Tuesday, 22 May 2007

I've just made two significant book purchases, after receiving a windfall that I quickly used to pay down my credit card debt.

Rising Up and Rising Down is a seven-volume "treatise on violence", according to Scott McLemee for The New York Times. "Vollmann's sources range from the earliest period of human civilization," he writes.

William T. Vollmann spent "nearly 20 years" writing the work.

Also added to the credit card, and also purchased through AbeBooks, is a less easily recognised work by an obscure English drudge (in the Johnsonian sense of the word) named William West. His The History, Topography & Directory of Warwickshire will enable me to study the places where one thread of my genealogical web originates. In a town (now a ward of Birmingham) called Edgbaston.

My LibraryThing profile contains a whole lot of stuff related to the web, if you're interested. West's 1830 book contains stuff like this:

Book Description: with its Modern Divisions, and their Population and Valuation; A Directory of Every Town and Considerable Village in the County; A Gazetteer of All the Towns, Villages, Parishes and Hamlets, with their Distances from the Principal Market or Post Towns, and from London; and an Itinerary of the Direct and Cross Roads, with a List of the Noblemen and Gentlemen's Seats, Illustrated with Characteristic Etchings and a Map of the County. 800 pages plus many engraved advertisments, 6 engravings and a coloured folded map. The binding looks contemporary, and is a little rubbed and soiled. The spine and the label are rubbed but quite legible. The back hinge has been neatly repaired. There is spotting of the larger very pale variety on a number of pages, but that apart, the contents are in very good order indeed. The greater part of the book concerns Birmingham, and the list of manufacturers illustrates that this really was the city of a thousand trades.

Other forbears originated in the Isle of Man and Macclesfield, Cheshire. Several of them emigrated, either to the colony of Victoria or that of South Australia, around 1852. My father spent years assembling genealogical data, which he entered into a number of Excel spreadsheets. I have these on a CD.

A member of my mother's father's family, who lives in Perth, sent me a study she has prepared on their side of things. It arrived today.

1 comment:

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