Sunday, January 9, 2011

Black Beauty

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. H. M. Caldwell Company, New York, 1894. 227 p. 4.5 x 6.5". Binding olive green with silver design, plus pink 5-petal flowers. Illustrated. Bookplate: Private Library of C. E. Weybright [my grandparents]. There's no information inside on who used this book, but it is in good condition with no loose pages or wear.

When I was a girl, I read primarily horse and dog stories. Never read those children's titles in series (Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, Elsie Dinsmore*), with the exception of the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which my mother first read aloud to my brother and me as we curled up with her in the big overstuff chair. But today, I don't know if I could do it. Animal stories are always so sad and the older ones contain a lot of moralizing. Poor Black Beauty had a tough life. But Anna Sewell has messages for children in it, plus a strong appeal to treat animals kindly as other creatures made by God:
    "One day when there was a good deal of kicking, my mother whinnied to me to come to her, and then she said: "I wish you to pay attention to what I am going to say to you. The colts who live here are very good colts, but they are cart-horse colts, and of course they have not learned manners. You have been well-bred and well-born; your father has a great name in these parts, and your grandfather won the cup two years at the Newmarket races; your grandmother had the sweetest temper of any horse I ever knew, and I think you have never seen me kick or bite. I hope you will grow up gentle and good, and never learn bad ways; do your work with a good will, lift your feet up well when you trot, and never bite or kick even in play." I have never fogotten my mother's advice; I knew she was a wise old horse, and our master thought a great deal of her. Her name was Duchess, but he often called her Pet."
*My sister Carol received a set of Elsie books to pass the time when she was recovering from polio, and I think I did eventually read them in my early teens. Somehow the box of Elsie (a complete set, I think) got put in the trash and we lost her. I have one now that I bought in a sale just so I'd have the memory of the little girl all the educators and critics loved to hate because she was so goody-two-shoes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More out the door

Yes, we're weeding, deacquisitioning, deselecting or decluttering. We're throwing things out. These books are out the door.

Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 12th, 1973 (too old)

Control of Communicable diseases in man, 15th, 1990 (too old)

1997 Red Book, 24th.

Stepping Heavenward, by Mrs. E. Prentiss, 1997 reprint, PB (very good)

Library Quarterly, Oct. 1965, used this for my senior paper, the article on Islam is interesting.

And some really old text books we've been hanging on to for 50 years:

Dwelling House construction, 2nd ed. 1954

Modern timber engineering, 5th ed. 1963

Statics and strength of materials, 1950

Building construction, 2nd ed. 1941, 17th printing 1957