Another Jot from the loyal RH, scholar, idler, gent and swordsman. The book mentioned is a signed book of mathematics (sort of) from 1775 and not in the British Library but obtainable online as we speak, signed by the author, for a paltry $50.
A Scottish Seal of Approval
Remember those Edwardian newspaper ads for Dr Collis Browne’s ‘Chlorodyne’—a patent medicine that purported to clear up cholera and diarrhoea, but which would certainly not cure the former, as it contained mainly laudanum and tincture of cannabis, both of which, incidentally, would be banned today. Every bottle had Browne’s printed signature on it. Going a little further back, each label for Warren’s patent boot blacking bore the printed signature of its manufacturer, a fact to which the teenage Charles Dickens, whose job in 1824 involved sticking these labels onto the pots, could attest .
I cannot recall any grocery or pharmaceutical product that bore the manufacturer’s signature before the days of Warren, but I might be wrong. Robert Warren was a marketing pioneer (as John Strachan’s excellent study, Advertising and Satirical Culture in the Romantic Period, discusses at some length). But look in vain in Strachan for books of the Romantic period that bore the author’s printed signature. As for a handwritten signature, I’ve come across none whatsoever. You have to go back to the Age of Johnson to find just one example. The second edition of Tables of Interest at 4, 4 1/2 and 5 per cent, which Cadell and Murray bought out in 1775 warns the buyer on page two not to accept any book bearing Mr Thomson’s name on the title page that does not also feature his actual signature. So there it is, written in ink, at the bottom of page two. Amazing !
The reason for all this wariness must have something to do with the frequent acts of book piracy that prevailed before the Copyright Act was passed in 1842. It would seem that the first edition of Mr Thomson’s book had been a victim of piracy soon after it had appeared in Edinburgh in 1768.Book piracy in the 1760s seems to have been particularly prevalent. My own edition of Pope’s Works, which came out a year earlier, was a pirated edition by A. Donaldson, a notorious offender from Scotland, who may have been the culprit in the case of Thomson’s Tables.
Sent in by a loyal jotter and keen accumulator of ephemera and near nonsense. The clue here is that it is the first issue. Surely stuff get's made up at that point...
Check out these Personal ads on the front page of the first issue of the Daily Mail, May 4th 1896. Surely, they can’t be for real. The first and the second read like extracts from late Victorian romantic novels (‘There shall be no reproachful letters; but for heaven’s sake, let me hear of or from you…’ and ‘ if you do not come back to me soon, I fear I shall be tempted into accepting one of the many offers of marriage I am receiving almost daily’ ). Then look at the names attached to the second ad:‘ To Oak’ from ‘ Ivy’ . The third ad reads like a Music hall joke.
Uncle Jim---Come home at once. All is forgiven. Bring the pawn tickets with you---Niece
As for the last announcement, this is a neat effort at sardonic humour:
Will the gentleman who took away by mistake the Brown Pony standing outside the Star and Garter on City and Suburban day, kindly send to the same place for the trap, or return pony ? One is no use without the other.
Hurgh hurgh! But back then, the Daily Mail was a light-hearted read for a mere halfpenny, not the tissue of ill-informed opinion that it is today. Along with fashion tips and household hints, it advertised romantic fiction and jolly magazines, announced violin and piano recitals, and even ( horror of horrors ) included an advert for a novel by that dastardly communist Emile Zola !
Those were the days. When did it all go so wrong ?
A typed signed manuscript with ink corrections by Raymond Mortimer and a typed signed letter of rejection from the then Sunday Times editor Harold Evans.
Mortimer's article is now somewhat outdated, although a class system still exists in Britain. 'The Nobility' has now been largely replaced by celebrities and there is now, as in America, a much greater emphasis on money. It seems at the time the Sunday Times was running a series of articles on class by well known writers.
April 18th, 1969
Mr. Raymond Mortimer, CBE,
5 Canonbury Place,
I'm sorry that I agree with you that I don't think it is quite pointed enough. I think it would need to have some specific symbols of class. The Snowdon observation about class and motoring is the sort of thing I mean:
Saloon car with two husbands in front, their two wives behind = lower class.
Ditto with mixed couples in front and back = middle class.
Ditto with no one in back, husband and somebody elses wife in front = upper class.
From a Bookman's Budget by the estimable Austion Dobson (OUP 1917). The case was reported in the Westminster Gazette of 1916 but has a slightly Dickensian ring.
THE PERILS OF IRONY
Irony, which Byron described as a ' master-spell ',
and Mrs. Slipslop called 'ironing'* is at times an
awkward edged-tool.There is no better illustration
of this than an anecdote of the late Lord Justice
Bowen. Once, when acting as a Puisne Judge, there
came before him the case of a burglar who, having
entered a house by the top-story, was afterwards
captured below stairs in the act of sampling the silver.
The defence was more ingenuous than ingenious. The
accused was alleged to be a person of eccentric habits,
much addicted to perambulating the roofs of adjacent
houses, and occasionally dropping in 'permiscuous'
through an open skylight. This naturally stirred the
judge to caustic comment. Summing up, he is reported
to have said : "If, gentlemen, you think it likely that
the prisoner was merely indulging an amiable fancy for
midnight exercise on his neighbour's roof; if you think
it was kindly consideration for that neighbour which led
him to take off his boots and leave them behind him before
descending into the house ; and if you believe that it was
the innocent curiosity of the connoisseur which brought him
to the silver pantry and caused him to borrow the teapot,
then, gentlemen, you will acquit the prisoner!" To Lord
Bowen's dismay, the jury did instantly acquit the prisoner.
*Byron must have remembered this when he said that the
irrepressible Mme de Stael was ' well ironed ' by Sheridan at
one of Rogers's breakfasts.
Maurice A. Hammoneau, of Brook-lyn, N.Y., bookbinder extra-ordinary,puts bindings on books to harmonise with their subject matter. Thus Hammoneau will encase a volume on reptiles in snake-skin, or dress a book on music in ivory piano keys. For Hitler's Mein Kampf, Hammoneau chose skunk skin.-Sideshow, N.C. Canberra Times, Monday 29 April 1940
On the Hitler skunk theme a novelty firm produced a complete ceramic trio set featuring the Hitler Skunk, Mussolini Pig and Tojo Rat. These are shown in the 1944 catalogue of Johnson Smith and Co.