There are two important book sales in my city every year. One is held as a fundraiser by the Symphony Society in April, and one is held by the University Women's Federation to raise money for scholarships, in the autumn. Both go on my new calendar in January, and I try never to miss either.
This week it was time to attend the CFUW book sale. And I found some gems. My prize was published in 1827! That means a Regency person actually wrote this book, and other Regency people handled and read it. That leaves me speechless...well, almost speechless. I haven't been actually speechless (according to my brother) since the first showing of Star Wars in 1977.
My 1827 book is volume III of The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England by Edward Earl of Clarendon. This history became quite a classic and excerpts from it have reprinted in various forms since its first publication. But this is an 1827 book--lovely rag paper, uneven handcut pages and a board cover. Inside in a clear, lovely script, in sepia ink is inscribed 'Belonging to the New Market Library No. D [or P?] 3'. Also inside is a penciled $75.00. Did this come from some antiquarian bookseller at one time? I paid $l.00 for it! A set of the original 7 volumes is priced at $1800 on abebooks.com
I obtained another very old book--one hundred years old, in fact. The Annals of the Strand: Topographical and Historical was written by the prolific E. Beresford Chancellor, and published in 1912 by Chapman & Hall Limited. This is a wonderfully informative book with some great period illustrations and two glossy foldouts of very early engravings.
My daughter discovered for me a copy of a book I had long heard of but never seen--Memoirs of a Highland Lady 1797-1827 by Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus. I'm looking forward to reading this; it is full of the day to day minutiae of a Regency lady's life. It was first published in 1898; mine is a 1972 John Murray edition.
Among my other purchases of fiction and non-fiction was a little book titled The London of George VI. It was published by Dent in 1937 and contains "Sixty-six Photographs and Descriptive Notes of London Scence to-day, with Routes from Piccadilly Circus". It's a wonderful view of London before the Second World War.
I must mention a purchase of more recent manufacture--1983--a slim book titled "Skye Remembered". With a name like McLeod, how could I turn down this book? It's full of historic photos of the Isle of Skye, in the main from the 19th century.
Next week, my friend Jana Richards will be visiting and offering us a change of pace and an insight into her World War II research for her romantic fiction. Please join us!