Wednesday, February 3, 2010

don't you wanna get out of cape cod, out of cape cod tonight....

So I did some scanning of interesting things in old books today. I find myself doing that a lot lately, but some days are more interesting than others. Today was incredibly interesting. Mostly all because of one book. I'm starting to realize that poor penmanship was the norm in the 1700s & 1800s but in today's documented 1835 publication of the complete works of Byron, I discovered not one, not two but THREE handwritten letters.

The guy who bought the book or owned it at least, is Bufus Prime or Prince (best I can make out) and he's written at least one of the letters...the four pager about Vampires, which I will get to later.

The first handwritten note I found was a poem. A love poem. I don't know whether it was a Bufus Price/Prime original or a Byron or whatnot. I haven't spent much time looking at it really, but it was interesting to pull out of the first couple pages. The best part about it, in my opinion, is the embossed 'P' on the top of the page. It was a nice kind of paper. Thick. Liney. Like Linen.



Further in, I found an incredible four page letter folded neatly and pasted into the pages of the book sent from Venice by Mr Prince/Prime to Paris:


Now, here's my favourite part. Turns out that guy in Paris had been publishing work referring to our dear Mr Prince/Prime as the author of a certain work on vampires and not only that, citing biographical details about Mr Prince/Prime's past travels. Apparently Mr Prince/Prime took great offense to this and makes very clear in his needlessly long 4 page letter that he is not the author of that work or the traveler of those stories. In this letter he is asking Mr lack of fact checker in Paris to publish a 'contradiction' to set the record straight. My favourite line is when, after listing the reasons why he cannot possibly be this man being referred to, he states: "I have besides a personal dislike to vampires, and the little acquaintance I have with them would by no means induce me to divulge their secrets."


Now, the last letter in the book kinda makes it look like maybe he was divulging too many vampire secrets, despite his little acquaintance with them and the vampires didn't like it. Looks like they got to him. That is, of course, if a decrease in grammar and sentence structure and penmanship indicate a vampire attack.

5 comments:

geneva o. said...

This is so cool!

Jacinda said...

This is really neat. Though the name Bufus is quite interesting, I read it to be Rufus. Though maybe Bufus is more suitable if he was to have acquaintances with vampires. Cool stuff.

bri said...

Oh yes. It most definitely could be Rufus. His signature on the bottom of the letter is less legible and looks way more like a B, so I was going off that, but on that front page it does look significantly more like an R

cayliedawn said...

perhaps it is this guy?

http://famousamericans.net/rufusprime/

bri said...

awesome! I totally think it's him! THAT is very cool.