For Leo Moran enthusiasts, here’s a section that was cut from The Shadow of the Black Earl which describes the library at Biggnarbriggs Hall. The third in the Leo series The Mystery of the Strange Piper is released on September 16th!
It included Gray’s Anatomy (second edition) and a couple of obscure engineering texts, reams of Mozart and Chopin sheet music for piano, JN Jarvie’s Lallans Dictionary and some musty old language readers – Russian, German and French. There were sixteen volumes of John Curtis’ British Entomology, WH Kirby’s Hand-book to the order Lepidoptera, Gould’s The Birds of Asia, Australia, Great Britain and New Guinea, The Romance of Bird Life by John Lea, and Beverley Morris’ British Game Birds and Wildfowl. Certain anonymous folios contained beautiful colour pencil illustrations of local botany and zoology, with notes in the same precision script as on the reference cards. There were birds, insects, including a particularly extensive section on butterflies, such as the large skipper, common blue, the pearl-bordered and the silver-washed fritillaries, the peacock and the small tortoiseshell. There were pictures of the brown hare, the rabbit, different families of shrew, vole and mouse, the badger, the red fox, the mole, the weasel, the pine marten and several bat species. There was the slow worm, the adder, various classifications of newt, and the common varieties of frog, toad and lizard. The wildflower section included superb renderings of bloody crane’s-bill, ragwort, tansy, herb Robert, herb Bennet, valerian and yellow pimpernel, and every tree of the locale was drawn and annotated, from the blackthorn to the mighty Scots pine.
Also on the shelves were Theodore Roosevelt’s African Game Trails, Joseph Adams’ Salmon and Trout Angling, Its Theory and Practice, Wright’s Poultry, HBM Buchannan’s A Country Reader, various flower-arranging books by Constance Spry, several late-Victorian volumes of the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society, Practical Husbandry by R Crowther, Benjamin Maund’s The Botanic Garden, Sydenham Edwards’ Botanical Register and his New Botanic Garden, and Shirley Hibberd’s The Amateurs’ Rose Book 1874.
There was Smith’s Wealth of Nations and Locke’s Collected Writings, Carlyle’s Works, writings by Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln, Thoreau, Marcus Aurelius, Schiller, Kierkegaard, de Quincey, Milton and Burns. There was Lamb’s Essays, MacAuley’s Essays and Lays of Ancient Rome, Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson and his Hebridean Journal, Johnson’s collected works and his Dictionary, The Greville Memoirs, Pepys’ Diary and the first edition of Capell’s Shakespeare.
There were first Edinburgh editions of SE Ferrier’s Destiny and Marriage, library sets of Trollope, Austen, the Brontës, Dickens, Scott, Margaret Oliphant, SR Crockett, Hugo, Maupassant, Balzac, Tolstoy and Cervantes. There was Bunyan, Samuel Rutherford’s Sermons, Andrew Bonar’s Scots Worthies, The Holy Bible (Adam Clark 1859), Nelson’s Encyclopaedia, Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopaedia and HE Marshall’s popular national histories for children. Oddly, there was also a section of distinctly Catholic works: Thomas à Kempis, Ignatius of Loyola, Duns Scotus, Teresa of Ávila, Thérèse of Lisieux, Aquinas, The Roman Hymnal, various ecclesiastical documents including Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum, and the collected encyclicals of Pope Pius IX.
Larger volumes occupied the lower shelf: local road and Ordinance Survey maps, Reynolds’ Geological Atlas of Great Britain, Philips’ Atlas of the Counties of Scotland, William Beattie’s Scotland Illustrated, Asprey’s Atlas of the World & Gazetteer of the World, J and Edward Scott’s The Glasgow Geography, Ruskin’s Poetry of Architecture and Pre-Raphaelitism, J Burckhardt’s Treasures of the Uffizi, a few ancient editions of Whitaker’s Almanack and a compendium of other almanacs from 1804-26 (Celestial Atlas, Ephemeris, Vox Stellarum, Mathematics and the Seasons). There was Lemprière’s Classical Dictionary, Aeschylus’ Tragedies (1806, Glasgow), and early editions of Virgil and Homer with Heyne’s commentaries. There was Pope’s translation of The Iliad and Odyssey, and also Petronius, Apuleius, Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars, Tacitus’ Annals and Histories, and Ancient Alphabets and Hieroglyphics by Bin Wahshih Al-Ani. There was the inevitable Gibbon (a handsome 1802-07 edition), a few volumes of The Scottish Antiquary, G Maspero’s History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia and Assyria, and his History of England, Napier’s History of the Peninsular War (inscribed by the author to one Rev Thomas Lindsay of Buittle Parish), W James’ Naval History of Great Britain, William Robertson’s History of Scotland and Wars of Scottish Independence, four volumes by FJ Sheridan: Gordon and the Siege of Khartoum, the Battle of Omdurman, the First Anglo-Afghan War, and the Second Anglo-Afghan War. There was JD Buckley’s History of Freemasonry, Ezra Sproule A History of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Burke’s Peerage (1949), Nisbet’s Heraldry, Arthur Charles Fox-Davies’ Complete Guide to Heraldry, Scottish Feudal Baronies by R MacPherson, C Hannay’s Galloway and its People, The 1902 Army List, EM Haddow’s Scotland’s Great Houses, various transactions of the Glasgow Archaeological Society from the turn of the twentieth century, and three solander boxes with, in gold leaf, the inscription: ‘Greatorix Archive’. Leo opened one of them to find that it contained letters, genealogy, sketches, photographs, bills of sale and cuttings from journals in different hands, all chronologically pasted onto the pages of large exercise books, with explanatory notes in the same precise handwriting he had seen before.
The next Leo Moran adventure, The Mystery of the Strange Piper, is out September 16th 2021!