A Ship’s Library – Kinfauns Castle

Kinfauns Castle (Ship's Nostalgia site)

Found - a list of the entire inventory of a ship's library - Donald Currie & Co's Royal Mail Steamer "Kinfauns Castle"(South African Service). An interesting list, possibly intended to be comprehensive. There is a curious amount of William Black, then at his height, a sort of Victorian Dan Brown (so popular that in America his works were bootlegged.) Likewise there are 3 works of Norman Macleod, editor of the immensely successful Good Words and now so forgotten than he is not even known for being forgotten - although Sutherland covers him well in The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction. He is  part of a slight Scottish bias to these books (the list was printed by David Bryce & Son, Glasgow.) There is little for children, not many thrillers and not a lot of humour, although Twain and Brett Harte both make the list. Conspicuous by their absence are Trollope, Gibbon, Poe, Milton, Fielding, Wilkie Collins, Swinburne and R.L. Stevenson. Children had to make do with Froggy's Little Brother and possibly German Popular Stories. There is very little religion and no Holy Bible, possibly shipping magnate Donald Currie thought there was enough of that on land or that most people would have a bible if they needed one. The Kinfauns Castle started sailing in 1879 and this is probably from early in its life (it seems to have still been afloat in the late 1920s.) The list was pasted into book 10 Carlyle's Heroes and Hero Worship, attractively bound in full green leather lettered gilt at the spine with the words 'Castle Packets' at the foot -possible all the  library was bound thus..

South African Service

Catalogue of Library 
Donald Currie & co.'s Royal Mail Steamer
"Kinfauns Castle".

A. Becket's Comic History of England, 132.
Adventures of Verdant Green, 165.
Aylwards' The Transvaal of Today, 131.
Baker's Eight Years in Ceylon, 96.
- Nile Tributaries, Abyssinia, 97.
Ballantyne's Lighthouse, 87.
- Erling the Bold, 88.
- Lifeboat, 89.
- Six Months at the Cape, 90.
Black's Green Pastures and Piccadilly, 91. 
- Madcap Violet, 92.
- Adventures of Phaeton, 93.
- Macleod of Dare, 94.
- Princess of Thule, 95.
Book of Modern Anecdote, 86.
Boyd's Recreations of a Country Parson, 24.
Brassey's Voyage of the Sunbeam, 157.
Burnaby's Ride to Khiva, 146.
Burne's Poems, 19.
Bulwer's Historical Characters, 109.
Carlyle's French Revolution, 9.
- Heroes, 10.
Chambers' Stories of Remarkable Persons, 22.
Craik's, Mrs., John Halifax Gentleman, 53.
Creasy's Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, 79.
Cruickshank's Almanacs, 77.
- Omnibus, 134.
- Table Book, 135.
Cunninghame's My Command in South Africa, 129.
Dicken's Sketches of Young Couples, 1.
- Pickwick Papers, 28.
- David Copperfield, 29.
- Dombey and Son, 30.
- Little Dorrit, 31.
- Oliver Twist, 32.
- Tale of Two Cities, 23.
Disraeli's Coningsby, 25.
- Vivian Gray, 26.
- Lothair, 27.
Don Quixote, 23.
Dumas' Monte Christo, 58.
Drummond's Bygone days in Perthshire, 71.
Eliot's Romola, 125.
- Adam Bede, 126.
- Middlemarch, 127.
- Daniel Deronda, 128.
Elton's Travels in Eastern and Central Africa, 130.
English Dictionary, 34.
Farrar's Julian Home, 12.
- St. Winifred, 13.
- In the Days of my Youth, 68.
Forwell's Thousand Miles Cruise in the Silver Cloud, 101.
Freeman's European History, 3.
Froggy's Little Brother, 11. 
Froude's Short Studies, 3 vols., 14-15-16.
Gaskell's Mary Barton, 107.
German Popular Stories, 81.
Gillmore's Great Thirst Land through Natal, 70.
Green's Short History of the English People, 40.
Haliburton's Wise Saws, 60.
- Nature and Human Nature, 59.
Harte's Brett. Works, 123.
Help's Friends in Council, 2 vols., 63-64.
History of a Ship, 39.
Holland House, 141.
Holmes' Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, 2.
Hubner's Rambles Round the World, 113.
Hughes Brown's School days, 105.
- Tom Brown at Oxford, 106.
Hunting Expedition to the Transvaal, 80.
Ingoldsby Legends, 112.
Johnston's Africa, 145.
Jones' Life of Sir Martin Frobisher, 69.
Kingsley's Charles, Life and Letters, 2 vols., 117-118.
- Westward Ho! 119.
- At Last, 120.
Hereward the Wake, 121.
Kinght's Half Hours with the best Authors, 54-55-56-57.
Lamb's, Charles, Works, 20. 
Lawrence's Reminiscences of Forty three Years in India, 61.
Lever's Harry Lorrequer, 52.
Lockhart's Doubles and Quits, 75.
- Fair to See, 76.
Longfellow's Poems, 17.
Lytton's Last Days of Pompeii, 48.
- Caxtons, 49.
- Night and Morning, 50.
Macaulay. Selections from his writing, 82.
Macdonald's Alec Forbes of Howglen, 103.
- St. George and St. Michael, 104.
Mackay's One Thousand and One Gems of English Poetry, 85.
Mackenzie's 19th Century, 78.
Macleod's Dr. Norman, Life, 65.
- The Staling, 6.
- Highland Parish, 7. 
- Old Lieutenant and his Son, 8. 
Macrae's Americans at Home, 41.
Mark Twain's Humorous Works, 73.
Markham's Great FrozenSea, 74.
Marryat's Jacob Faithful, 111.
Motley's Dutch Republic, 62.
Oliphant's Carita, 98.
- Curate in Charge, 99.
- Young Musgrave,, 100.
Our Blue Jackets, 5.
Percy Anecdotes, 66.
Prescott's Mexico, 114.
- Peru, 115.
Punch. 4 vol., 137-138-139-140.
Ramsay's Scottish Life, 4.
Russell's Prince of Wales Tour in India, 136.
Scott's Sir . Guy Mannering, 159.
- Kenilworth, 160.
- Woodstock, 161. 
- Waverley, 162.
- Bride of Lammermoor, 163.
- Old Mortality, 164.
Shakespeare, 84.
Sibree's Madagascar, 142.
Silver's Handbook of South Africa, 21.
Smedley's Frank Fairlegh, 116.
Smiles' Character, 36.
- Self Help, 37.
- Thrift, 38.
- Edwards, the Naturalist, 149.
- George Moore, 150.
Stanley's Dark Continent, 124.
Stretton's Children of loverly, 35.
Sydney Smith's Wit and Wisdom, 18.
Tales from Blackwood, 6 vol., 42-43-44-45-46-47.
Tennyson's Poetical Works, 72.
Thackeray's Virginians, 151.
- Newcomes, 154.
- Roundabout Papers, 153.
- Philip, 154.
- Pendennis, 155.
- Vanity Fair, 156.
Valentine Vox, 122.
Verne's, Jules, Exploration of the World, 144.
- Michael Strogoff, 148.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, 147.
Walford's Pleasant Days in Pleasant Places, 102.
Wallace's Russia, 133.
Warren's Diary of a late Physician, 67.
Waterton's Essays on Natural History, 158.
Warburton's Crescent and Cross, 108.
Wilson's Professor, Tales, 83.
Wood's Lady Adelaide, 110.
Wylde's My Chief and I; or, Six Months in Natal, 143.
Yonge's Heir of Redcliffe, 51.
Keith Johnston's Handy Royal Atlas.

2 thoughts on “A Ship’s Library – Kinfauns Castle

  1. James Tabb

    A great find. I would think that RLS is absent because in 1879 or thereabouts he had not published any of his major works. As for thrillers you have Mrs Oliphant and William Black's Strange Adventures of a Phaeton. By the way he was another Scot!

  2. Mike Warman

    There were two Kinfauns Castles. The ship illustrated here, and most likely owner of this list (nice find), was built in 1899 for the Castle Line and transferred to Union Castle on the amalgamation of the two companies in 1900. She was scrapped in 1927.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *