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  • Thomas Hood or Tom Hood’s Invisible Library June 30, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    Tomorrow the monthly round up of interesting emails and communications – Beachcombing is slaving to get them ready in time. In the meantime,  a further Invisible Library to add to the one that Frank Buckland discovered in late nineteenth-century Reading and that was featured here a couple of days ago. The following list was created by ‘Hood’ – the titles below and the quality of the puns suggest Thomas Hood (obit 1845) rather than his son, the playwright Tom Hood (1874).

    The list was, in any case, created, we know, ‘to be painted on a false door in the library of the Duke of Devonshire, at Chatsworth’ – memories of a similar portal in Dickens’ residence.

    From this it is not clear whether the door was ever actually put in place: it would be strangely fitting, of course, if it was not.

    But whether this was a practical or theoretical exercise there are some outstanding titles here: an endearing mix of erudition and low humour. Beachcombing particularly liked Shelley’s Conchology. It is a joke that few would be idiotic enough to make and only the English would be eccentric enough to enjoy: apologies then to the other ninety-four nationalities who regularly visit this site.

    Abernethy, J. On Sore Throats and the Migration of the Swallow

    Anon, Dante’s Inferno; or, the Description of Van Diemen’s Land

    Ben Lomond, Memoirs of Mrs Mountain

    Boyle, On Steam

    Earl Grey, Early Rising

    Johnson, Samuel Contradictionary

    Lamb, The Death of Wolfe

    Lord Stair, Recollections of Banister

    Malthus, Attack of Infantry

    McAdam, Views in Rhodes

    Mendoza, D. On the Quadrature of the Circle; or Squaring in the Ring

    Pul, On Bell’s System

    Shelley, Conchology

    Beachcombing is always on the look out for Invisible Libraries – any suggestions would be gratefully received: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com