Saturday, 10 March 2007

Buying Books

Today was the day of the big second hand book sale in Peebles, an annual event with all the money raised from the sale going to charity. Needless to say, I can't resist books and now that I'm using old books as part of my collages they have become even more "must have". I found 2 amazing books on etiquette, dating from the 19th C, a book of ballads, which I think is even older, an ancient Scottish romantic novel and 3 issues of Punch magazine dating from the 1930's. The adverts alone in these magazines are priceless. I only spend £15 on a total of 10 books and I'm hoping to persuade myself to start cutting into them. Mind you, the red book on ballads will probably remain intact, it's simply too delicious!!

The following is a quotation from one of the etiquette books, just to give you a taste of the amazing content:

"the dinner question is one which has occupied the thoughts and been the serious study of mankind form many generations"

I never knew that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And of course, there are exemples of letters to write for every occasion, such as warning your daughter not to marry a spendthrift:

" Into what misery are you rushing! Recall those words, I beseech you, and do not tell me you have given your affections to a spendthrift - a man who has wasted his substance in riotous living. His brilliant conversational powers and devotion to yourself may have enchained your fancy - but it is not LOVE that you feel for him : I will not believe it".

I wonder if she listened? My bet is, it made her want him all the more! Manners may have changed a lot in the passing centuries but human nature was much the same as it is now!
Here is a taster from the Ballad book:
When love is in her eyes
What need of Spring for me?
A brighter emerald lies
On hill and vale and lea
The azure of the skies
Holds nought so sweet to me:
When love is in her eyes
What need of spring for me?
Her bloom the rose outvies,
The lily dares no plea,
The violet's glory dies,
No flower so sweet can be:
When love is in her eyes
What need of spring for me?
(Anna Maria Fay)
Interestingly this poem is apparently written by a woman, rather daring for 1887! Isn't it mouth wateringly gorgeous!! The little booklet is full of this kind of thing and I just love it. I know this book will probably remain untouched!
Finally I bought an old song book which led to John and me driving home in the car while loudly singing sea shanties and finishing with God save the King (which tells you something about the age of the songbook) It was such FUN!

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