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Death of an Old Book

No!

I know that autumn is a time of endings and fading away, but my 19th century collection of Rabbie Burns' works?

All right so it had lost its entire front and back cover plus the spine, it had sustained water damage and god knows what spores lurked in its unhappy pages, plus the lovely facsimiles of Burns' letters were torn (I hasten to add that none of this vandalism was my fault) but now, one of the cats, probably traumatised by the torn up garden full of strangers, urinated on it too thoroughly for rescue. What? I say what?

It was on a shelf! A cat jumped on to the shelf and disgraced itself against the poor old book? What? How does that happen?

It is the provenance, the stories around the book that I mourn, as well as the book itself.

Here then, is when it was first published:


And a close up:


Here are the words of the original giver:

And one whom, I suspect, wrote their dedication this century:
,

And here are bits and pieces of facsimiles of Burns' writing, William Wallace's coat of arms etc...








larians consoles me by saying I should pop down to the antique bookshop in Blackheath (a dangerous place if ever there was one) and see if they can find another copy. But first of all, I am thoroughly likely to spend silly money on some random old book I love, and secondly, it won't have the Eton story or Wook.

Farewell dear old book, and other book that sustained damage too - a book of Celtic fairy tales. Stories don't die, though bindings break and memories fade. There's still magic in it.

Tonight is a jolly with friends, tomorrow a wedding in a wood, tomorrow night, the England vs Wales team with more friends and Sunday... I have no idea. Recovery day I suspect.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
smokingboot
Oct. 7th, 2015 10:05 am (UTC)
Thank you jfs
I will remember that for the future.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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