I got carried away in the library looking for books that would meet the criteria for this project. I must have spent at lease two hours total searching high and low. I want to share some of my smaller discoveries in addition to the one that I think is the most substantial.
The first marking of interest came from a book called The Life of Laurence Sterne by Percy Fitzgerald. (1896, Downey & Co. 21 York St., Covent Garden, London) This book has a script (probably male?) name, “Letteme” in the first few pages under a black and white photograph of a man. It looks authentic (pen type and writing style, dark/light, etc.) but I’m not positive that it’s written and not copied or printed.
The second book I looked at was Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Othello, The Moor Of Venice, edited, with notes, by William J. Rolfe. (1886, New York” Harper & Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square.) This book has a name and date “Nellie F. Bates March 1887” in the light, more frilly andornate feminine looking penmanship. This book also included many markings within the body text pages but it seems to be much more modern and probably done by students using the books for projects etc. I’m including a picture of these markings anyway because I still think they’re interesting.
It is my inference that both of these old signatures are just the names of the people who owned the books wanting to mark them as their property.
The third and most interesting marginalia I found went beyond just a name within the first few pages. This book, by Mark Twain, entitled Happy Tales (1892, New York: Charles L. Webster & Co.) has a note indicating that the book was a gift from one person to another as they were leaving. The note reads, (though I’m not sure I’m transcribing the names 100 percent accurately) “For Ada B. Richardiore from her friend Annie M. Amred. ‘Bon Voyage’ — April 30. 1892.” What I’m putting together is that this was a woman giving this book of short stories to her leaving friend, that they may not see each other for a long time or even ever again, and finally that she wants her friend to have “Happy Tales” of her own.
*Here is the link to my entry on Book Traces!