Thursday, 11 October 2012

A couple of old books

Yeah - not mine, though, except in the sense I re-found them on my bookshelves recently.

Chastisement Across the Ages: A Scientific Survey, by Gervas D'Olbert, 1956. Covers chastisement of and by famous men, and in education, religion, the family, social life, politics and war.

The Whip and the Rod, by Prof. R G van Yelyr, 1941. Subtitled 'An account of corporal punishment among all nations and for all purposes'. Apparently intended to argue against its use, even though the rather detailed and enthusiastic descriptions might suggest otherwise! I've just learned it was reissued in 2002 so you can get it from Amazon in the UK, at least.

More on both the Chastisement book and The Whip and the Rod book at my Tumblr blog (links open in new pages).  


  1. I love finding old books and I regret the passing of the old second hand bookshops that you could find in every town. There was one in my home town of Rugby -- my friend Wendy and I would go in there, after doing the Sainsbury shop on a Saturday. We'd drag her 3 year old son in there too. These days we'd probably get busted for child abuse! He used to cry and wail "don't wanna go in the smelly old bookshop!

    It was Dickensian in there and the old lady who ran it, was probably as old as some of the oldest books that she sold!

  2. I know what you mean! I used to haunt second-hand bookshops - not so much now since my house looks like one. Going in there was like opening a treasure trove. I liked the Black Cat in Leicester until it closed 3-4 years ago. The very best within range of here is Scarthins in Cromford, in the Peak District. But second-hand bookshops are having to reinvent themselves these days as 'spaces for knowledge exchange'. Which may be a very positive thing, actually. See this BBC link:

  3. That's an interesting article from the BBC. Things change, as they always have done. Weren't there riots when the Spinning Jenny came along?

    And the second hand book shops are still there, but not in the physical sense, that we are nostalgic for. If you search on Amazon for a book and just scroll down the page, there is always a link "or available from these sellers"

    I've bought a lot of those. My best buy was a copy of John Fowles "French Lieutenant's Woman" for 99p. It was around £15 to buy new. And I still had that nice feeling when I read the book, that it had been cherished by someone else.

    Right now I am re-reading Jane Austen's "Emma"-- second hand, of course!