New 2012 books
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Just noticed 12 new books listed under Latest Publications. Neitzsche, Hawthorne, Llosa, and Amis are must haves for me. The others look just as interesting, especially Carthage and Travels with Herodotus. Geez, my buy list for the coming year is getting too long. Ahhhhhgggg!
Interesting. Travels With Herodotus and War at the End of the World are must haves for me.
Love the illustrations in the Vargas Llosa book. Must have.
Edited to add that the translator, Helen Lane, did several books by Vargas Llosa.
Travels With Herodotus, In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat, and Thus Spoke Zarathustra are of interest. Curious illustrations for the last two - Schrodinger's Cat I kind of get, but the Zarathustra pictures seem almost random and ill-fitting (admittedly, it's a difficult one).
Also, never heard of Smith by Leon Garfield, but now I'm interested. I love discovering new books through Folio.
>4 leonb:. The Zarathustra illustrations are curious. I wouldn't say that Peter Stuart is my favorite illustrator, but he is always interesting and never boring. I guess his use of red, black and gold wasn't particular to Master and the Margarita, but more of his personal flavor being applied.
I must admit that I am getting rather tired of the black cloth cover/ Suart illustrated books that have been produced by FS - Gogol, Bulgakov and now Neitzsche. They all look the same. I would have preferred a fresher style, so I can't see myself picking up that volume. Carthage, Schrodingers Cat and the Hawthorn are very tempting.
I'd love to buy The War at the End of the World, but it does seem a bit pricey. I know it's been a problem for several years now, but when single-volume novels get up toward $100 I wince.
Great stuff. Junger, Kapuscinski and Nietzsche are my first priorities: then Amis, Hawthorne and Vargas Llosa.
Some of these look fantastic. Folio, you are killing my credit card!
Yes, it is steep for a single volume novel.
QS, I found myself quite underwhelmed by M&M when I saw it in person in the Member's Room. I didn't know Stuart did Gogol as well. I agree the Zarathustra illustrations look unusual, but my interest in the text will probably over-ride that concern.
Yes - at the end of the day, it's the text itself that counts. And I doubt that there is a better edition of Zarathustra on the market today.
I was also underwhelmed by M&M. I only picked it up when it was discounted in the sale.
>7 coynedj:. It is a bit pricey! I would like to buy the Llosa, as I would have like to get Of Human Bondage, but these prices for novels is getting a little out of hand. I'll probably take my chances with a future sale or the second hand market.
Six of that lot are verging on the 'must have' (including the Nietzsche - I'll be very happy to add this to my collection alongside M&M and Gogol), and there's still the Manley Hopkins to get as well. Oh dear! I was hoping to start setting aside some book budget for the Puttapipat-illustrated LE - whatever that may be!
From the description, the Zarathustra has a 4-page fold out. Is this a first for an FS illustration?
I'll get the Nietzsche anyway, I'm sure, and actually quite like M&M and the Gogol (I have both) - I even like the cover of Zarathustra - it's just the illustrations inside I'm reacting to - vague prophetic/religious angsty portraits, seems juvenile against the text.
My first impression is, looking at the webpage images, that the Tarot-like illustrations are both beautiful and adequate. The world would be so dull if everyone had the same tastes!
Edited: I'm referring to Peter Suart.
"Tarot-like" describes them well. They're fine in themselves, it's their connection with the text I dislike. Zarathustra is a prophet, so we get prophet-themed pictures - a shallow approach to a profound work. Kind of like jumping on the "superman" theme, and peppering the work with Marvel reproductions (which, at least, would be funny).
>10 Quicksilver66: That depends on which translation you like or prefer. I have the Cambridge edition translated by Adrian del Caro. This edition uses the Oxford World's Classics translation by Graham Parkes. I'm not sure if I've read that translation, but I am certain it has to be better than the horrible job done by Kaufmann in 1954 (still used for many editions). There are several translations and I'm not sure which one you would prefer. German to English isn't an easy translation at all.
I am highly interested in getting this book anyway as I don't have a copy of Parkes' translation. Does anybody have any experience with the Oxford edition? I rather enjoy philosophy books, so this is one of the few Folios I'd be willing to pay full price for at this nascent point in my Folio addiction!
I also rather enjoy the serpent blocked on the spine. Rather tasteful illustration of the book itself.
Well I was hoping to get through until march without buying anymore folios....I really want Storm of steel and Carthage: a history. ugh....I think Iam going to get storm of steel now and Carthage: A history in March.
Does anyone remember from prior spring sales if buying these newly released books at full price qualifies one for free sets? I cannot remember if the regular priced books were restricted to certain (older) titles?
My wish list includes Storm of Steel, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Carthage (wow, expensive!), and Good Behavior (which has quite lovely illustrations, perfectly suited to my style).
I have added "Storms of Steel" and "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" to my list of future purchases now, perhaps some of the others will make it by time but by first glance these are the two that I want the most for sure.
Nathaniel Hawthorne is my favourite author, so I'm thrilled they published a very nice edition of House of the Seven Gables. I already have a very nice edition from the Library of America, though...so I'm kind of conflicted.
Also, when I joined last year, my recommendation was that they publish anything by Hawthorne...so makes me think they saw my recommendation section and obeyed immediately! Kinda weird.
>21 UK_History_Fan:. I remember from last years spring sale that i bought a mix of both. Regular priced books counted towards a set. Discounted books, no.
Usually these latest publications are offered with a discount (such as 20%). How come these aren't?
I would jump on Thus Spoke Zarathustra if it were discounted. As it is I'm going to try my luck hanging out for the next sale (when ever that may be) for any more books that I'm interested in (there's quite a few!). I've already spent WAY too much since joining!
>25 xenocephalus:. That's a great question. With the FS website quirkiness, I wouldn't be surprised if they might be updated with the usual 20% off when they are "officially" promoted on the home page. I've seen discount go and come back during a transition from month to month.
I've also wondered if these new books will be promoted as a continuation of the annual prospectus, in which no discounts are applied.
If the new books continue without the traditonal 20% off then they should usable in the Spring Sale (assuming they have one) and counted against a set is possibly a bigger discount (assuming there is a set you want)?
I've never read The The House of the Seven Gables or any Hawthorne but I do think it looks like a nice volume! I am baffled as to why they designed Thus Spoke Zarathustra in the way they did (and I like Peter Suart's illustrations) but it is a good translation, a worthy replacement for the Oxford paperback and I want to encourage them to publish more Nietzsche, indeed more philosophy so had better buy it
I've ordered Storm of Steel, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Travels with Herodotus, In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, Good Behaviour and War at the End of the World. If no one has done so beforehand, I'll write up the details once I receive them.
As for the Carthage book, I was interested in it until I looked it up on amazon and found out it is out-of-print, originally in French (with a no-name translator), and, although probably the best survey on Carthage, it is based on very little evidence and lots of conjecture because, well, in the immortal words of Cato, Carthago delenda est--and delenda it was, very, very thoroughly. Oh, and one other discouraging note from one of the favorable reviewers on the amazon page: "Slow going and often difficult to read, but truly a top reference work for the serious reader of Carthaginian history." I just did that with FS's Napoleon by Georges Lefebvre (a turgid French work with a lackluster English translation--not out-of-print though) and am not keen on repeating the experience.
>21 UK_History_Fan: During last year spring sale not all books qualified for the "buy x books and get a free set" deal. AFAIR they limited the list of qualifying books to a selected set of older books and not to the very latest publications.
>30 ExportFrisian: Yes they have always limited the books which quality but they normally do this by saying only full price qualifies (i.e. not new books which have always had 20% off) but since the new crop of books don't have the usual just published discount it might be that they will count which would be more than ideal! Only problem is I now have to wait till March before ordering the Nietzsche, Llosa and Hawthorne
Considering that it was the first year when the prospect finished in January (or was it December?) and not as usually much later in the year, I am not sure where these will fall really. So... I suspect we will see what will happen after the Sale ends.
The House of the Seven Gables, The War at the End of the World and Good Behaviour have all been added to the buy me list, and Napoleon removed - thanks podaniel for the (disappointing) heads up.
Ordered The House of the Seven Gables, The War at the End of the World, Thus Spoke Zarathustra & The Handmaid's Tale. Now the horrible part - waiting for the books to arrive at my doorstep. :(
"Lucky Jim" at last! And the second book of the Hitch-Hiker series too. Now all I have to do is wait a couple of weeks until I can charge them to the next month on my credit card.
So will these probably be all of the new books for 2012 or will more books be released later in the year?
>36 jkramb:. FS usually releases something new every month. I'm sure there are plenty more in the next 8 months that we don't even know about yet.
Catherine Taylor apparently confirmed on Twitter recently that FS will publish at least one of Henry Green's novels this year.
Two new sets appeared today:
- The Chronicles of Narnia for £120.00 now available for £89.95 with a 25% discount
- Pliny's Natural History for £150.00 now available for £120.00 with a 20% discount
The Natural History is a new title for Folio, the Chronicles of Narnia is a reprint of the 1996 set. Finally :-)
>39 ExportFrisian: I like the look of the Pliny set. I'll definitely pick that up at a later date. I think the original '96 Narnia set, though, looked much more attractive, glad I picked up a used set of it.
>39 ExportFrisian:. If I was a fan or Narnia, I'd have to get that, but alas, no need for me.
But the Pliny looks very nice, and the discount price seems reasonable for 5 volumes. I'll hold off for now, but I'll definately be getting that in the future.
> There's also The Oxford Latin Dictionary which I can't recall having seen previously.
I agree that the Pliny looks to be a very nice set. Yes, one for the future, I think.
Pliny looks amazing, definitely a must buy. The Narnia illustrations are rather underwhelming to my mind. I'm rarely satisfied with mere B&W and given these are stories mostly directed at children I am surprised by the lack of color.
Does anyone know if the Easton Press Chronicles of Narnia are illustrated beyond the full color frontpiece in each volume? Not sure it would be worth duplicating.
Also, a couple of you commented that the previous Narnia set was better. What were the illustrations like in that one?
UK, I believe these are actually the original illustrations for the Narnia books. I do not have the EP Narnia books, however, I have seen some of these in my Barnes & Noble copy.
The illustrations for the previous set were also the original illustrations by Pauline Baynes
US$ 168.00 for the Narnia. Tempting.
Is Dream Days (http://www.foliosociety.com/bookcat/9197/DRM/dream-days) new as well? I do not remember seeing it before.
>48 AnnieMod: Dream Days is relative new, think it is from early last year. I bought my copy last April.
> 45 "The Narnia illustrations are rather underwhelming to my mind. I'm rarely satisfied with mere B&W and given these are stories mostly directed at children I am surprised by the lack of color."
There are apparently 350 drawings by Pauline Baynes in the seven volumes. As a child I'd much rather have had a book illustrated with 50 black & white drawings than one illustrated with perhaps 10 or 12 or even fewer colour plates - e.g.Moonfleet, The Midnight Folk, (and perhaps some of the Fairy Books?).
I also think that in an age when colour is the default mode for almost all the created visual world around us, it's good for children to be reminded of the power of the simple black line in the hand of a fine artist. (I'd put Pauline Baynes in that category.)
But everyone to their own taste!
Both the Pliny as well as the Narnia looks like "must have's" for me. Will be taking the plunge shortly.
Pliny is a must for myself aswell, just trying to resist buying it right now.
Thankfully I am not that interested in Pliny at the moment :) Narnia is calling to me though. Argh.
Just be glad that you don't have to pay AU$125 for it ;)
I definitely want the Pliny. Maybe I'll be able to find a reasonably-priced set second-hand in several months' time...
I wouldn't mind getting some new copies of Narnia with each book in its own volume (the one I have has the 7 books in 3 volumes, but it was a gift from my grandparents that I've had as long as I can remember, so I also wouldn't want to get rid of it), but I'm not too keen on the covers of these new ones. I've never actually heard of Lucky Jim, but it sounds like one I might want too. Maybe if I start to get a bit more work I'll be able to buy some of these. I still really want the Fairy Books, but I'm hoping for a sale or something.
There is the interest-free payment in 3, 5 or 10 months if your order goes over a specific sum... :)
True, but I am currently paying off the Kelmscott Chaucer and the EP Faerie Queene, and don't want to have too many going at once to try to keep track of.
I'm going to take my chances that Pliny might be offered as a renewal during the second and third wave offers this coming fall. Here's to hope.
How long do you have to wait for later waves of offers for renewal if you don't take the first one? This is only my first year of membership, so I have yet to experience renewal offers.
Few months usually. Chances of it showing up are not that big though - it is too new. But who knows.
Well I've heard that if you wait long enough, they give you the option of any 4 books for half price, so if I can hold off long enough I might have to use that to get Beowulf and/or a couple of the Fairy Books.
While you are waiting, you cannot participate in Sales... and this "long enough" usually ends up with you missing all the Sales (bar the Spring one maybe) :)
And I think at least a few times, the "any" books was actually a "any 4 books from this list" :)
Look in the group - there had been reports for the different offers in the last years
Last year I bought the Folk Tales of Britain during spring, which was still fairly new. Then some people were offered it in the fall during the later wave renewals. So anything can happen. Probably with the Pliny it's just my wishful thinking. :)
> 46, 47
So the only difference between the two Folio versions of Narnia is the covers? I think I might actually prefer the newer covers but I've only seen one not very good picture of the previous set in a google image search.
People like the illustrations then? I like the idea of original illustrations so these are growing on me.
Does anybody own the Latin dictionary? Any comments on the inside and the outside?
I don't have it - a 19th century Lewis and Short still suffices here - but consulted Amazon UK yesterday, where it was being offered at £165. One review said that its two-volume format would make for easier handling and a longer life, a second pointed out that for the first time in the history of Oxford's larger academic dictionaries its binding is paper rather than buckram and so its life expectancy was actually rather dismal. Now both reviews seem to have vanished and the Amazon price is up to £213.75. All a tad mysterious, but a poor show indeed if tomes like these are being bound in disguised paper for the sake of trimming a few pounds off the cost.
Received yesterday The War of the End of the World by Vargas Llosa. Here go my very first impressions. It's a hefty volume. A bit heavy to hold comfortably in your hands for reading. Bound in full buckram (the color, yellowish ochre, is not too attractive), the cover is blocked with a symbolist design of a cross and skulls in gold, foreboding the book's theme. The endpapers are two maps, one (front) encompassing a very large area of South America (roughly, including oceans, 2800 x 2200 miles), and another (back) at a smaller scale depicting the area where the action takes place. These maps also include inserts that give additional details. Well, someone was not paying all due attention. The back endpaper/map has an insert with a legend saying 'area covered in map 2', said map not identified anywhere but being apparently the one printed as frontendpaper (which logically might have been map 1). Then, the maps show some dots for towns which perhaps are ghost places because they have no name or description...
On to the copyright page which gives the Spanish title of the novel. Here we get another detail that shows lack of attention. The title is given, literally, as 'La Guerra del fin del mundo'. 'Guerra' should not be capitalised. Titles in Spanish are not capitalised when they have more than two words, unless one of the words is a proper noun.
One useful publication detail at the end of the book. The reader is provided with a short glossary of Portuguese words (mostly plants and colloquialisms) which should be helpful.
Illustrations are a matter of taste. Ben Cain, in my opinion, has done an excellent job with vivid, intense images of frenzied situations.
Can't say much about the translation (by Helen R. Lane) because comparisons will take more time. The novel's first sentence:
El hombre era alto y tan flaco que parecía siempre de perfil.
is nicely rendered as:
The man was tall and so thin he seemed to be always in profile.
If that doesn't catch your attention...
Apologies for the long post.
>68 drasvola: Thanks for the detailed description - I had been planning on buying this volume but now think maybe the Faber paperback might be better bet (and save over £40) - Am I being too harsh?
Well, the FS edition is much better than a paperback! I do think that this FS book is overpriced, perhaps due to author's property fees.
67> Thank you, terebinth, for your review of the Latin dictionary. Not very encouraging. Too bad.
>71 Pepys: I'd reserve judgement, Pepys. Terebinth's post was made on 7 March, and referred to earlier comments, since removed. The book was not due to be issued until 8 March, and OUP's website says it is not yet published. The reference to 'disguised paper' seems to be quite unjustified by available information, and the whole last sentence of the post quite uncalled for.
Does anybody own the Latin dictionary?
I think I'll wait for the kindle edition...
Thank you, after your excellent description I'll happily wait for it's secondhand debut.
>68 drasvola:. thanks dravsola for the overview. This title is on my buy list, but I think I will have to wait for a sale or secondhand.
I'm defeated as to why "the whole last sentence of (my) post (was) quite uncalled-for". It was phrased conditionally, and anyone with much experience of paper masquerading as bookcloth in the binding of a reference work - such, for example, as the Concise Oxford Dictionary I bought as a student in the late '70s - will I think be unlikely to argue its suitablility for the OLD, or imagine any motive but ill-judged penny-pinching if it has been so used.
I do agree that the actual case just isn't clear yet, and the removal from Amazon's site of both the lower price and the earlier review (from someone who said that he had already returned an unsatisfactory copy of the work) perplexes me. The OUP website description of the dictionary says nothing about its binding, and the Folio Society only describes it as "handsomely bound". In this instance at least, handsome is as handsome does. With any luck, there'll soon be a purchaser in our midst who can confirm the nature of the binding.
Further to the Oxford Latin Dictionary matter, I've been examining a few recent OUP volumes and have to say that a "clothette" binding wouldn't surprise me in the least. A newly published biography of the poet David Gascoyne uses the stuff. Then I removed the dustjackets from two volumes of Katherine Mansfield's Collected Letters, the first, published in 1984, and the fifth and last, from 2008. With retail prices around £80 to £110 each, these are scarcely run-of-the-mill trade hardbacks, forming rather a set likely to sell largely to institutional libraries, and quite possibly the definitive edition of the work for the rest of time. The 1984 volume is bound in good honest library buckram, the 2008 one in embossed paper. The immediate difference is by no means glaring, the 2008 volume appears qute as handsome as the one from 1984. Look more closely, and the older volume has actual cloth with actual threads, the 2008 one a perfectly uniform embossed cloth-like patterning. On my shelves, read from occasionally, they'll both be fine: taken down and consulted regularly, an embossed paper binding will all too soon develop white spots where the surface wears off, with splitting not far behind.
I hope the OUP are above turning out a large standard academic dictionary to face the world in clothette, but to me the signs just aren't promising.
drasvola: I have the first U.S. printing of the Farrar Straus Giroux trade edition of The War of the End of the World. The FS is using the same translation for their edition. I checked to see if FS had just copied the spanish title (and mistake) from that edition but the FSG edition does not have the title in Spanish on their title page. So that is a FS oversight. The glossary of Portuguese words and the maps do not appear in my edition either. So unless they got that content from another edition, those are nice additions by the FS themselves.
Before the first line you quoted at the beginning of the book, my edition has on the back of the dedication page the quote "The Antichrist was born to govern Brazil but the counselor is come to deliver us from him." An ominous quote that sets the stage for the novel along with that first line describing the counselor. I hope they included that. One nice feature of the trade edition is the large, calligraphic first letter used to start each chapter.
Anyway, I loved this novel so even though I have a first trade edition, I will be ordering the FS edition as soon as possible. That way my next read of the novel will have the additional joy of being a fine edition. Hopefully the paper and type used in the FS edition makes for enjoyable reading? Thanks for sharing your impressions.
More literature in translation from the Americas please Folio Society!
Many thanks for your remarks, jveezer.
The copyright page credits both Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, and Faber and Faber, the US and UK publishers. The translation copyright is owned by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux (1984). The new FS material would seem to be the addition of the maps (author not credited), the glossary and a foreword by Vargas Llosa (2000) with a very short explanation on the writing of the novel (began in Churchill College, Cambridge in 1977 and finished in Washington, DC, in 1980). The foreword was translated for FS by Neil Titman and does not appear in my Spanish version of the book.
Regarding the quote, FS has included it. In the original novel (1981) the quote is in Portuguese, thus:
O Anti-Christo nasceu
Para o Brasil governar
Mais ahi está O Conselheiro
Para delle nos livrar
My misgivings regarding the maps do not detract, of course, from the story which, admittedly, may perhaps seem too wordy or tangled to some readers less familiar with the Latin American Spanish (and, indeed, European Spanish) penchant for complicated descriptions and situations, whether 'magical' or not. At 679 pages, the story is long but worth it. The book is clearly a quality edition set in Janson and printed on Abbey Wove paper. And, certainly, more literature in translation from the Americas, please!
> 77 I share your hope. The difference in cost of binding cannot possibly be significant in a project like this dictionary, which must be a huge loss maker - it's the sort of project that university presses need to fund through their popular, commercial books, rather than entirely from its own sales. But I shan't buy until I know it's properly bound.
>66 Pepys:, 67 etc
I've had a look at the Oxford Latin Dictionary in the Members' Room today. As I suspected, there has been a little mischief making here. The books are very stoutly bound in cloth, and the slipcase is cloth-bound, too. I mention the slipcase because the leather-bound Shorter Oxford has a paper-bound slipcase, and mine at least is wearing badly. This one looks tough.
The books are quite slim by dictionary standards, as the photographs suggest, with good quality thin paper. Layout and printing as you'd expect for an Oxford learned press book. Good in the hand.
Editorially, this edition is the product of digitising the first edition, and using the database to clean up many cross-referencing and other issues that arose over the fifty year genesis of the first edition.
I imagine like other expensive dictionaries, this must be close to the end of the road for a book version (I understand the OED won't be printed again), now that the source material is digitised.
This sounds like a good practical version. I have the first edition (1982; reprinted 1996/7, with corrections) which is in a single volume and very heavy. The cloth is good quality with a nice gilt-stamped title on the front board, but the binding itself has sagged almost from day one, although internally it's fine and the paper and printing are also good. As the last word (no pun intended) on Latin vocabulary for English readers, it will be hard to beat. There are quotations from Latin authors of all periods for each word. Mine cost £225 in 1997 (curiously unchanged in 2012), so the new one at £135 (in the UK) is a bargain which I'm almost tempted to go for. Almost - but not quite!
P.S. My Liddell & Scott suffers from the same sagging problem. Perhaps OUP would consider splitting that into two volumes.
> 83 Unchanged price for the moment. The OUP website says: 'Introductory price of £225 until 30/6/2012. £275 thereafter.'
Thank you, that's indeed good to know. I'll admit that given the KM Letters Volume 5 I'm surprised. I expect my 1880 Lewis and Short will still have to see me out, though: fortunately its binding is sturdy enough to last the rest of my days and probably several lifetimes more.
I too think that my Lewis & Short (and my Liddell & Scott) will see me out. I can't think that there have been any advances in Latin epigraphy or so many newly discovered manuscripts that are likely to substantially alter our understanding of classical Latin in such a way as to make purchase of this new dictionary a necessity. I don't think it would so radically alter my understanding of the classical authors I am likely to read as to make this a "must buy" for me. A two volume Lewis & Short would be nice though - it's a bit of a handful in a single volume. That's even more the case for Liddell & Scott - you could get a hernia just picking it up.
>87 appaloosaman: I had a brief scan of the preface/introduction to the dictionary. It was recounting the search for an editor in the 1930s. Among the people consulted was AE Housman, professor at Cambridge, and he replied - I paraphrase, of course - that he didn't think there was much to be done except correct the hundreds of errors in Lewis and Short, and he didn't know anyone to recommend, except he supposed they could try X and Y. He sounded delightfully grumpy.
I've an 1845 Liddell and Scott which is actually slightly more manageable than the 1880 Lewis and Short. Misses out on a century or so of scholarship of course, but then my Greek is vestigial at best, and I'm happy to have the volume here with its papery memories of some few generations of classical scholars of whom I'm almost certainly the weakest. It carries the 1848 ownership signature of a W. M. Calcraft, who I somehow trust was an obscure academic type rather than "the most famous hangman of the 19th century" (Wikipedia), whose Greek may well have been even less than my own.
>86 terebinth: - I'm with Housman on that. Once you get a certain facility in Latin or Greek it is usually not too difficult to spot the errors in either L&S. As for Housman being grumpy, I am somewhat of the "grumpy professor" persuasion myself. But Housman clearly had a good sense of humor - witness the well-known beginning of his fabuolous parody entitled "Fragment of a Greek tragedy":
CHORUS: O suitably-attired-in-leather-boots Head of a traveller,
wherefore seeking whom whence by what way how purposed art thou come
To this well-nightingaled vicinity?
My object in inquiring is to know.
But if you happen to be deaf and dumb
And do not understand a word I say,
Then wave your hand, to signify as much.
How about William Montagu Calcraft (1834-1901), of Rempstone Hall, Dorset? Sadly not anything as exciting as a public hangman, but one of the last of a family that owned a large swathe of Dorset as well as estates in several other counties for nearly 200 years. They were well-connected: William's mother was the "fanatically religious" daughter of the Duke of Manchester, and his sister married an Irish peer (somewhat less impressive than an English duke but probably with access to good hunting country).
His elder brother died young and William succeeded to the Rempstone Estate in 1880 on the death of his father. He never married and seems to have led the life of a country gentleman (officer in the county militia, justice of the peace, High Sheriff for the county).
He was educated at Winchester and Oxford (Caius). Perhaps your book was a fourteenth birthday present?
If you felt like restoring the book to the bosom of the family, William's mother apparently still haunts the hall - despite its having been the scene of "ritualistic magic" performed by none other than Aleister Crowley himself.
Edited on age grounds.
It's the pure air of Dorsetshire that does it Antonio! either that or the eternal life potion Aleister Crowley sold him didn't live up the claims on the label...:-)
Anyway, thanks for spotting it!
Excellent detective work, thank you very much! I'm sure you're right, as the volume also carries the bookplate of William Montagu Calcraft, which I had forgotten, depicting perhaps a greyhound (though with very rat-like snout) leaping forwards. It's a happier association than the hangman, though probably it does mean that as regards education I'm the book's least deserving owner yet. The binding has a few stains and scuffs but is free of any cracking and remains eminently fit for service: full leather with fine cross-hatch tooling to front and back boards, certainly worthy of a place in a country house library and somewhat misplaced, to my good fortune, in this modest County Durham terrace.
"A Greyhound Courant Sable, Collared And Ringed Argent, Charged On The Body With A Pallet Wavy Or"
That's the one, though drawn by a different hand, lacking the collar and, I think, a little further removed from being a naturalistic likeness of a dog:
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