Wool House Autographic brings this 1852 volume The Beauties of Bloomerism. The book was written by Deborah Dreadnought, secretary to the society of promoting ‘The Rights of Women’, and is illustrated with 12 likenesses of the committee members from the designs of WS Reed. Published by Ackermann & Co. The satire of the newly fashionable bloomers is available for £750.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It takes place at Hotel Ibis’ ILEC conference centre and features more than 100 dealers exhibiting a range of books and ephemera.

This event is a key part in the growing Rare Books London range, offering exhibitors a prime opportunity to access international clients and collectors. The PBFA event runs at the same time as the ABA fair.

“Everybody who’s anybody in rare books world descends on London for these two fairs,” says James Hallgate of Lucius Books.

“Nowadays, so much is done over the internet that it’s nice to put a face to a name and this is one of the best opportunities to meet a large number of dealers and collectors.”

It is one of 30 fairs that Lucius Books, from York, has in its calendar for this year. The event is an even bigger undertaking as the four staff coming down to London will also be manning a second stand at the ABA fair, attending auctions and, if there is time left over, going along to other book-related events.

Hallgate adds that since he started exhibiting at the PBFA event it has grown in size and scope, bringing in more international dealers and collectors. Among oversea dealers this year, expect Pablo Butcher (France), Voyager Press (Canada) and Dik Ramkema (The Netherlands).

Dealers from the UK include Jonathan Kearns Rare Books & Curiosities, CR Dennistoun and Lymelight Books.

Lucius Books holds back some of its best material for early June, but standing at a fair can still be an exhausting business. Hallgate says the trick is to eat a good breakfast and keep smiling – “you can collapse when it’s over”.