Friday, May 4, 2012

Don't you just love a book sale?

I've been to a book sale! Our symphony society does a fund-raising book sale each April, and it is a treasure trove of the unusual and often unattainable. And the prices! All the books below were $1.00, $1.50 and $2.00.

Except for Moule's County Maps: The West of England, which was $4.00. Which is still a fair price, considering this is a 9" x 12" hardcover with 48 pages and 19 full colour maps of the Britiain of 1836.

I already owned the complete County Maps of Old England, also by Moule, but The West of England version has two more town maps--Southampton and Exeter. For $4.00, how could I go wrong?

Then there was English Antiques: The Age of Elegance 1700-1830 by Donald Wintersgill. It is a 1975 publication, but right on target, datewise, and this kind of information never goes out of style.

French artist of the Revolution, Madame Vigee Lebrun has always been a favourite of mine, and when I spotted her Memoirs, translated in 1903 by Lionel Strachey, I snapped it up.

I got lucky also with books on English architecture. The Handbook of British Architectural Styles by David N. Durant is a nice compact little volume with delightful pen and ink drawings and a wealth of invaluable detail. And for every style it discusses it includes "Where to see examples"--very helpful for travelers.

A nice little Country Life book on Victorian Churches by Peter Howell caught my eye. It is part of their RIBA drawings series and is a good addition to my other books on English churches.

An obscure volume titled Local Style in English Architecture published in 1947 rounded out the architectural books. It is subtitled "An Enquiry into its origin and development" and has a serious, scholarly bent, but it's also stuffed with period photos, maps and drawings.

I was lucky enough to find two facsimile editions of interesting books, originally published almost exactly one hundred years apart.

Flora's Lexicon: The Language of Flowers by Catharine H. Waterman was originally published in 1860. It includes some unusual plants, and some poetry by long-forgotten poets.

The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith was first published in 1758 and makes fascinating reading. There is a Publisher's Note on the Contents page that made me smile: "Remedies and Cures included should not be used as they could be dangerous and a threat to health." No doubt they will find their way into my blog, or my tweets!

My prize for the day was published in its second edition in 1911. The first edition was 1898. Entitled Wit, Character, Folklore and Customs of the North Riding of Yorkshire by Richard Blakeborough, it was published by W. Rapp & Sons Limited of Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The title page proudly stated that it includes 'A GLOSSARY of over 4,000 Words & Idioms NOW IN USE'. This book appears to have been reprinted several times in the past hundred years, but my version is the original red cloth hard binding with the author and title picked out in gold on spine and cover. It cost me $15.00, but it's in wonderful condition, and I adore really old books.

I am working on listing all my research books (and a few other titles) on Goodreads these days--in the hope that they may be of interest to other Regency aficionados and researchers. You can visit my Goodreads here--I would be delighted to be friends with you. My 'bookshelves' are in the left hand column, and they are filling up as I have time to add titles.

'Til next time,



Anne Gallagher said...

Oh Lesley-Anne, I am green with envy. Drooling over your new purchases. I wish I could find such treasures at the local book sales, but I'm afraid, they're more into the civil war (American) here than English antiquities.

The volume of idioms must be glorious. I wonder if I could find it on Amazon? lol

Have a great weekend looking over your books.

Lesley-Anne McLeod said...

I think you might be able to find the Yorkshire book, Anne. I was surprised to discover it seems to be still around. My daughter and I actually went to the sale twice; they put out new books every day. We come home and gloat over our treasures and then try to find places to shelve them!

Shannon Donnelly said...

My favorite research books came from a used cook book shop -- Hanna Glasse's 1765 cook book and an 1815 edition of Household Hints by a Lady (Maria Rundell). They're real treasures and I cannot resist a good research book when it comes along.

Alison said...

Oooh, consider me much jealous!