That book I bought.

In which I bought a second-hand book & used it to make a point of sorts.

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This I suppose is the usual “Real Books v E-Books” thing, which tends to send even Mrs Trellis back to her “Heat” magazine with the vapours.

We went to a second-hand book sale in a church hall a couple of weeks ago. Clearly having “No Books At All”  in the house made this an important mission.

I picked up this book, identifying it as possibly interesting, unlikely to exist on Amazon and a nice book to hold. It’s call “Men Women And Books” by Leigh Hunt. (There’s a big piece on him in Wikipedia). It’s a collection of essays, journalism and short fiction and was first published in 1847.

MEN, WOMEN AND BOOKS

A Selection Of

SKETCHES ESSAYS, AND CRITICAL

MEMOIRS

FROM HIS

UNCOLLECTED PROSE WRITINGS

by

LEIGH HUNT

My edition came out in 1943 and was published by “Live Books Resurrected” about whom I know nothing. A scanned reprint  of Volume One only is available for silly money from Amazon.co.uk. My copy has both volumes.

It was printed in the War to strict economy standards.

Wartime_Economy

What this means is that it is printed on inexpensive paper and follows quite complex rules about words per page, margins etc. In practice what I have is a hardback book which is certainly more utilitarian in appearance than we’re used to today, but there’s this: the standard of proofreading & editing is miles beyond that of many modern books. I’m about half-way through and there’s not a single typesetting or spelling error, and I suspect the publishers & printers would have been very embarrassed if any were to be found, wartime or not.

It was originally given as a gift to one Mary Barnes by her Grandfather:

Hand-written dedication

Some handwriting!

I hope Mary Barnes enjoyed it. (I don’t suppose there’s the slightest chance that it was this Mary Barnes? No, I doubt it. The dates are OK but I’ve got nothing else).

How much less fun than this would have been a Kindle edition.

Thanks to the person who donated it at the Church Hall, who perhaps was a child or grandchild of Mary Barnes. I’ll look after it!

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