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Friday’s Snapshot … nice find!

January 23, 2015

Since the Collections Project in the library is all but finished, the delights in finding a little or big gems hiding in the shelves has gone. However, there are little pockets of opportunities, so me and another colleague remain hopeful and have an eye out at all times.  There has been an element of competition between us and this week my friend found a Yellow Back, to the untrained eye, it is a shabby and insignificant little thing, but a gem just the same. Yellow Backs as they are called now, were never meant to be kept among the fine tomes usually found in Special Collections or Libraries. They were in the late 19th century,  novels, poorly bound  bought in railway stations at the beginning of a journey and discarded at the end when read. So at the end of their publication and their destruction they became rare and collectable.  Not priceless perhaps, but a delight for me when the opportunities to find others are rare!  

2015-01-22 17.17.40

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Alastair Savage permalink
    January 23, 2015 9:04 am

    It all looks rather chaste to modern eyes, but I suspect this was rather a racy read. Peter Abelard was a medieval philosopher who was notorious for having a relationship with his student Heloise, an act which was avenged by her uncle by severing intimate parts of his anatomy. Their illicit relationship continued when Heloise was left in a nunnery and Abelard lived as a wandering scholar. The cover suggests some similar tragic circumstances.

    • January 23, 2015 11:33 am

      Oh!! I will have a quick read in my lunch break! If only I had a long journey planned Thanks for the new information!!

      • Alastair Savage permalink
        January 23, 2015 11:39 am

        If you want to read Abelard’s life you can pick up a copy of his autobiography in Penguin Classics. It’s called the Historia Calamitatum (the history of my calamities) and I think it appears in a volume titled The Letters of Abelard and Heloise.

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