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Whilst holidaying recently Esme, scouring all the charity shops in proper posh places, came across the following tome and thrilled to bits she is with it too.

The title has long worn off the spine, and the cockwomble in charge of the shop had merrily stuck two white stickers on the back cover which, despite all careful attempts, has left extra markings. Just above said sticker marks you can see where some previous owner spent time carefully repairing a wee hole. They also believed it a treasure.

Volume three, fifth edition. One would think therefore perhaps it is not as old as first thought. Well think on…

For it was published in…*drum roll (no sausage in sight)…1758!

Caps are called for…MDCCLVIII = SEVENTEEN FIFTY EIGHT. I love that it proclaims the poems to have been written ‘By Several Hands’ ha! There are six volumes all in all, and oh how I wish I could get the rest of the set.Β 

There’s a name, but I cannot make out the first part, can anyone out there tell what it says? I can see ‘Denison’ but the first word looks like a shortening of some kind (non bakeable). Beautiful handwriting.

Here is the first page, as you can see, all the ‘esses’ are ‘effs’ which means one reads the whole shebang with a lithp. Technically the ‘eff’ for ‘esses’ is a different character to the one used as an actual ‘eff’ ethme effin and jeffin away

But this lovely item had a secret within; a treasure within a treasure…a cutting from a newspaper dated January 27th, 1917! The poem inscribed is quite saucy by the end, so prepare yourselves…

A close up

Smells just as old books should (not fanny, the book).