Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Letters on Natural Magic: Addressed to Sir Walter Scott by Daniel Brewster, Adopted by Rosie Garland

We are very pleased to present this post by one of our Honorary Members, Rosie Garland. Rosie has adopted this delightfully petite volume, which measures just 15 x 10 x 2cm. Thank you so much to Rosie for her contribution toward the preservation of our diverse collection!

The long tramp up the twisting staircase repays any effort. Like many visitors before me, the first time I climbed the steps to The Portico Library I marvelled at the beauty of the bookshelves stretching to the cornices, bulging with Polite Literature, History, Travel and other delights.

I also noticed how many – if not most – of the books had a white tape tied neatly around their middles. When I asked the significance of those ribbons, I was told they indicated volumes in need of rebinding. My heart went out to these weary tomes, waiting patiently for some TLC.

But how to choose which one to adopt? On a subsequent trip, I trespassed upon a tour for students (from Manchester Metropolitan University). The table groaned with books on magic and the occult, one of which was Walter Scott’s Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft. It sported a brand spanking new binding, and looked jolly pleased with itself. Another volume, Letters on Natural Magic by David Brewster, was in a far sorrier state. My heart went out to it. It was the obvious choice.

My life is blessed with natural magic. If I can work a little enchantment on a book, then I am a very happy bibliophile indeed.

Rosie Garland