Monday, January 5, 2009

The Glory of Old Books and Images

Being a lover of old books as it is, there are few things I enjoy more than paging through some ancient editions--particularly of architecture books, especially those printed from the late-19th century through the 1930's. Over the years, I have accumulated a fair collection of such titles, my prize possessions being a large two-volume folio-sized set published by Scribner's (via Batsford) around 1929.

But even the more humble examples can be enjoyable, since they so often include evocative photographs and drawings of houses found throughout the English countryside, in small towns and along quiet farm lanes. From leaning half-timbered hall houses and pargetted town homes to stately Jacobean mansions, one of the charms of these old books is that they portray a world which--in many ways--no longer exists. Over the months, I will try to share some of them with you.

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