11/18/09

Just the coolest gift ever!

An elderly lady here in town, dropped off with the Hubster what is without doubt the coolest gift I have EVER received!

I don't even really know them that well, but they are longtime friends of the Hubster. So when they found this in their garage they decided I would be the only person they knew, who would really appreciate having it.

Well they were not wrong, I am totally thrilled with their surprise gift.

Beneath this very aged binding, is a little piece of British history, which is now mine to love.

But before it came to me, it was originally gifted to Thomas Huleatt on September 19th 1884, from the 'Brethren'.

It's the Illustrated London News from January to June 1867, bound in one volume!

Of course 142 years ago, images of the news had to be illustrated with engravings that were then printed. So this huge volume has 2 full pages of text comprising of news, deaths, wills, marriages, worldwide events etc; and these alternate with 2 pages of amazing illustrations that are wonderful in their detail and imagery.

The picture above illustrates the ' terrible disaster on the ice' as it was known then, when skaters in Regents Park fell through the thin ice and died in 1867.

The adverts are interesting and amusing, I have only scanned them so far, but still found this classic. Checkout the advert addressed 'To The Ladies of England' which gives out 'full directions on getting-up the face and eyes in the most brilliant style'!

At the start of every month is a fashion plate of the new styles for that month direct from Paris. Looking at these more than anything else, made me realise just how old my new treasure is!

Of course in those days the Royal Family and their activities were of the utmost importance to the nation. So every week 'The Court' circular appears, even when they really aren't doing much, as can be read in the piece above. Queen Victoria was on the throne in 1867 and so throughout the volume there are many references to Prince Albert and immortalising his memory.

The final picture here really delighted me. This illustrates the construction being undertaken by the Metropolitan District Railway in the district of Westminster. With Big Ben in the backgorund, this shows the construction of what's now the London Underground, something I have been on many times over my life!

I have already checked out every page of this amazing gift and been enthralled. But then I am the type of history lover who never has enough time in museums to read all the old papers.

But now I have my own little piece at home to take my time pouring over. Many interesting things happened in 1867 and I will be sure to share the best and most entertaining of them with you over the next few months.

Now I have to find a special safe cat free area to store it in, and stop any further damage. I'm thinking maybe inside our backgammon table, where it would be air-tight and under glass.

I am totally out of superlatives and awestruck, so I am off to bed with a big smile on my face.

31 comments:

Pam said...

Sarah, agreed that this is the most amazing gift EVER! I would totally love this too. What a slice of history. Did the friend say how it was they came by it? I had an old sort of household book some years ago (I wonder what happened?) ...was interesting but nothing on this scale. Those fashions are divine!

Brit Gal Sarah said...

OMG Pam I am in heaven, I will bring it next time we get together and you can absorb at leisure.

What did I do to get this lucky?!!

Kay said...

That is totally amazing! What an extraordinary gift. I loved just seeing what you posted and can imagine how much fun it was to see the rest. Wow!

Esther Garvi said...

Wow, what a wonderful gift!!!

thelaughinghousewife said...

What a fabulous gift!

Sandy said...

What a wonderful gift and those illustrations are beautiful. Enjoy your new treasure. :)

Mary said...

What a thoughtful gift! It was meant to be yours, Sarah!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Wasn't that a wonderful and kind thing to do, I guess she knew you would enjoy and treasure it.
Wouldn't you love to know how it ended up in Oklahoma...
Lucky duck !

Silverback said...

I saw the first photo and thought she'd baked you a large Shepherd's pie ! Think I need more coffee this morning.

Wonderful gift indeed and the adverts alone must be historically hilarious.

As ABIT said, you must find out how this tome got to be in Okie in the first place. Get to it, Miss Marple !

Carol said...

A lovely gift indeed.
Being interested in genealogy I have to ask how extensive is the "hatches, matches and dispatches" section?

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Carol, it's more of the aristocratic dispatches from what I could tell with a quick run through. But they are fascinating in their wording, as are the Wills, so watch this space.

Pam said...

So, is Leopold the same Prince Leopold from Kate & Leopold?????? I think the timing is right!!!

Coffeedoff said...

Amazing, that something so old has survived so well. My grandad was 7 then and living in London,he could have heard that accident talked about.

Daryl said...

what a treasure!

Snippety Gibbet said...

That WAS a great gift. Wish someone would gift me with something old and wonderful.ma

Sherri said...

Sarah, what a lovely gift!! I love old books and that one is really wonderful! The picture of the fashion plate ladies reminds me of a few framed pictures I've got called Godey's Ladies. I think I have about 7 of them! When we had our victorian home I had them on alot of the walls. Enjoy!

NFAH said...

I have to agree, that is the coolest gift ever. Talk about a lost art... literally!

Lynn said...

Oh wow! That is awesome! I look forward to more examples from your amazing piece of history.

Linda J. said...

Wow! That is an exciting gift! Obviously, the giver knew you would appreciate it.

Kendris said...

What a fantastic gift! I can imagine what kind of history is in those pages!

Flea said...

That. Is the coolest gift. EVER.

Mare said...

What a treasure! How exciting to discover its contents page by page.

Sue McGettigan said...

That is the MOST amazing gift!! I would love to peruse the classifieds and the fashion plates - WOW!! I'm glad your hubby's friends thought to send it to live with you, what a very thoughtful thing to do :)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

What a totally cool and amazing gift! Wow! That is truly something very special.

CambridgeLady said...

Came here via "A Brit in Tennessee". This is a great blog - will add to my must-read list :o)

And what a fabulous gift!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What a wonderful gift. I'm glad that it ended up in the hands of somebody who appreciates it.

I love looking through the pages of old newspapers and magazines. Especially the adverts.

The Factory said...

Lucky, lucky, lucky.

B said...

You are a ver lucky girl; simply fascinating. x

Nat said...

Absolutely amazing! What a wonderful, wonderful present...

Expat mum said...

Fabulous. The ad for the ladies sounded very interesting when I thought it was for an 1800's version of a facelift. I then realised it was for making up your face.

Pat said...

What a wonderful gift!! I just love the old photos and the details of life in London in 1867...fascinating! I'm looking forward to reading more about life back then.