Prefaces allowed the author to give personal remarks about the text, often ending in a paragraph of acknowledgements. New editions will have new prefaces in order to situate any changes or material added to the book.
This preface is short and so indicates that the book is most likely a first edition. In it, Gilbert does not give direct acknowledgments but mentions the editor of the magazine Fun, Tom Hood, and disparages why one of his ballads was not published by the unnamed editor of Punch, a poem "too cannibalistic," a snub which Gilbert seemed to find humor in.
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To learn more about Gilbert and his humor, click on the button below.
Binding is the basics of book construction, and sewing the quires together is what keeps a book intact, though time and use will always wear a book out. You can also see on this book the sewing support (the grey strip with dried glue) and the super (the mesh) that keeps the boards together with the spine and text block. Every binder has a different way of doing it, and in more modern years it is done with a machine, and mostly with glue rather than sewn with thread.
This binding shows the book have been sewn with three tapes, one directly in the middle (between the two middle lines) and each on either side (leaving larger space in between the tapes). To better understand how this is done, click on the button below.
Labels were used popularly by booksellers as advertisements in the stock that they sold, most often placed in the bottom gutter-edge of the front or back end-pages. They almost always give the name and city of the bookseller, less often advertising other services that the seller may provide, like printing or appraisal. Older books with bookseller labels are interesting but not unusual finds, though most dealers don't use them anymore.
This book was sold by Joseph McDonough of Albany, New York, who was selling widely during the early 20th century throughout New England. There is no indication of how much this book was sold for, but it can be assumed that, since the label is torn, the book was intact when it left his shelves.
To learn more from Bay Leaf Used and Rare Books about labels, and to see more examples, click on the button below.
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