Battered but beautiful

Can an old dictionary be beautiful? Probably not in any normal sense, but this one has beautiful history attached to it.

image002We can see from the front of it that this book has seen plenty of use and has also seen better days. We have to look at the spine to see what we have.


This is the modern universal dictionary and world atlas. The question is, when was it modern for it certainly isn’t in 2015. Maybe a picture inside can give a clue. There are several black and white whole page photos in this dictionary and some of them show modern items. There is a photo of the Queen Mary Ship which was launched in 1934, a photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge which was completed in 1932 but I have chosen one of the London Television Station at Alexandra Palace which came into use in 1936 and then ceased to operate during World War Two.


But the give-away for date is the bookplate stuck in the front.


This was a prize awarded for proficiency in the knowledge of Holy Scripture and it was awarded to Violet Ware in May 1938.

Violet Ware was my mother and it is this plate that makes the book beautiful in my eyes. It also tells us this book was modern 75 years ago. Mum grew up in Tonbridge which was at the heart of the area this prize was for.

My mum died almost 50 years ago when I was still a youngster so I really treasure these odd snippets of her early life.


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