Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Poetical Works of Lord Byron: Collected and arranged with notes.

The Poetical Works of Lord Byron: Collected and arranged with notes.  Hardcover book (leather) published by John Murray 1883, 824 pages with some black and white illustrations.

It wasn’t hard to spot this book amongst the many.  The impressive leather binding is more than a statement and the book was obviously bound to impress.  What is interesting here is that the binding does not appear to be original.  The book is, the cover isn’t.  It is definitely a later addition and the binder has put the date of publication on the spine… probably to further impress.  There are a few other copies floating around on the interwebs and they all seem to have different bindings to each other.  I’ve got some theories that I’d like to run by you.  Firstly the book may have been published without a cover or a very flimsy cover with the intention that it would be bound to an individuals personal taste and also to match other impressive tomes in one’s library.  This is the sort of thing that happened in the 1800s*… and less so in the 1900s.  Secondly, the book may have been bound but due to its age the binding has deteriorated over time and therefore needed rebinding. 

1883.  That’s a long time ago… a long time before an ibook or a kindle walked this earth.  Unlike the kindlibook, this book has a sense of history and grandeur.  It has an aura and a beauty, that is only possible with time… and a bit of heavy leather.  Sure it has some wear and tear, it’s 130 years old, but I find that this adds to the overall appeal and I think it would be a bit sad if it didn’t have some wear.  

When I look for books I always hope that I will find something special.  As exciting as a copy of Footrot Flats volume 25 is, it’s not as nice a book as this one… although maybe that’s a matter of taste.  Unfortunately I don’t always find a Byron, but that doesn’t stop me from looking.

*not always

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