Wednesday, July 26, 2017

From the Earth to the Moon:
Nifty cover, bookplate and more

Pictured above is the enchanting cover of the A.L. Burt Company's hardcover edition of Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. There is no publication date anywhere within the 339-page book, and there are no definitive answers online. My best guess would be 1890, but any time between 1890 and 1910 is possible, especially given that A.L. Burt might have issued multiple editions. A collection of many of the novel's covers can be viewed here.

Here are some more cool things from inside the book, starting with the bookplate on the inside front cover...

The name, as written in cursive, looks like Elinore Wackernagel and, indeed, there was a Louise Elinore Wackernagel who lived from 1922 to 2015 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. According to her obituary, she was known as "Elli."1 Here's a neat tibdit about her life:
"Elli was known for her sharp wit and fierce independence. She was a published writer and an avid reader with a special interest in science fiction. Besides her work with NATO, one of the high points of her life was her on-going written communication with C.S. Lewis’s brother Warren."
It's a reasonable guess that Jules Verne and this very book helped to fuel her love of science fiction when she was young.

One of her published works was 1974's Ellie's Songs, which is described as "a compilation of lyrics for and about God and other loves."

Meanwhile, here's the bookseller's label, which is also on the inside front cover...

I most "recent" reference I can find for Barr Book Shop of West Orange Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is from 1925. So that makes it pretty long gone.

Finally, here's a shot of the spine of this A.L. Burt book. They don't make spines like they used to.

1. Two more tidbits about Elinore Wackernagel: (A) She's one of the sources in this 2012 article about the overabundance of charity mailings. "They're playing on your heartstrings," she says. (B) After her death, some of her papers were donated to the archives.

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