Aspiring to Bookishness
One of my prize possessions is an Alden’s CYCLOPEDIA OF UNIVERSAL LITERATURE, all 20 volumes in good condition. The first volume was published in 1885, the 20th in 1891. Cousin Vivian on my mom’s side of the family got it with her mother’s things and gave it to me—the family bookworm. It sat in a box in my closet for a few years until I investigated and discovered this treasure. I say treasure because to me something called a Cyclopedia of Universal Literature has to be a wondrous thing, well worth owning, touching, reading, and exhibiting among my eclectic assortment of Swedish murder mysteries and presidential biographies.
Volume 1 opens with Ezra Abbot who is immediately followed by three two-t Abbotts: Jacob, John S. C. and Lyman. Volume 20 ends with Johann Heinrich Daniel Zschokke.
If one, who purports to be a writer or at least intends to become…
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