Old Friends and Pilgrims (Object 108)

This post features some more old books, this time from the library of the regional branch of the Usmeum (Brother 2’s house). Like the Alices in my previous post, these books were the childhood possessions of the Fry and Horman-Fisher families, passed down to us via Auntie. This 1841 edition of F.W.N. Bayley‘s New Tale of A Tub bears the name of Jane Horman-Fisher, who I believe was Margaret’s sister:

New Tale of a Tub DSC02286 DSC02287The book is a satire written in verse, based I presume on Swift’s Tale of a Tub. It has some charming illustrations, but the text carries the racist language typical of Victorian Britain, so it’s not an object we are particularly fond of, and may be sold sometime soon.

New Tale of a Tub illustration

An illustration from New Tale of a Tub

This edition of Aesop’s fable A New Dress for an Old Friend carries a touching inscription:

New Dress for an Old Friend


“To dear little Maggie Horman-Fisher, from her old friend Maggie J. Bath, Bexhill, Saturday Nov. 28/57” – an inscription written exactly 156 years ago today, to Elsie Fry’s mother Margaret. Elsie and her 3 sisters were clearly used to sharing books, as noted in my previous post. This beautifully illustrated edition of Pilgrim’s Progress was presented to Elsie and her sister Wynyfryde in 1894, according to the inscription:

Pilgrim's Progress DSC02292

The inscription reads: “Mary Wynyfryde Jane Fry, Elsie Margaret Anna Fry, with much love from their affectionate cousin, S.J. Lury, Clevedon, 11th August 1894.”

DSC02293 DSC02294The Frys were strict Quakers, so Bunyan’s famous Christian allegory would have been an important book in their library. It’s my pleasure to catalogue their treasures here.


About Hoarder of Babylon

A chartered librarian and curator of my family archives.
This entry was posted in "Auntie" (Mabel Zoe Watson, Grandad Lane's cousin), 19th century, Books, Fry family, Horman-Fisher family and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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