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A Life in the World of Books

By (author) Frank Herrmann
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Plough Press, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Published: 20th Sep 2002
Dimensions: w 156mm h 234mm
ISBN-10: 0902813188
ISBN-13: 9780902813182
Barcode No: 9780902813182

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Kirkus UK
Frank Herrmann is a man of immense energy, optimism and imagination. Perhaps that is why, although his childhood was one of upheaval and new beginnings, he never looked back. He was born in Germany in the late 1920s into a well-off, part Jewish family, but by 1937 it was clear that the writing was on the wall, and the Herrmanns moved to England. His father bought a house in Hampstead Garden Suburb and Frank was sent to Westminster School. After the war, a brief flirtation with science behind him, he turned to his great love - books, and their production. Big changes were taking place in the publishing world and Frank had a talent for spotting ailing firms and seeing a way to make them viable. Once he'd set them on the road to success, he went on to another, and another, and another - some small and obscure, some famous and revered. Not content with this all-absorbing career he began to write: children's books at first and later more scholarly ones. Having grown up surrounded by valuable pictures and antiques, his natural love of such things drew him into this world too. He was asked to compile a history of Sotheby's, the art auctioneers, and became intrigued by this aspect of the art world, finally founding his own auctioneering firm selling rare books, which still thrives. Meanwhile, in 1948 he and his father had returned to Germany to discover what had happened to their two large properties - one a huge baroque castle in Bavaria, abandoned in something of a hurry. They were not entirely surprised to find Schloss Pretzfeld in a sad state, many of its treasures systematically destroyed, and they began work to restore it to its former glory and provide a setting for the pictures painted by Frank's grandfather Curt Herrmann, a celebrated artist. It's an interesting life story, shedding light on many of the social and industrial changes of the 20th century, and Herrmann himself comes across as a fascinating man - energetic, enthusiastic and always eager to try new things. (Kirkus UK)