24 February 2013

The Making of a Marchioness Spinoff

On Friday I was doing a little shopping in Georgetown. Walking west on P Street with its lovely original cobblestones and street car tracks still in place, I stumbled across The Lantern bookshop. It is a non-profit used bookshop that raises money for scholarships for women going to Bryn Mawr. I had known about the shop for years but I had never been there. Oddly, I thought I had been to it, but it turns out the one I thought was the Bryn Mawr shop was not the Bryn Mawr shop. And good thing too, because The Lantern is way better than the other one.

I almost didn't go in because I was laden with shopping bags and it was raining and it just seemed like a bit of a hassle. But I was greatly rewarded. The two Bryn Mawr alums on duty were having tea and happy to keep an eye on my wettish bags while I went upstairs to check out the fiction section.

Let's just say I found a few things.

This little beauty from 1901 appears to be a spinoff of Burnett's wonderful The Making of a Marchioness.

Normally I would pick up any Burnett novel I came across, but when I realized its relationship to
The Making of a Marchioness, my enthusiasm went up a few degrees.

After reading Cluny Brown, I became a huge fan of Margery Sharp.

Charles Brockden Brown is often considered to be the father of American ficition. I read Edgar Huntly in 1996 when I was getting my Master's degree in American Studies, but I remember nothing about it. I didn't have much of a taste for early fiction (1799) back then but that has changed considerably so I look forward to reading this one again. (Don't you love the illustration?)

I couldn't remember which Pyms I had at home but since these were all hardcovers I thought I would just buy them and worry about duplicates later. Happily, it turns out that I have none of these in hardcover. I might give away the duplicate paperbacks during Barbara Pym Reading Week, June 1-8.


  1. Isn't there just something so beautiful about the printing on the inside of old books ,something we just don't see these days ,all the best stu

  2. Wow, great haul, and you supported Bryn Mawr students! Those are really beautiful.

    Over Christmas I was in New York, and stopped in the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe to get out of the cold. I was rewarded with a very nice OUP paperback copy of Ralph the Heir by Anthony Trollope for less than $5. Not as impressive as your finds, but a nice surprise nonetheless.

  3. Ooo, I'll try to not be jealous of the Burnett find! What a nice break from the rain for you. Enjoy!

  4. The Burnett copy is really a beauty! Lucky you for netting it. And Edgar Huntly sounds mighty interesting if it is anything like what I would imagine the 'memoirs of a sleep walker' to be. Happy reading! :)

  5. I love it when you share your purchases. Those Barbara Pym editions are the same ones my library has. They will look nice next to each other on your shelves, I think.

    If you should give away your Pym paperbacks...I might toss my name into the hat. I read Some Tame Gazelle over Christmas...and I liked it. I think she will grow on me. And I have since purchased my own copy of Excellent Women, since my library doesn't have that one (I think it might have been "stolen" since they have every other book she published).

  6. Gorgeous, gorgeous haul! What lovely Pym editions, I have only one hardcover, Crampton Hodnet.

  7. Stu: Yes, I totally agree.

    Karen: I love that shop and I love finding books at charity shops.

    Susan: It really is wonderful to find out of print gems. (I at least assume it is a gem.)

    Michelle: The weird thing is I've read Edgar Huntly but don't remember one thing about it.

    Ruthiella; I look forward to finding them all.

    Melwyk: I can't wait to completing the set.


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