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  • Invisible Library at Reading June 28, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    Beachcombing pioneered, early in his blogging career, an invisible library tag for books that have never existed save in the imagination of bookophiles: Beachcombing has, in fact, been preparing his own list for the last year for a false door in the family mansion for which readers kindly offered various titles. To keep the tag going he wanted to share a list from, of all places, nineteenth-century Reading.

    The great Frank Buckland, recently disassociated with eating Louis XIV’s heart in this place, had visited a Mr Highford Bur of Aldermaston Park, Reading. ‘I got up early to look over the books in the library, always a great treat to me. As I passed down the shelves, I suddenly came to a series of books which, I confess, I had never seen before and the titles of which very much astonished me. The books were admirably placed among the other volumes, so that the deception was complete… While I was still in a state of astonishment, the Squire came into the room, and laughed heartily at the new literary victim he had caught wondering at the backs of the books which formed ‘dummied’ to conceal a door opening out among the book-shelves.’

    Anon, Geology of the Moon (2 vols) [This title has driven Beachcombing mad: he has the sense it appears in another invisible library list but has not been able to find it anywhere.]

    Anon, History of the Winged Hat of Mercury

    Anon, Ministerial Papers during the Reigns of Augustus and Tiberius (6 vols)

    Anon, Plans and Elevations of the Tower of Babel (2 vols)

    Anon, Secret Memoirs of the Court of Troy

    Anon, Sections of the Trojan Horse

    Anon, The Lost Books of the Sybil

    Archimedes, The Steam Engine

    Belshazzar, On Unknown Characters

    Calliope, On Poetry

    Demosthenes, Orations on the Sea Shore

    Empedocles, On Volcanoes

    Hobbs, The Rape of the Lock

    Horace, The Salt Mines of Africa

    Julius Caesar, Tour in the British Islands

    Nero, On the Violin

    Noah, Logbook of the Ark

    Samson, Fox-Hunting

    Solon, Geography of America

    Virgil, Farmer’s Manual

    At this point FB abdicates all responsibility by writing the most terrible words in Victorian prose ‘&c’. Still Beachcombing would forgive anything if only he could have seen the good naturalist’s bleary eyes opening wide as he stumbled upon Solon’s Geography of America in the early morning light.

    Any other invisible libraries? drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com