Sunday, 12 December 2010

Dopey me, dopey book

I must be getting old. Not only did I buy this book recently believing it to be a Penguin Handbook - which it isn't, even a superficial examination would have told me that, but I had been reading it for a little while before I realised that the plant on the cover was cannabis.

Since the book dates from the 1970s presumably the idea was the make it attractive to hippy pot heads. It does seem rather incongruous though on a book by someone who'd been writing gardening books since the early 1930s though.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Temps Perdu

Even though they are mostly perfunctory and quite dull (sometimes comically so), personal dedications can be a fascinating part of acquiring a second hand book.

They represent a frozen moment in time, a window onto an event long since passed and perhaps a past we can only guess at.

It may just be me, but they often seem a touch melancholy.

But this one from a copy of Garden Wisdom by Marion Cran seems to me hugely poignant

I haven't been able to work out the date of this book, but Marion seems to have died in 1923, and although she seems to have been incredibly well known in her time has faded from memory.
The book itself does seem to be posthumous, but doesn't carry a date, but does state “This book is produced in complete conformity with the authorised economy standards”, which to those ignorant on these sort of things (i.e. me) points to a 1940s vintage.