Monday, April 08, 2013

Essays of Elia: My 'New' Antiquarian Treasure

Since reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I've been dying to get my hands on this collection of essays by Charles Lamb. This text sets the novel in motion and forges bonds between the characters. 

I fell in love with this nineteenth-century edition as soon as I laid eyes on it at a charming antique shop in Park City. Sadly I was jobless (ahem, broke) at the time, so fortune compelled me to leave it on the shelves. When I spotted it again during the Sundance Film Festival, I snatched it right up! When I saw that the book had waited for me to return, I sentimentally concluded we were literary soul mates. 

I haven't had time to read it yet, but I believe Charles Lamb would be perfect on a leisurely, sunshiny sort of day. As an animal studies fanatic, I'm especially anticipating the infamous 'A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig,' and I'm sure Lamb's other literary gems will also delight me. 

Behold! My new baby!

Floral cover

The book features no discernible year of publication, 
but the inscription dates from 1897:
Presented to Mattie Read by the Twenty-First Ward
Primary Association as a Token of Thanks, Appreciation and a
Memento of Feb. 18 and 19, 1897

Title page

'Mankind...for the first seventy thousand ages ate their meat raw,
clawing or biting it from the living animal, just as they do in Abyssinia to this day.'


Caroline Helstone said...

Squee! I love the floral cover - the Victorians certainly knew how to bind their books. I've actually got a Folio Society edition of his essays from the 1960's I think, from Keith Fawkes at Hampstead. They are a real treasure trove for book bargain hunters.

Diana said...

They really did. I love a good Victorian book; but then, I love just about anything Victorian.

Your Folio Society edition of Lamb sounds amazing!

Katherine Cox said...

How beautiful! As Caroline said, it's a real little treasure. :)

Diana said...

Don't antiquarian books make wonderful treasures? I'd say I'm developing a dangerous addiction, but there aren't any specialty bookstores nearby. I'm not so sure how I'd cope with the temptation, but I have a feeling it wouldn't be pretty. :)