I sat in bed reading the new Folio Society edition of Trollope’s The Duke’s Children.
It is as big as a dictionary. Maybe a Complete Shakespeare.
It is a beautiful book. It duplicates the design of Ye Olde Book, with a leather binding and gilded edges.
The Folio Society’s new complete four-volume edition of The Duke’s Children (it was originally published as a three-volume book and the missing volume has been restored) has gotten good press: John McCourt at The Irish Times loved it. He wrote:
Standard editions of The Duke’s Children still read well and hold their ground against other works in the Palliser series, but the reborn text is of a much richer fabric. Shorn of its short cuts, and with all its details of plot, character, setting and narrative tone restored, it functions far more effectively both as a stand-alone novel and as the last of a long series full of familiar names, characters, settings and themes.
Alas, it is too unwieldy to read in the supine position.
I know, I know. I should sit up.
I am going back to my Oxford paperback. I can’t read oversized books at my age.
What to do with my Folio Society edition? Sponsor a contest at Mirabile Dictu? Make everybody write an essay about why they deserve the book?
That would be crazy, wouldn’t it?
And so I donated it to the Planned Parenthood Book Sale. I stuck it in a bag and put it in my bike pannier. Then I had to find the Planned Parenthood book drop.
I got lost in the inner city on my bike. I was sure the map had said to head north. Sure, it was north–north of a street a few blocks south!
I finally found it and dropped off the book. After a decade of shopping at the Planned Parenthood Book Sale, I am happy to give them a valuable book. I hope they make a huge profit.
I love the Folio Society’s clothbound books, and own one of the Thomas Hardy books. They are normal-sized books: a little tall, but readable in bed.
But I regard The Duke’s Children as a mirabile dictu folly! What was I thinking?