A visit to my local secondhand bookshop today paid off handsomely. I found 2 ‘new’ Nancy Mitford biographies for my collection.
Attentive readers might remember from an early post that Mitford’s biography of Frederick the Great was the first Versailles Century book that I read as a youngster.
That book then led me to her Madame de Pompadour and The Sun King, which were my introduction to the world of Versailles.
The books in the photo above are my personal copies. I’ve had them for decades. I once had a copy of Frederick the Great, too, but some years ago I donated it to the Pride Library at the University of Western Ontario. Actually, I’ve donated several hundred titles in various media to that fine institution. You can read about my donations here: http://www.uwo.ca/pridelib/site/Collections/Donor%20Collections1/David%20Gemeinhardt%20Collection.html
Back to my local bookstore. I could bankrupt myself there, so I allow myself to go inside only once a month with a strict $30 budget. That’s Canadian dollars. Browsing the European history shelves, I noticed a paperback copy of Frederick the Great on offer for $5.
Slightly further along the shelf was an eye-catching delight with a kind of binding that we rarely see nowadays.
“What’s this?” I thought to myself. Lo and behold!
Unbeknownst to me, a 50th anniversary commemorative edition of The Sun King with a new foreword by historian Sir Roy Strong had been issued in 2011. As serendipity would have it, the price was $25. It was with a sense of glee that I handed over exactly $30 for my 2 ‘new’ Mitford biographies.
My Mitford biography collection is now almost complete. The only title I’m missing is Voltaire in Love. Does anybody out there have one?