Tag Archive | huckleberry finn

Who’s Little Maude?

Don’t you just wonder that kind of thing when you see inscriptions in old books? I’ve really gotten into inscriptions lately, as evidenced here and here and, a particularly sweet example, here.

Here’s a new one that I found in a local shop. If I were Sherlock Holmes maybe I could find a clue to answer my question. All I have now is what you see below, and it makes me envision a governess/nanny giving a present to her little charge on the New Year of 1907: a nice young woman, fond of the girl she watches over, bending down to hand these tiny books to her little chubbiness, and Maude not being totally aware of the lovely moment because she’s two years old and not really socially with it yet.

See what dreams an inscription can inspire?


Obviously, this was a child who loved books….

I went to an estate sale and inquired if there were any books being sold. A gentleman said yes, but only a few in the basement of the house. So, everyone there seems lovely and I decide that after walking a bit in an over-warm outfit I should probably take a look, even if there are only a few books. They were right; perhaps ten books were sitting on an old stool and many were merely old books on electronics, not at all interesting to me, though the electronic engineers in my family may have disagreed. It was a quick job of sorting through these books. I’m a sucker for old kids books of the Grosset and Dunlap style and, lo, there was one or two. Now, in truth, I’m not necessarily going to buy them just because I see them despite my attraction to them and the fact that I have mini-collection already. I was looking for a reason to buy it (Huckleberry Finn), or a way to decide, when I opened the cover. And, look what I found:

Little Jane all those many years ago (around 1948 or sometime after) had written an important notice on one of the front pages. She gives all the information you could possibly need to reunite book and child if the need arose. And, she gives a very enthusiastic advance ‘thank you!’ too. I think Mrs. Crocker would have been well-pleased with Jane.

P.S. – Dig the old phone number. It’s like out of The Dick Van Dyke show or I Love Lucy. SO much more stylish back then, don’t you think? Ah, words…