Tag Archives: Encyclopedia Britannica

Marginalia, no.130

BOWESS, or BOWET, in falconry, a young hawk, when she draws anything out of her nest, and covets to clamber on the boughs.

~ Encyclopedia Britannica, 1771 ed.

At bedtime my four-year-old daughter likes to pretend that she’s a painted bunting named Rose.  She makes her bed a nest, wraps herself round in sheets, and stretches a thin baby blanket over her shoulders for wings.  I’ll hear a thumping sound from her room and come in to find that she’s kicked all the stuffed animals from her perch and climbed up the headboard to leap squawking through the air.

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Book Porn, no.2

Bicentennial facsimile edition of the original Encyclopedia Britannica (1771), 3 vols.  These are big heavy books bound in chocolate leatherette with gilt lettering on the spine and paper foxing retained.  A winning combination of superannuated data and authoritative heft.  I picked them up for a tenth their value at a Seattle Public Library book sale a number of years ago.  Includes fold-out charts and tables and over 150 copperplates by Andrew Bell, who at four-foot-six rode the tallest horse in Edinburgh (with a ladder to reach the saddle) and got in bad odor with George III for his anatomically correct illustrations in the Midwifery article.


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