Thursday, 18 February 2016

A little bit of history

Do you like old books, I mean really old ones that you stumble across from time to time?

I have been delving into a few old books recently. Some I inherited when I cleared my late aunt's house and some, well to be honest,  I'm not even sure where they came from, but it must be through the family.

I thought it would be interesting to share a few with you on the blog.

* The Works of Shakespeare, has pages so fine they are like tracing paper and the print so small it would require excellent vision to read!  The cover is red and textured like leather and the edges of the pages are gold embossed. The only date I can find in it says 1916 which, if correct, would make it 100 years old. Amazing when you think about it.

                         

*The next one is  a copy of Stories From Grimm. This one is particularly precious to me as my late father's name is written in the front with a date of 12th April 1943. I suppose he must have been given it as a present. Sadly, it has obviously got a little damp over the years and some of the pages are quite fragile and stained. The paper, though, is much thicker than that of the Shakespeare above, and the print is larger. Looking through the pages I can see that punctuation styles have changed over the years. For example there are extra spaces between sentences and spaces before colons, semi-colons and question marks.




*Then there is a poetry book by Ethel L. Fowler called The Daffodil Poetry Book. It has a price on it of 2s and 6d. (old British currency pre 1971). Inside there is a library stamp from London dated 20th March 1929 (I guess it is probably a bit overdue now!). I was quite intrigued to read inside the front cover that: 


        "This book can also be obtained in cloth at 3s.6d. net. and in two Parts in stiff paper covers, 1s. each Part."

As a matter of interest I looked this book up on Amazon and you can purchase a historical reproduction. It says the poems are all pre- 1923. 



The verse inside the front cover, which I thought very true.


*Or, how about Philips' A.B.C Pocket Atlas Guide to London priced at 1s. 6d. It contains times of the coaches (the ones pulled by horses) and some restaurant recommendations. Sadly, I feel this may well be out of date now. A shame because I am visiting London this weekend and I could have taken it with me!




*A small and sadly, quite battered addition to my collection is titled The Farmer of Inglewood by Elizabeth Helme. This was found in the things belonging to my late aunt when we cleared her house. Inside there is a handwritten inscription. I can not read it all but I think it starts of with a variation of the rhyme, "Steal not this book for fear of shame for here you see the owner's name . . ." I understand it was quite popular to add variations on this rhyme to the front of books during the 19th Century.

There is a name, which I can't make out clearly, and the date 1864, Hough, Lincolnshire. Making this the oldest book I currently own.

Interestingly, a reproduction of this book is also still available under the same title but with the addition of, Or, an Affecting Portrait of Virtue and Vice.





* My final book for today is one of my favourites, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. This is probably a book most of us are familiar with. This is a hardback copy with some lovely illustrations by Harry Rountree.


I can't see a date in this book but a little research leads me to think it was around 1928. The cover depicts Alice as a 1920's girl.



Extract from The Lobster Quadrille



I wonder how long some of the books written today will last? Will they become heirlooms to pass down through families? Maybe we should all think about passing something down to future generations. I'm glad these examples survived the years.

Please note; due to commitments I will be unlikely to return comments until Sunday/Monday so no specific Celebrations post this week. 

Many thanks for visiting and happy weekend











24 comments:

  1. Yes, I love old books as well. Loved this post, Suzanne. We have a few old books on our shelves, too. Love the feel, the smell, the history. Now that things are digital, not sure this will last.

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  2. I agree, digital is great but it would be a shame to lose the physical copies. Glad you enjoyed the post, Karen.

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  3. These books are treasures! How lucky to have found them. (Oh, how I would love Philips' A.B.C Pocket Atlas Guide to London. Wouldn't it be fun to look up the neighborhoods depicted in the maps you show.) Enjoy your windfall. They deserve a special shelf in your bookshelves.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing them, Elizabeth. Thanks for the visit.

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  4. The really old ones are neat to look and read through, as they do seem to just be made better. More thought put into them maybe?

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    1. Maybe, I guess there weren't as many books either. Thanks for stopping by, Pat.

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  5. Some wonderful old books there, thanks for the reminder.
    Yvonne.

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  6. I like old books, they are real treasures, but sadly for me my allergy starts playing up when I spend too much time with these old books.

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    1. Oh that's a shame, Rachna. Hope you enjoyed seeing these here.

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  7. WOW!!! I love old books. We entered a book store while on vacation a few years ago and bought an old collection by Mark Twain. And my great Aunt gave us some real oldies that I love. You have some awesome books pictured here!!!

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    1. It's good to have a little piece of history in your hand.

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  8. Those are awesome books! When we were in New Orleans last year for vacation, I bought an old book at the bookstore across from our hotel. It was this perfect small size, and in French. Figured it was a good souvenir from there! =)

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    1. What a good idea for a vacation souvenir.

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  9. Thank you for sharing those beautiful books! I love old books We have a couple of them, which we treasure.

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  10. Hi Suzanne - great to see these books and to hear a little of their history ... I love that you've got them and I hope will keep them. Lovely selection .. and the quotes. I'd like to know more about the Hough book ..

    I've got a few here - but two given to me by my parents - I've passed on as 'treasures' to my god-children ... they are being treasured.

    I bought a couple of interesting ones last year - so I still get tempted!

    Enjoy London this weekend - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. London was good but hectic, we packed a lot in!

      I might try to find out more about the Hough book, I'll be sure to post if I find anything interesting.

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  11. Some of those covers and illustrations are wonderful! I'm afraid I have books that look like this - and not because they're 50 yrs old either. I'm kinda hard on books. LOL!

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    1. Books are meant to be read and loved so they are bound to get damaged over time. Thanks for stopping by, Lexa.

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  12. What a lovely post and I love old books too especially those when someone has taken the time to write something in them :) Enjoy your time in London and hope the weather is not too bad. Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

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    1. Thank you for your visit and kind words.

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  13. I love old books, and these are beautiful. I have several - I had some money for my birthday one year, so I went to a second hand book shop with the sole intention of buying old books. I got a couple on Queen Victoria, a (sadly not first edition) copy of Emma and The Sign of Four by Conan Doyle.

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  14. Awesome. I love those! I've got a bible dictionary from the 1800's that is so historically in depth, I'm baffled by it. I used to borrow Grandpa and Grandma's Fairytales Grimm books...without their knowledge. I LOVE the old ink press portraits.

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