Do keep your blog nominations coming on yesterday’s post. One thing Book Blogger Appreciation Week is showing me is how many new blogs there are! The old faithfuls – the blogs I’ve been reading for three or four years – feel to me a bit like we’re a huddle of parents at the schoolgates. Proud parents, of course. I just hope Stuck-in-a-Book can keep up, despite steadfastly refusing to have too drastic a face-lift! I’m always a little wary asking for feedback on the general direction of my blog, because I’m so overly-sensitive about creative things, but… well, I’m not going to make this a navel-gazing post!
Instead, let’s gaze at title-pages, and endpapers, and all those bits of a book which a previous owner might have scrawled on. Oddly enough, although I could never bring myself to write in a book (except in pencil) I love buying secondhand books with these inscriptions. Now and then I have vague intentions to collate all the inscriptions I have found in various books, but, of course, I haven’t done anything of the kind. And most of them simply say ‘To Margaret, love Elspeth’ or similar – a lovely memento of an unknown friendship, but perhaps not worth noting down at length.
But I couldn’t help sharing this one with you all. It’s in Llewelyn Powys’ A Baker’s Dozen, which I read and enjoyed recently, and will write more on later. That review may well descend (or, indeed, ascend) into a paean to the countryside. For now, we won’t go past the first page – on which, on the 15th July 1941, Peter (I think) wrote this:
To Swithin on his 26th birthday, from Peter
I assumed it was a quotation, but Google brings up no results. So, unless any of you can tell me differently, I think I must assume this was Peter’s own, rather lovely, little verse for the enchantingly-named Swithin. As my housemate Mel pointed out – his birthday is St. Swithin’s Day. Nickname or were his parents opportunists? And was he off fighting the war?
I’ve found lots of inscriptions in books before, but I think this one might just be my favourite. Any wonderful examples you’d got to share?