Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sketches by Boz and Other Antiquarian Treasures

After looking over my post highlighting the National Book Fair in York, I realized I kinda sorta made it sound like I came away empty-handed.  That would be a lie.  I left the fair with a few treasures; never had I been so happily weighed down.  My discovery of the day was locating an 1861 copy of Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens, complete with the George Cruikshank illustrations.  Perfect timing, when one considers this was the summer in which I discovered my love for Charles Dickens novels.  I bought it for the bargain price of seventeen pounds.  Plus, it's red!  It's not in the best condition, but I love it all the more for these minor so-called flaws.  Funnily enough, this is the polar opposite of my reaction to new books, over which I obsess in order to maintain their pristine condition.  But I love this tattered Victorian book just the way it is. 

Gold lettering on the spine
Title Page
I adore the George Cruikshank illustrations
This depicts 'Vauxhall Gardens by Day'
The pages are ragged and weathered -- I love it!

Ana also thoughtfully bought a turn-of-the-century dog narrative for me: A Thoroughbred Mongrel by Stephen Townsend.  Originally copyrighted in 1899, my edition is dated 1905.  I love the old photograph on the cover.  Again, the fact that little bits of it are missing only serves to make it more endearing.

Finally, I bought another dog book.  In fairness, literary canines are related to my dissertation, and it was only six quid.  Do you see why I simply had to buy it? (Do you see how I'll simply use any excuse to buy a book?)  It's a children's story called Thy Servant a Dog told by a young pup called Boots.  Rudyard Kipling, the reader is meant to understand, merely 'edited' the text.  

I love this detail on the back cover

So, while the autographed copies and first editions must wait until a future (read, richer) day, I'm quite happy with these gems that have been lovingly added to my growing collection of books. 


Ashley said...

I love what you came away with!

o said...

Lovely! And it's funny, I was talking to Big C last night about these minor flaws. We were saying how much the price of a book is decreased with these flaws, but we both agreed that we loved them. Like, my copy of Clarissa - I haven't deliberately messed it up, but it's been carted about so much, plus it's hard to hold, which makes spine breaking inevitable, but to me, I think it looks beautiful now. Big C even committed the ultimate crime - writing in the front of it. I don't care about writing in books, I underline stuff all the time, but it being all messedup shows I've read it and loved it. And now it says "Read by the little o, November 2011". I haven't quite finished, mind, so I better hurry up with it so what he has written becomes true! :)

Diana said...

Ash, me too! Now I just need to read what I came away with. I always buy books faster than I can read them.

Diana said...

O: I love that! It's hardly surprising that a door stop like Clarissa has got a bit beat up. I remember the spine cracking with my first read of Byron's Major Works.

And I love the idea of leaving a little note about when you read it. Such a fun idea! I should start doing that. I can't wait to hear your final thoughts on that beast. :)