Thelma: a Society Novel

Having returned from DHSI’s course on the Predigital book I was moved to describe and catalog the books in our attic. This is my first attempt. If I stick with it I will likely switch to a new blog as it is outside the purview of this wordpress site.

Title: Thelma: a Society Novel

Author: Marie Corelli

Place: New York

Publisher: The Lupton Publishing Company

Date: 1887

484p, 1st edition, 1st issue

Notes: The printer used woven paper with twenty-page gatherings. The binding is sewn and the strings are glued onto the front and back cover. The book is in good condition though the pages have yellowed with age. There is a mark of ownership on the inside front cover. This is a sticker with the words “ex libris” printed on it. Someone has written in pen, “Libris Old Mill Cottage, Ahmic Harbor.” This is presumably the Old Mill Cottage once found on Old Mill Bay in the Parry Sound district. Perhaps this book was bought in Toronto and brought out to the cottage by a 19th-century cottager.

Inside the novel running headers include the short title on the left and book headings on the right. Chapters don’t receive a new page and often start in the middle of pages but books begin on a new page. The novel consists of three books and 32 chapters marked using roman numerals instead of Arabic numbers. The title page contains no date but does contain a street address for the publisher. The date was discovered based on cover design matching with dated copies and using the publisher information to search library catalogs.

The front cover and spine are ornamented with flowers. The short title and last name of author appear on the front cover in decorative boxes at the top and bottom of the cover respectively. The short title, last name of the author and a short version of the publisher appear on the spine. This suggests that the book was intended to be stored on the shelf with its spine facing outward. The placement of a title on the spine for ease of use supports a 19th-century date as earlier books often had blank spines.


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