Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In the Penny Press - part one!

A bit of nostalgia and a sobering warning in the Penny Press recently! It's the return of our old friend Edward Hyde, the first Earl of Clarendon (you remember him, right? He starred in his own post here not long ago, about which nobody at all left any comments at all), a beautiful gold-tooled edition of whose seminal work, True Historical Narrative of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England, recently turned up in an Oxfam book recycling bin in England - as the TLS po-facedly puts it, this "suggests that Clarendon's work itself is in danger of being forgotten."

Clarendon's work has, indeed, been completely forgotten, which is a shame. But the point of note here isn't the book so much as where it was found: a catch-all charity bin! Some of our readers actually work at such catch-all charity bins, and I make no secret of the fact that I myself patrol them as often as time permits. Not so much for the collectible items - as some of you may know, I have little interest in that province of the book-world - but rather for the sheer unpredictability of the venue. When I'm digging through huge canvas tubs of piled books at the Salvation Army storage unit, I'm on a treasure-hunt of an entirely more secular kind, but no less wondrous for that.

Never come across a gold-tooled edition of Clarendon, although I doubt I'd buy such a thing in any case. A Penguin paperback of Clarendon, if such a thing existed, now that's a different story ...


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