In Memory of Mark Weber

I deeply regret posting news of the death of my fellow bookseller and Churchill specialist Mark Weber on Tuesday, 21 June, from complications related to a stroke.

We shared abiding respect for Churchill and arcane knowledge of Churchill’s life as expressed through the medium of his words.  Churchill has always held my admiration for his ability to couple a deeply sensible irreverence and disregard for convention with genuine and humane respect, which he extended as readily to competitors as to friends.

Mark would not have called me a friend and it would be disrespectful for me to pretend otherwise.  Nonetheless, I spent so much time over the years poring (often enviously) over Mark’s inventory and catalogues that I feel I must have known him better than many better acquaintances.  And of course we corresponded as colleagues and fellow specialists.

When you occupy the same commercial ground, you sometimes step on one another’s toes.  But you can’t effectively curse someone who shares the same first name as you, and I appreciated what he did.  Mark was a resourceful and enterprising bookseller for a long time before me.  Mark knew his stock well, and he knew our specialty as well as anyone.

With Mark’s passing I lose one of the few people on Earth with whom I shared this particular bibliophilic obsession with Churchill’s life and words.

I will miss our rivalry.  I will miss the conversations we did have about the Churchill canon.  Most, I will miss the conversations we will not have.

Cheers, Mark! May there be no shortage of books, bibliophiles, and Churchillian wit and mirth where you have gone.

2 thoughts on “In Memory of Mark Weber

  1. I first met Mark Weber about 15 years ago, at one of the ABAA Book fairs. He declined to give me his catalog, until his customers had received a copy; I was a little angry about that. A year later, I saw him at a London book fair, and apologized for any rude remark I might have made – he said he didn’t remember the incident and so it wasn’t a problem. We’ve been fast friends ever since – Sandy and I send heartfelt condolences to our friend Avril.

  2. I first met Mark almost thirty years ago and then had the great pleasure to meet Avril shortly thereafter. I had become a Churchill book and document collector and although we often ran around book fairs at the same time searching for the same material we always managed time together for a lunch or coffee to compare acquisitions. For me every minute with Mark was an opportunity to learn as well as to share thoughts both on books as well as life in the UK for an expatriate from the U.S. I was fortunate to be able to call Mark as well as Avril friends and although we did not see each other once they returned to the U.S. we remained in continuous email communication. He was always interested in how our son was doing in university in Boston and was proud of his accomplishments having met him when he was a young boy accompanying his father to one or more of the Sunday book fairs!
    On one or more occasion I saw him tell a fellow book dealer at a fair that a Churchill item being offered was priced too low and then offering a higher buying price! On the other hand I had to watch with admiration when we managed to be in the same book fair aisle and watching so many dealers going under their tables to show him books they were holding first for his inspection and possible purchase even though moments before they had “nothing” to offer to me!
    Mark was not only THE book dealer to turn to for anything related to Churchill but, more importantly, was always a giant of a gentleman. He will be missed by so many of us and we can only now offer our deepest condolences to his lovely wife Avril who was always by his side with her beautiful smile as well as her incredible intellect and knowledge. They were both friends to my wife Julie as well as myself and I will miss him for the rest of my own days.

    May you rest in peace Mark and may the Lord bring to Avril comfort now and always.

    Richard, Julie and Daniel Goldstein

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