Sunday, March 27, 2011


The Friends of the Library held their semi-annual book sale this weekend. I always like it when I get home with the books and discover traces of their previous lives:

David, I am sure, must have been a perfectly charming houseguest! Here are a few more of my favorite inscriptions:

The Old Dramatists: Webster, first printed 1857, picked up in a used book shop in University of Basketball town. Allan H. Gilbert, the meticulous annotator whose notes are at the left, was also the prior owner of my copy of James Shirley; a still older owner (John somebody?) has signed his name at the right:

The Diary of Mr. Pepys. I was also in grad school when I acquired this one, during the course of a delightful and impecunious summer wandering around the UK. Inscription at top left reads "HONOURS PRIZE SENIOR CAMBRIDGE (SCHOOL CERT.) 1930. Below Eric WR Warm's name is what appears to be his entire genealogy.

Sonnets from the Portuguese, bought at the Bruton Parish Church book sale in Williamsburg, VA, in 1997 or 1998. I find this one tantalizingly poignant, and have always wondered about the story behind it.

The Student's Catullus, bought secondhand at the Beloved Alma Mater's bookstore. (Unlike the others, I do in fact know the person who wrote this one. Ah, good times.)


Susan said...

I was always grateful that in college, the second semester of Latin was Catullus. A brilliant piece of pedagogy, in my view, as we all voluntarily read the racy ones.

Fretful Porpentine said...

We had to slog through a half-semester of Virgil before we got to Catullus. But perhaps that made the good stuff all the more fun when it came.