Sunday, February 7, 2010

Look What the Book Fairy Left Me (6)

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to visit my mother in law for her birthday. She's recently moved into this 110 yr old house that was filled with untold treasures. Below you will see some of the treasures I was allowed to keep! I can't really think of anything better...

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)
My most prized find! It's seen better days, but is still in pretty good shape. The cover is embossed. Very neat!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1911)
One of my most exciting finds...

Helen's Babies by John Habberton (1881)
This is one that I've never heard of and haven't yet researched (I've since googled an apparently is was intended for adults but became a children's classic!), but the cover was so pretty I couldn't pass it up. The cover page looks hand stamped, and likely is. I am just in awe...

The Works of Edgar Allen Poe
Standard Classics (1933) Vols 1-10, embossed covers
Something I couldn't capture with the camera is the beautiful drawing inside each of the covers. I wish I could share.

The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson
Standard Classics (1930) Vols 1-10, embossed covers, includes Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde

Little Masterpieces 6 Vols (1901)
Includes volumes by Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne

World's Greatest Literature Vol 1 & 2
Spencer Press (1936) Last of the Mohicans by Thackery, Vanity Fair by Cooper

This one is a little worse for wear. It's in the worst shape.
The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1856)
AND! It has this awesome drawing of the author...actually most of these old books have this and it is very very neat!! There's a very fine peice of tissue paper separating the picture from the title page to prevent the ink from transferring.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1920)

Of course, I couldn't take pictures of ALL the books I got, but these were some of the neatest finds...There was also a book of Shakespeare's works from 1911, The Complete Poetical Works of John Milton from 1899 and many many more! And this doesn't even include any of the crazy old medical books that were left there by the man who built the home. There were books about insanity and surgery and all sorts of nifty stuff. When I went to visit my mother in law that day, I certainly wasn't expecting a treasure trove of books! It was so exciting for me being the bibliophile that I am. And yes, there were even a few tears of pure joy...I'm not ashamed to admit it! :)

Here's the old house built at the turn of the century 1900s. A doctor built the house for his growing family of 10 children! Only one of those children decided to marry and have a family of their own. One daughter remained living in the home until her death in 2008, this was the only home she'd known. She was a teacher, and these were her books. Thank you, Ms. Parker. (photo of her as a young woman below)
You can still see the old servants house out to the side. One side was for the cook, the other was for the gardner. It has been used mostly for storage for quite some time but still had the original fireplace mantels and old bedframes. There were countless other little treasures all over the place.
Next time I go I want to check out the cellar and the attic. I can only imagine what kind of coolness I may find!!


  1. Two words for that house: DREAM HOUSE....sigh. Well, you know I love the east coast and want to move there...sigh. And, that would be my dream house. Maybe a little color in the paint, but other than that, wow! And those books, my word, wow!!!! That's amazing, what a collection you have got there and it sounds like just a glimpse. Amazing!!!! The one called Helen's Babies or something is BEAUTIFUL!!! I would have grabbed it too. :) The others of course speak for themselves, wow. The Scarlett Letter with the red cover is beautiful as well. Amazing...

  2. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! I love these. Major score!