Qty:1
  • List Price: $35.00
  • Save: $10.37 (30%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Tuesday, April 22? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by kaitlyns
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good Condition - Inside is clean and unmarked - Outside shows moderate shelf/reading wear - Please see our feedback!
Add to Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $2.60
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

The Secret Museum: Some Treasures Are Too Precious to Display... Hardcover


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$24.63
$18.30 $15.98

Frequently Bought Together

The Secret Museum: Some Treasures Are Too Precious to Display... + Secret New York - An Unusual Guide: Local Guides by Local People
Price for both: $39.74

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books; First Edition Thus edition (September 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770852573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770852570
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A boundlessly fascinating inventory of sixty never-before-seen "treasures too precious to display," culled from the archives and secret storage locations of some of the world's top cultural institutions. (Maria Popova Brain Pickings.com 2013-09-30)

The Secret Museum is a collection of stories, not only of 60 strange and interesting objects but also of the museums that house them and the collectors and curators who care for them. (Oldfield) shares her enthusiasm for rare, forgotten, nostalgic, grisly, and beautiful objects... She has a knack for finding little-known stories, such as the history of Vladimir Nabokov's butterfly collection or exactly how fragile space suits are stored... Each entry can be understood on its own, so the volume is a pleasure to dip into... An excellent work for any museum or library patron, younger reader or adult, who is a history buff. (Jessica Spears, Monroe College Library, Bronx, NY Library Journal 2013-12-15)

Those who love secrets, museums or just a twisty tale of the entirely true variety will enjoy The Secret Museum. (Aaron Blanton January Magazine 2013-11-18)

A treasure in itself, Oldfield's book entices readers to discover a wide variety of little-known and rarely seen artifacts that lie hidden away in vaults, warehouses and archives in zoological, anthropological, scientific, historic, literary and artistic museums around the world. In her travels, she connects with experts who provide the context needed to make the treasures come alive. In her very readable, enthusiastic, and often amusing style, Oldfield describes each discovery in a way that takes it from a formal introduction to an intimate encounter... Oldfield introduces readers to objects few people outside of researchers and curators will ever see. Because of security risks, fragility, size, pricelessness or the need for a controlled environment, unless specifically ferreted out, these treasures will remain unknowns. Oldfield's collection is an absolute must for anyone with a nose for secrets and treasures. (Publishers Weekly Web Exclusive 2013-10-28)

About the Author

Molly Oldfield, who considers herself a museumphile, has been a writer and researcher for the landmark BBC1 program QI (Quite Interesting), presented by Stephen Fry. She writes a weekly QI column in the Saturday Telegraph and researches QI's sister Radio 4 program, The Museum of Curiosity.


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Morgan on May 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This could have been so much better. Riding on the huge current interest in museums the book sets out to explore the not very surprising fact that most museums do not have all their holdings on display. It then looks at some of these 'treasures'. Unfortunately neither the book's publishers nor the author were very clear about the audience for this work. So while its content can be 'adult' eg Nabokov's collection of butterfly penises - the whole thing is written in an irritatingly child-like style which went out of fashion with Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia.

The design of the book is appalling. Each chapter is preceded by a gushy brief intro printed in a range of fonts - a style which would embarrass a high school project. The one thing which could have lifted the book - its illustrations - are remarkably bad. Aside from their amateurishness they are reproduced in such a small size as to be pointless. ( I'm talking about the hardback here) On a Kindle they are nothing but a smudge. The captions take banality to a new low. The author seems to have a genius for the trite.

The book could have done with some proof reading eg the last Great Auk in Britain was killed in either 1840 or 1813 depending which page you read.

The didactic urge is strong in all of us but here it seems to be allied to a strong belief that the reader - child or adult - must be spoken down to. The writer is a researcher for the television show QI and something of that show's assumption of superiority may have rubbed off.

Not a complete waste of money but close to it. I would strongly recommend a potential buyer to go to Neil MacGregor's A History of the World in 100 Objects for an example of how this sort of thing can be done well.
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Mogford on August 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Got this book becuase I really like the QI factoid Christmas type books. At first I thought it might be too arty, but actually it is full of fascinating information. You read about one object, then think, I'll just investigate one more... Favourite chapter so far -- learning about draft 1 of Matilda in the secret archive of the Roald Dahl museum -- what was included, what wasn't. You get more than just that info on one object -- never knew Dahl helped invent a valve that still helps children with brain injuries today. Anyway, put it by your bedside and annoy whoever's beside you because you won't want to switch the light off. Excellent read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By clem1376 on August 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Opening the glittering cover of this wonderful book feels like stepping inside one of the museum archives that Molly Oldfield describes so evocatively. And beneath the cover, there are so many treasures on display. What I love about this book is not just the objects that Molly has chosen - fascinating in themselves - but the stories that she weaves around them - whether of the curators guiding her through dusty archives, or the wider significance of these objects in the world, or the feelings that seeing the objects provokes in her. This creates a book full of such richness and personality, that it should be on every bookshelf.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Osev on June 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It is rare to find a book that engages and enlightens as this one does. Molly Oldfield not only unearths undisplayed treasures, she makes them accessible to everyone, filling what could have been inert dry objects with life and human feeling. Each object examined is surrounded by stories and characters, from their devoted curators to the histories of accompanying artefacts. The stories in each chapter, sometimes tragic, sometimes joyful, give us a powerful sense of the richness and texture of centuries of human civilization. If you are looking for an academic treatise, there are suitable alternatives; if you are looking for something glossy to leave open on your coffee table to impress your friends, this maybe isn't for you. If you are looking for something to inspire you with the warmth of its writing and the passionate curiosity of its author, I strongly recommend The Secret Museum. If we are lucky, Oldfield will find the time to bury herself in a hundred more museums across the world - and allow us to broaden our understanding of the world by sharing her findings with us.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike G on November 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought this would be a fantastic books to highlight treasures that regular folk (like myself) would never be allowed to see. Unfortunately, this book let me wanting more - but not in a good way. The author does go through and describe pieces, but for some of them, not having an actual picture of the object made it extremely difficult to visualize the artifact. In addition, some pieces don't really seem to be all that interesting, or at least the author was unable to draw out the significance of why that specifically chosen piece would be worth dedicating a space for. A couple of the selections seemed so uninteresting that I wouldn't go see them even if they were on display at the local museum.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stig Goblin on August 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I like books. Simple as that. I like e-books and my Kindle makes life easier when I'm on the move. But I like proper, old-fashioned printed books even more. And every so often, one comes along that is so beautifully produced that it could never, ever be as lovely made from pixels. Molly Oldfield's 'The Secret Museum' is one of them.

It's lavishly illustrated with drawings and photos, the layout is beautiful and it stinks of quality. That extends to the content too - primarily why I bought the book, of course. It describes a fascinating cabinet of curiosities brought blinking into the light from out of the dark, secret rooms at the back and below the public areas of museums; 60 extraordinary treasures like Francis Crick's first doodle of the structure of DNA (Object 10), Livingstone's and Stanley's hats (Object(s) 30), the tools that once belonged to Queen Victoria's dentist (Object 51), and Nabokov's butterfly genitalia cabinet (No, really, it's Object 12). Every chapter shows us something that we'd otherwise never see. And every item, in some way, marks a moment in history when art or science or discovery took a step forward.

This is one of the nicest books I've seen and read in a very long time. If you can afford it, get the hardcover now. While I'm sure any future paperbook or e-book edition will be quite splendid, they won't be quite as good as this edition. If, for no other reason, because this book is just about heavy enough to swat away an angry Exu (Object 29).

Very probably, one of the best books I'll buy this year.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa49d9d20)