Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Very Fine Gift

I just wanted to share a few pictures of the wonderful book my friend Lisa gave me as a belated birthday gift. It's a 1909 copy of Baedeker's guidebook to Central Italy with a sweet flexible, red cover and gold-embossed lettering so typical of Baedeker guides of this era. The book's former owner--Benjamin Webb Wheeler--apparently bought it for his 1910 trip to Rome! As you would expect, the inside is filled with all sorts of fold-out maps and drawings of architectural details, ancient ruins, and city streets. The book was a particularly sweet gift considering the fact that I'm a HUGE fan of the movie (and novel) A Room With a View by E. M. Forster (in which a copy of Baedeker's Italy features prominently in an early scene with the main characters, George Emerson and Lucy Honeychurch). I watched that movie more than a few times when Lisa and I were housemates in Eugene!
While I certainly have a propensity toward cutting up books with interesting graphics and imagery (for collage ... not because my mother didn't teach me any better :-), this little gem will stay intact, sitting comfortably next to the few other old books I keep around for sentimental reasons.