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‘Given the way we live now,’ writes Robyn Annear, ‘it would be easy to suppose that newness has always been venerated.’ But as this wonderfully entertaining short history makes clear, modern consumerism is an aberration. Mostly, everyday objects—from cast-off cookware to clothing worn down to rags—have enjoyed long lives and the appreciation of serial owners.
Nothing New is itself an emporium: a treasure store of anecdotes and little-known facts that will intrigue and enlighten the devoted bargain-hunter and the dilettante browser alike.
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‘Enchanting…this book, like any good whodunit, rewards rereading.’
‘A ripping yarn with more twists and turns than a funfair hall of mirrors.’
‘[An] entertaining and insightful history…this book is a veritable treasure trove.‘
‘A comprehensive history lightened by quirky details and fascinating trivia’
‘Entrancing…[Robyn Annear’s] interest in cast-off clothes and other possessions is personal and passionate, and she gently, deliciously guides the reader through the history of second-hand.‘
‘[Nothing New] is Robyn’s adventure into our pre-loved past, a crate-crawl through public records. Rather than writing a history of who’s who, Annear goes underground to tabulate what was what, and how much it cost. Curling tongs and grape scissors, ivory fans and ormolu clocks – the book is a flotsam inventory, complete with quirky stories, and old words in a new light.’
‘[A] light, engaging read that anyone with an interest in history and a nose for a bargain will enjoy.’
‘Annear tackles her sprawling subject matter with her trademark wit and her knack for singling out the perfect historical reference. Nothing New is one of those books that will annoy the hell out of anyone who isn’t actually reading it because you can’t help but blurt out, ‘‘Listen to this bit’’.’