It has been a very long time since I updated this blog, but you can see from the previous post, that I’m back and hope to write a few more posts.  I have settled into a new place and unpacked the books.  My brother even gave me more, so I can photograph some of those and display them here.

Thank you to anyone visiting.  Keeping a blog going for years isn’t easy, but I still hope to update them eventually, starting with this one.

I will be back very soon, I hope.


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This little red book is another treasure.  There is no date or text at all, just engravings of vignetted views of the region.


I can find no reference to it online, apart from to a very worn blue book with the same title.  This one looks like others in the series dating from around 1883 (and possibly worth a fair amount).


The above view is of a place my parents loved – Fairy Glen.

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Infants’ Magazine

I haven’t posted for a while – my apologies.

Now for a children’s book from 1921 – the Infant’s (or Infants’) Magazine.

My mother was born in 1924 so I’m not sure if it was bought for, or given to, her.

It has some delightful illustrations.

Only a handful of the illustrations are coloured, however.

It’s full of stories, which naturally, would be read to a child.  Some of the illustrations are photos.

I can’t find anything about it online except for a reference to the fifty-first volume on sale at AbeBooks for £10.  Obviously it’s a children’s annual, dating, presumably, from about the 1860s.

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Old art catalogue

This little gem is hidden behind a plain blue cover which someone must have made to protect the soft original.


I know only what’s on the cover and nothing more.

We had a couple of pictures of women on our wall at home when I was growing  up.  They were by Frederick Leighton, but neither were the ones pictured.

Naturally, there is a wide range of paintings in the book.

Some of them are rather lovely, but all illustrated in black and white, of course.

I wonder if this book belonged to my great-grandmother.  I’ll never know.



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Enquire within

I have an 1866 edition of “Enquire Within Upon Everything”.

It’s not in great shape, but I love this book.  It’s chock full of gems of etiquette, advice and recipes.

An example on how to dress:

What to do when visiting:

I seem to remember it also says that visiting cards should be placed on a tray presented by the house servant (although I couldn’t find that particular passage).  I inherited a couple of visiting cards from the period – just a name and address.

Some advice for young ladies:

(continued)  “If you have good teeth, do not laugh for the purpose of showing them.  vi. If you have bad ones, do not laugh less than the occasion may justify.  vii If you have pretty hands and arms, there can be no objection to your playing on the harp if you play well.  viii. If they are disposed to be clumsy, work tapestry.  ix. If you have a bad voice, rather speak in a low tone.  x. If you have the finest voice in the world, never speak in a high tone.  xi. If you dance well, dance but seldom.  xii. If you dance ill, never dance at all.  xiv. If you sing indifferently, hesitate not a moment when you are asked for few people are judges of singing, but every one is sensible of a desire to please.  xv. If you would preserve beauty, rise early.  xvi. If you would preserve esteem, be gentle.  xvii. If you would obtain  pwoer, be condescending.  xviii. If you would live happily, endeavour to promote the happiness of others.

There are ideas for recreation in the evening:

Health benefits of singing…

(Try singing this winter!)

There are odd little passages such as this one.

And of course, there are plenty of “receipts”.

Inside the book I found this handwritten recipe which has similarities to my mother and my grandmother’s writing, but I suspect belongs to someone a generation further back.

Also in the book was a later insertion.

Fascinating stuff, all of it.


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Wartime cookbook

This book “Cook for Victory Harrods” is undated but evidently was published during the Second World War.

My mother found it useful for sauces and wines, it seems.  Wines included parsnip and rhubarb wine and ginger beer recipes.

There’s nothing fancy about this recipe book, for obvious reasons.

Offal and oatmeal will go far!

There are recipes for Christmas and children and a page of ‘sundries and substitutes’ such as parsley honey and whipped cream subsitute.  Invalid dishes include gruel…

No doubt it was a useful book in a time of shortages and rationing.

I can’t find any further information about this book – just a link to Abebooks where someone was selling it for £15.00.


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Ancient monuments of North Wales

The full title of this little book is ‘Ancient monuments in the ownership or guardianship of the Ministry of Works: Volume V: North Wales’ by  the Rt. Hon. Lord Harlech (etc).

(Life size)

It was, as you can see, published in 1948 and is part of a series of Illustrated Regional Guides.   It covers ‘monuments’ from the prehistoric period through to post-Roman.  Most of the black and white plates are of castles (as there were many thanks to English kings trying to subdue the Welsh), but also a few burial chambers.  At the back is a list of the places featured with opening times, and a fold-out map.

Quite a useful little guide for my parents.

I’m ashamed to say I don’t know exactly when my parents lived in North Wales or why they married in London.  Somewhere is a photo album of their honeymoon – a cycle tour of parts of England and possibly Wales.  I must hunt it out.  My brother was born in Oswestry in neighbouring Shropshire but by the time I was born, my parents had moved to Staffordshire.  Alas they are no longer alive to ask where, when and why.

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