Blogiversary

One Year of A Most Agreeable Place

A Most Agreeable Place launched exactly one year ago today, so I’m just going to take a few minutes to mark the blogiversary. Interestingly, one of the only posts I wrote about a woman turned out to be the most popular: Mary Stewart, a clerk at T.N. Hibben & Co. around the turn of the 19th… Continue reading One Year of A Most Agreeable Place

Bookselling History

The Stationarii

Since starting my research about early BC booksellers, I’ve been curious about why they were so often called stationers. True, most bookstores of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries sold stationery products in addition to books (as they do today). But it turns out that their proprietors’ common title of “stationer” had a lot more… Continue reading The Stationarii

New Westminster

Carrying and Passing the Bookstore Torch: Henry Morey, Part 3

After a few diversions to show how 19th-century bookstores took part in the festive holiday season, I’ll now pick up the story of Henry Morey in New Westminster. Following the fire that burned out his store on Columbia Street in 1891, Henry Morey steadily rebuilt his book and stationery business. In 1895, he expanded into… Continue reading Carrying and Passing the Bookstore Torch: Henry Morey, Part 3

Victoria

Christmas at the Nineteenth-Century Bookstore

In Book of Small, her memoir about her childhood in Victoria, Emily Carr recalls the red cardboard sign that Thomas Napier Hibben hung in his bookstore’s window each December, its “Merry Christmas” message written with cotton wool. In nineteenth-century Victoria (as now, judging by the lineup at my local bookstore the other day), Christmas shoppers flocked to… Continue reading Christmas at the Nineteenth-Century Bookstore

New Westminster

Destroyed by Fire: Henry Morey, Part 2

New Westminster’s Henry Morey was in his fifth year of business as a bookseller and stationer when disaster struck on February 15, 1891 (1). At 5 a.m., live coals in an ash box suddenly flamed up in the rear room of watchmakers and jewellers Stirsky & Son at 715 Columbia Street. A patrolling police constable soon… Continue reading Destroyed by Fire: Henry Morey, Part 2

New Westminster

Henry Morey: Kicking off a Century+ of Bookselling, Part 1

When twenty-three-year-old Henry Morey established H. Morey & Company in New Westminster in 1886, little did he know that he was starting a bookselling and stationery enterprise that would, through a series of owners, last for more than a century. “Little did [Morey] know that he was starting a bookselling and stationery enterprise that would,… Continue reading Henry Morey: Kicking off a Century+ of Bookselling, Part 1

Books for Sale · Victoria

At the Bookstore, 1887: Bestsellers for Sixty Cents

While researching John Bowerman Ferguson and the BC Stationery and Printing Company, I came across this ad, which illuminates (albeit fuzzily) what readers could find on the shelves of BC bookstores in 1887: For sixty cents per volume, readers could walk away with now-classic works by Charles Dickens, Johnathan Swift, Victor Hugo, and Sir Walter… Continue reading At the Bookstore, 1887: Bestsellers for Sixty Cents