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  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

Books at Christmas

This week saw the 175th anniversary of the publication of Charles Dickens's classic seasonal story, A Christmas Carol. My copy of this perennial favourite belonged to my mum and she'd received it from her mum as a Christmas present in 1944, when Mum would have been 9 years old. I know that because there's a dedication written inside:

To my dear little Pat.

With love and my very best wishes for a very happy Xmas &

prosperous New Year.

Mommie 1944

Underneath, in her best handwriting, Mum had written, This book belong to Pat - Barton.

Emil Weiss - self portrait 1960

Emil Weiss was born in 1896 in what is now the Czech Republic and trained as an architect in Vienna. With the rise of the Nazis he sought refuge in England and became an illustrator, finding work wherever he could – propaganda posters, illustrations for Czech publications and portrait sketches (as in the style of this, his self-portrait, left, from 1960).

As I read the dedication in the book, I wondered how often people still write them these days. As an author, I regularly sign my books for readers who buy them directly from me but of the books on my packed shelves, I can think of only a handful which have a dedication.

So, with my mum's copy of A Christmas Carol having become such precious item of family history, we've made a point of writing a message on the flyleaf of the books we're giving as presents this Christmas. I wonder if they'll stand the test of time in the same way!

And what about you? Do you write a dedication inside the books that you give?


For more information go to the books page in the menu above or click on the image.

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