Buy a used book, get history

So I bought a copy of the Early English Text Society edition of The South English Legendary:  

IMG_20160509_202620662(Ever notice how you feel smarter already when you buy a book that comes in multiple volumes, the last of which is exclusively notes and commentary?)

What is even cooler than the book(s) is that the set arrived with its own history tucked inside.  The inscription of the original owners:

IMG_20160509_202643191

Okay, fine, I hear you, lot of books have their first (and sometimes subsequent) owners’ names written inside.  Tough crowd.

But then there was this:

IMG_20160509_202636101

A letter from the EETS editor, to the original purchaser, and mentioning the Kennedy assassination.  Complete with coffee mug stains from either sender or receiver.

And then:

IMG_20160509_202651064 (1)The bill of sale from when the set was bought used, having somehow made its way to British Columbia from Los Angeles.

Not to mention the bill of sale I was actually expecting:  IMG_20160509_205340887

(Close-eyed observers will note that this set had misplaced volume 3, no doubt on the hard trek to British Columbia.  I ordered it separately.)

Either the owner(s) have an unusual commitment to history, keeping the sales receipts with the book(s), or this is a book that tends to be purchased more than read.

Weelll, it is a collection of edifying saints’ lives.  Make up your own minds.  Could go either way.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Churches in Early Medieval Ireland

So I’m reading this book at the moment:

I will probably will be reading it for months.  It’s vast.  But I’ve learned some seriously interesting stuff so far.

From the very first page:  the high, pointy roof construction of most early medieval Irish churches means that the height difference between the churches and round towers beside them would be much less noticeable originally than it seems now, when in many cases the round tower is intact but the church is gone.

From chapter 1:  Written and art sources suggest that many early Irish churches were wooden, but of course wood churches are considerably less permanent than stone ones.  O Carragain mentions a recent excavation, though, at Balriggan, County Louth, which probably is the remains of one.  This is of course nifty both for itself and for being in my favorite county in Ireland.  For both the wooden churches and high-gabled stone ones, the pitch of the roof is so steep that the church ends up being as high as they were long.

There’s more in chapter one, but the next bit is so awesome I think I’ll save it for its own post.