Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Three Old Books

Three old book were recently rediscovered in the Boulton house and each has an interesting history.  

This copy of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is from 1897 and was presented to Randy's grandmother the next year from Milton Sunday School when she was 14 years old.  It must have been a valued possession as it crossed the Atlantic with Elsie Bushby in 1913.  The book was first published in in England in 1865.  Wikipedia says it has never been out of print since and has been translated into at least 174 languages and subject of many adaptations in theatre and film.  This one (in much better condition) is offered for sale on Abe Books for over $400.00!


The oldest of the three is the book pictured below simply called Church Services on the spine.  It has metal frames around the front and back covers and seems to have closed with a metal clasp that is missing.  The Anglican Book of Common Prayer has been published in many forms since 1549 according to Wikipedia.  

I needed some help to read the Roman Numerals on the date at the bottom of the title page - M.DCCC.LVII  both because of the teeny font size and because I could hardly believe it was from 1857!

The inscription below confirms the age since the book was presented to Anthony Boulton from his mother's sister his Aunt Abigail Boulton later Kendrick (1842-1930). Of course I don't know for sure but I imagine her giving it to her twelve year old nephew as he and his family left Ontario for the wilds of Manitoba as a way to keep their religion in the absence of churches and clergy. 

The third book has a colourful cardboard cover and the inscription tells us Uncle Frank received it for Christmas when he was 14.  I had to look up the word "Prefect" and found in the Cambridge dictionary that it is "(in some countries) a very important official in the government or the police" 

Goodreads has an online review of the book from 1923 but the surprising thing I found there was about the author, Winnifred Darch.  She was born in 1884 in Brighton, England - the same year and area as Frank's mother Elsie.  Winnifred was a teacher and wrote many children's novels.  She has a plaque in her memory in Loughton that you can see here.  I imagine that she was an acquaintance, if not a friend to Elsie so the book was special to her.  

These books were each kept for a reason and I enjoyed finding out the stories behind the books!

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