Friday, June 29, 2012

There once was a store in Nantucket...

A worn old copy of "The Talleyrand Maxim"1 by J.S. Fletcher offers up some neat clues regarding where it has traveled in the nine decades since its publication.

The inside back cover features a tiny blue bookseller label for Brentano's in New York.2 A reasonable assumption might be that Brentano's was the bookstore that sold "The Talleyrand Maxim" when it was new in 1920.

Meanwhile, there is some interesting stuff elsewhere.

The inside front cover has a three-inch-wide sticker for The Little Shop On The Corner, which was located at Two Cliff Road on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. I can't find anything on the web about that place of business, so if anyone in New England or elsewhere has any ideas, let us know!

And on the page opposite that store label, there is this typed notice...

Was this book eventually part of a rental library? It's interesting this should come up, because just this week I have been asked when I'm going to revisit last November's post on The Bon-Ton Rental Library in York. I need to do that soon!

Also, the name "Dr. Hudson" is written in pencil on each of the first two pages. Under one of them is the date August 1949.

My best guess is the typed information regarding the rental fees for this book is not related to The Little Shop On The Corner. So perhaps this book's provenance is:
  • New at Bretano's in New York in the 1920s
  • Gently used at The Little Shop On The Corner in Nantucket
  • An unknown rental library at some point
  • A used book/antique store in Maryland or Pennsylvania3
  • Plus who-knows-where in between
One thing is for sure. Fletcher's book was well-read and passed through a lot of hands over the decades.

1. SPOILER: At the end of the book, it turns out that there is ... [dramatic pause] ... another copy of the will!
2. I wrote about the label for the Brentano's in Paris in April 2011.
3. I acquired this book as part of a big lot of unwanted used books that a seller of books and antiques was divesting himself of a couple years ago.

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