are now on sale at the iBook store on iTunes. Go  here to see all the titles made available thus far.

At present there are 16 eBooks are available to download, but it is envisaged that during the next two years 75 titles, all taken from the magnificent collection at the British Library, will be available to purchase.  I’m having to restrain myself, for I find I’ve already downloaded 4 titles…this could be ruinously expensive….but cheaper than ever trying to buy the originals( she writes to console herself)

For Jane Austen fans the treat has to be The History of England, Jane Austen’s manuscript book with Cassandra Austen’s illustrations, written when Jane was only 15 years old:

Not only are the books animated so that you can actually turn the pages, but some are also audio books. Touch the “listen” button and the page is read to you. The voice on the History is a rather chirpy female, who has delicious comic timing. I’ve yet to discover her identity….

This is a wonderful feature-especially if the manuscript as in this case- is sometimes difficult to read. You can also pinch and pull the pages to see closeups of parts that interest you.

One of the four (FOUR!!!) I downloaded  was The First Folio of Shakespeare’s works dating from 1623.  Apparently this eBook Treasures edition also includes several speeches from the play performed by actors using 17th century pronunciation, allowing you to hear the play as Shakespeare would. I’m looking forward to playing with this feature this evening.

The books available – which include Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Arundel, William Blake’s Notebooks,

Audubon’s Birds of America, Henry VIII’s psalter and the Tyndale New Testament are just fearsomely interesting For example, Henry VII’s psalter has annotations written in his own hand…

Oh dear…all this is not going to help my bank balance one bit, is it?