Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mrs. Oliphant

I came accidentally upon this book today by a Mrs. Oliphant. Ha! That's great!

But it's not a funny pseudonym as I had first hoped. Click the link to learn more about Mrs. Margaret Oliphant.

The other fun part about this book is the notes of provenance. Provenance, dear reader, is the history of the physical book - where it has been, who has owned it, etc. This one had a fun little history. There's a bookseller's ticket: R. Paggi, Firenze [Florence]. Then the inscription of Bernard Harrison, Florence, 1899. Then it was picked up by Franklin P. Waller, Paris, 1934 and boasts his rather attractive bookplate. And then somehow it got to Stillwater, MN. It is possible we bought it in England or Wales, but no one put his signature in it since 1934.

Therefore, friends, sign your books. Not only does it help to prevent acquaintances from permanently borrowing them, but it gives folks 100 years from now a little glimpse into the life of the books they come across.

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