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Title: Heavenly Verses, Hallowed Volumes: A Belated Change in Direction
Contributor(s): Gilbert, Lionel (author)
Publication Date: 2000
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Abstract: The first book I can recall having deliberately chosen because of its content was 'In Search of the South Land' in Herbert Strang's 'Romance of the World' series. That was in 1934 when Aunt Lilly Gilbert invited me to select a present for my 10th birthday from the stock of her Willoughby gift shop. The die was cast, and I have collected Australian history ever since with, especially after 1942, some emphasis upon natural history as well. (See 'Biblionews', June & July, 1957). In 1972 in an Aberystwyth bookshop, I found a companion piece in the same series, 'The Early Settlers', for the irresistible price of 30p. (A third volume was seen in a Brisbane bookshop a couple of years ago but its fantastic valuation and parlous condition made resistance easy.) The two volumes, replete with heroic stories, now sit side by side, quietly becoming more foxed, while still presenting a good spinal appearance as a reminder that book collectors need to be patient. During the last ten years, while collecting contemporary Australiana has presented problems no doubt similar to those faced by a philatelist who tries to keep pace with the new issues of Australian stamps, attention has turned to another field. Since I was first taken to Rookwood to visit and to tend the grave of my grandfather (who died in 1925), I have slowly developed an interest in epitaphs - the inscriptions on gravestones. Initially this interest centred on the basic items of information in most epitaphs, namely names, dates and ages. But there were also odd comments - sometimes very odd - which threw light on the worth people were seen to have had: their characters, personalities, their work and even the way in which they met their end. There might also be references to birthplace or last address, or to family connections, often extending to considerable detail. Further, there might be declarations about the whole mysterious business of Life and Death, and perchance, of Life again, matters of faith and belief, of God and Creation.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Fellows of the Book: A Volume of Essays Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Biblionews, p. 103-110
Publisher: Book Collectors' Society of Australia
Place of Publication: Sydney, Australia
ISBN: 0958676135
Field of Research (FOR): 170204 Linguistic Processes (incl Speech Production and Comprehension)
200203 Consumption and Everyday Life
150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience
HERDC Category Description: B2 Chapter in a Book - Other
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Series Name: Studies in Australian Bibliophily
Series Number : 5
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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