long galley sheet filled with news of the Bookshop and its wares, as well as occasional and often humorous comments by the Scorpion (penned, of course, by Marion Dodd). 

May 1921: The first issue of The Book Scorpion includes accolades from Robert Frost—You are one of the few bookshops in the world where books are sold in something like the spirit they were written in—and Smith College president William Allan Neilson—I regard the Bookshop as a very important adjunct to the college as a civilizing influence.

 

The Book Scorpion, published by The Hampshire Bookshop, April 1934

The Book Scorpion, published by The Hampshire Bookshop, April 1934

Oxford University Press corner at The Hampshire Bookshop

Oxford University Press corner at The Hampshire Bookshop

April 1934: This issue enthusiastically announces both the “Oxford Browsing Corner,” a section of the bookstore containing a large stock of world-famous Oxford University Press publications, and, the news that the Bookshop will now carry the full line of books by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 

The Book Scorpion, published by The Hampshire Bookshop, front side of April 1941 edition

The Book Scorpion, published by The Hampshire Bookshop, April 1941 (front)

The Book Scorpion, published by The Hampshire Bookshop, back side of April 1941 issue

The Book Scorpion, published by The Hampshire Bookshop, April 1941 (back)

April 1941: The 25th Anniversary Number features news of the third Bookshop-hosted Book-Author Luncheon and a long notice on the very recent death of Virginia Woolf . Marion Dodd writes about the “complete rearrangement of the interior of the Bookshop,” allowing for the addition of a print room upstairs and a bargain book section in the basement. Dodd concludes with comments about their 25-year milestone:

 We started in 1916, in the middle of the first World War, and end a quarter of a century in the middle of the second great War. Whatever we do to celebrate must have significance in the maintenance of ideals of liberty and freedom of thought for the individual by way of books.

The Book Scorpion, published by The Hampshire Bookshop, October 1947

The Book Scorpion, published by The Hampshire Bookshop, October 1947 

The newsletter in its later shape and size, as a stapled booklet.

The Book Scorpion: The Hampshire Bookshop's newsletter