Measuring The Circle:

Armed only with a Ring of Confidence, Bob looks towards the Fortean future.

Treasures of the British Library Catalogue

As a Christmas treat, I’m reposting this gem, composed by Paul Sieveking for Fortean Times 177 (October 2003), which celebrated the 30th year of publication. This list of curious titles and amusing author names was collected by Paul Sieveking and others (including me) while working on the last hard copy edition of the British Library Catalogue of Printed Books, (1979-1985).   

1) Titles. (All books were published in London unless otherwise stated.)

 The Romance of Cement - by the Edison Portland Cement Company (Livermore & Knight Co, Providence, RI, 1926.) Blessed be Drudgery - by William Channing Gannett, with preface by the Countess of Aberdeen (Worthy Books 1897.) An Introduction to Space - (Ministry of Defence 1968.) Historic Bubbles - by Frederic Leake (Suckling & Galloway 1896.) A Dissertation on the Properties of Pus - by Sir Everard Home, Bart (1788). Ferrets and Ferreting - by Arthur Niblett (Bazaar, Exchange & Mart, 1951.) The Supernatural History of Worms - by Marion C Fox (Friends Book Centre, 1931.) A Study of Hospital Waiting Lists in Cardiff, 1953-1954 - by Fred Grundy (United Cardiff Hospitals, 1956.) Thirty-Six Reasons for Believing in Everlasting Punishment - by David Ponting Hendy (Marshall Bros, 1887.) Chains for the Neck: A Textbook of Heavenly Truths… For the Young - by Aunt Harriet (1867.) Hand-Grenade Throwing as a College Sport - by Lewis Omer (AG Spalding & Bros: New York, Chicago 1918.) Handbook for the Limbless - edited by Geoffrey Howson, Forward by John Galsworthy  (Disabled Society 1922.)How to Draw a Straight Line - by Sir Alfred Bray Kempe (Macmillan 1877.) Skin Diseases for Beginners - by Richard Bertram Coles and Patrick David Clifford Kinmont (HK Lewis & Co. 1957.) Compressed Air: Theory and Computations - by Elmo Golightly Harris (McGraw-Hill, 1910.) Boiler Room Questions and Answers - by Alex Higgins (McGraw-Hill, 1945.) A Short History of the Electric Clock - by Alexander Bain (1852.) The Adventures of a Pincushion - by Mary Ann Kilner (1790?) Public Performances of the Dead - by George Jacob Holyoake (1865.) Pre-Adamite Death Proved to be a Geological Delusion - by Thomas Hutton FGS, Captain, Bengal Army (Agra 1863.) Die, Damn You! - by Paul Durst (Mills & Boon 1955). Freedom Must Not Stink - by Dosabhai Framji Karaka (Bombay: Kutub 1947.) Ejaculations to be used by a Woman during the time of her Labour - (anon 1853). The Art of Faking Exhibition Poultry by George Riley Scott - (T Werner Laurie 1934.) The Nature and Tendency of Balls, Seriously and Candidly Considered in Two Sermons [on 1 Thes. V.21] - by Jacob Ide (Dedham 1818.) Let's Be Normal! The Psychologist Comes to his Senses - by Fritz Kuenkel (Ives Washburn, New York 1929.) The Nurses' "Nasty" Nightmare; or, Patients in Uniform - by Vernon Moyes (1940.) Nancy Goes Camping - by Jean Henry Large (D.Appleton & Co 1931.) Female Franchise. Have Women Immortal Souls? The Popular Belief Disputed – by  A Clerk in Holy Orders (1868.) Christopher Columbus was a Greek, and his real name was Nikolaos Ypshilantis from the Greek island Chios - by Spuros Kateras (Manchester, New Hampshire 1937.) The Playing Cards Embody a Scientific Record of the Great Pyramid - by John Barnes Schmalz (Boston 1905.) Our Friends in Hell, or Fellowship Among the Lost - by JM Killen (Edinburgh 1856.) A Lecture on the Extreme Folly and Danger of Servants Going on Errands before they are Sent - by "a layman" (1842.) A Speculation in Reality - by Irving Fink Laucks (New York 1953.) A Monograph of the Horny Sponges - by R von Lendenfeld (1889.) Alone with the Hairy Ainu - by Arnold Henry Savage Landor (J.Murray 1893.) An Elegy on the Young Man's Poker, which was cut off by the Cruelty of a Furbelow'd Lady - (anon, c.1690.) Essai sur le Dyssenterie Putride - by JA Flavard (Montpellier 1801.) The Goings of God, continuing "Man-Eaters under New Management" - by John S Hall (1936.) The Toothbrush: its Use and Abuse - by Isador Hirschfeld (Dental Items of Interest Publishing Co., New York 1939.) The Cult of the Needle - edited by Flora Klickmann (Girl's Own Paper 1914.) Struck by Lightning: the Comedy of Being a Man - by Burton Kline (1916.) 


2a) AUTHORS' NAMES - ([none of these are pseudonyms, as far as we can tell,  but they all appear in the Catalogue – honest!)  


Ole Bagger  -   Ludwig von Baldass  -   Juana Bignozzi  -   Petr Bitsilli  -   Balthasar Blutfogel  -   Don Bolognese  -   Wallop Brabazon  -   Knud Bugge  -   Ellsworth Prouty Conkle  -   Lettice May Crump  -   Dee Day  -   Roger A Destroyer  -   Arsen Diklic  -   Kersi D Doodha  -   Homer Hasenpflug Dubs  -   Gottfried Egg  -   Bernt Eggen  -   Gordon Bandy Enders  -   Stuyvesant Fish  -   Mércedes Formica  -   Gergeley Gergeley  -   Biserka Grabar  -   Odd Bang Hansen  -   O Heck  -   Burt Heywang  -   Albert Irk  -   Jup Kastrati  -   Solon Toothaker Kimball  -   Hieronimus Knicker  -   Verona Butzer Knisely  -   Bent Koch  -   Thorgny Ossian Bolivar Napoleon Krok  -   Joy Muchmore Lacey  -   Manfred Lurker  -   Voltaire Molesworth  -   Endel Nirk  -   Willem Quackelbeen  -   Isidore Snapper  -   Negley Teeters.   

2b) While the names above found their way into Bizarre Books by Russell Ash and Brian Lake (1985, 2000); but these didn't:

Adeboyè Babalola  -   Florence A Baglehole  -   Willy Bang  -   Bogoljub Biljic  -   Jaime Bleda  -   Hippolyte Blot  -   Hieronymus Cock  -   Cornelius Crocus  -   Herman Dirk van Dodeweerd  -   Dirk Drooge  -   Otto Flake  -   Vladimir Fuka  -   Harry Wagstaff Gribble  -   Romulus Guga  -   Theodosy Tit Halushchins'ky  -   Frederick Stuft Hammer  -   Per Klang  -   Jacques Ollé Laprune  -   Moses E Lard  -   F Leflufy  -   Agogo Mago  -   Pilgrim Mangles  -   Santiago Nudelman  -   Henricus Pisart  -   Antwerp Pratt  -   Fritz Rotter  -   Flora Schmalz  -   Johann von Schmuck  -   IM Sick  -   Count Jacques de Silly  -   Wade Toole  -   Matilda Wrench.

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