Dummy Books for Duchesses

In the library of Chatsworth, the seat of the Dukes of Devonshire, are two doors disguised as shelves of books. The second one was created in the 1960s during renovations, and 28 book-backs were made by binders Sangorski & Sutcliffe, for titles like Reduced to the Ranks by D. Motion, Second Helpings by O. Twist, Dipsomania by Mustafa Swig, and The Battle of the Bulge by Lord Slim. The last volume was Book Titles by Patrick Leigh Fermor, in honour of the inventor of the titles. They were suggested to the Duchess in a letter from Fermor from Euboea dated February 1964. This was published in 2008 ( In Tearing Haste) by John Murray. Among  PLF's other candidates were:

          Knicknacks by  Paddy Whack
          Nancy Mitford & her Circle by Juno french
          Minor Rodents by Aygood-Mausser
          A Tommy in the Harem by Private Parts
          First Steps in Rubber by Wellington
          Flags of the Nations by Bunting
          Will Yam Make Peace? by Thackeray
          Consenting Adults by Abel N Willing
          Where the Hormones...by Christine Keeler  
          Venus Observed by I. Sawyer
          Intuition by Ivor Hunch
          Alien Corn by Dr. Scholl
          March Days by A. Hare
          Creme de la Creme by Devonshire
          K-K-Katie by Kay Stammers
          On the Spot by Leo Pard
          Humble Pie by J.Horner
          The Shaking Hand by Master Bates 
          Ruined Honeymoon by Mary Fitzgerald and Gerald 
          The Day After Gomorrah by Bishop of Sodor and Man
          Call me X by Anon
          Pardon Me by Belcher
          Weather in the Streets by Omega Losches
          Haute Cuisine by the Aga Khan 
          The Babies Revenge by Norah Titsoff
          The Cat's Revenge by Claude Balls

Patrick Leigh Fermor confesses he has a soft spot for the rude ones 'though they're not your style.' Might follow up with more garnered from books, recommendations and the web. The most famous is, of course, Rusty Bedsprings by I.P Knightly. There are manufacturers of dummy bookshelves, mostly providing classic titles like the two vols below by one Ernest Hemmingway...

2 thoughts on “Dummy Books for Duchesses

  1. Pol Rich

    The Hemmingway binding is a pretty bad mistake. Meanwhile Here's a few more:—
    You’re Kidding!  by  Shirley U. Jest
    Transportation in the Middle Ages  by  Orson Cart
    The Effects of Alcohol  by  Sir Osis of Liver
    Songs From “South Pacific”  by  Sam and Janet Evening
    Broken Window  by  Eva Brick

    Ambulance Driving  by  Adam Muhway

    No more please!
    Fancy a Lift by Fiona Jag Fine

  2. R.M.Healey

    What about:
    How to get rich quickly by Robin Banks
    Exploring old Hong Kong by Rick Shaw
    My unhappy life by Miss Fortune
    Self Abuse by Wayne King.


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