Books gone walkabout

30th November 2015

Some of the Library's books have gone missing over the years. Any book that bears the Priaulx Library stamp or label and that does not have a withdrawal stamp should be regarded as having been removed without permission from the Library collection. These books were given to the people of Guernsey; most are valuable, and some extremely so. We would be most grateful to receive any such missing books back into the fold. Even in the Library's early days, it was expressly forbidden in the Library rules to take any of the rare book collection out of the building. A catalogue of the books in the Library collection immediately after its foundation by Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx was drawn up by the local historian Reverend George Lee, and published in 1895 by Frederick Clarke of Guernsey, as Catalogue of the Candie Library. Two consecutive annotated volumes of this, with additions to the collection noted by Librarians Percy Groves and Ralph Durand, help to identify more books up to WWII.

In January 1891, on the death of the generous Founder of the Library, the whole of his valuable collection was transferred to Candie House, and the Library was opened to the public. [From the preface to Catalogue of the Candie Library, 1895.]

Edith Carey received a large amount of material, including books, documents, and deeds, from local historian TWM de Guérin after his death. His collection was scheduled, possibly by his executors, in a document that may be consulted at the Library: Inventory of works bequeathed to Miss E Carey from estate of late Col. TWM de Guérin, later passed to Priaulx Library. Certain of the material was retained by his widow, and this was noted in the margin. Other members of the Carey family were also generous donors to the Library, including Edith's niece, also a local historian, Vera Carey. The Carey family historian and orientalist, William Wilfred Carey, died in 1929 and again left many of his books and papers to Edith Carey, who bequeathed them to the Library at her death in 1936.


Here are some examples of books from our collection that have found their way elsewhere. We would appreciate their return:

Shelley, Mrs. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. London, 1817. [p. 161 in the 1895 Priaulx Library catalogue.] This has been openly sold recently.

Dynevor Terrace: or, The Clue of Life. First Edition. 2 vols. John W. Parker & Son. Contemp. half calf, spines gilt in compartments, red & green leather labels; sl. rubbing. Armorial bookplate of the Priaulx Library, and booklabels of William Wilfred Carey.  ¶Wolff’s first collection 16. 1857. See Jarndyce Catalogue 198, Summer 2012, No 843. 

Richardson, William, Essay on fiorin grass, 1810. [p. 147 in the 1895 Priaulx Library catalogue.] Now in the collection of Southampton University Library. Digitised. Has Priaulx Library stamp on title page.

Browne, William. Britannia's pastorals. 1616. 2 vols in 1. [p. 22 of the 1895 Priaulx Library Catalogue.] In auction catalogue of Dominic Winter Early Printed Books, Maps & Atlases 14 September 2016.

397 [Browne, William]. Britannia’s Pastorals, 2 parts, Geo. Norton, [1613] & Thomas Snodham for George Norton, 1616, engraved title to first part by William Hole (some marks and light waterstains, and closed horizontal tear repaired without loss near inner margin, printed title to second part, 2 engraved plates for first part (pages 60- 61), M1 in first part torn with loss to lower outer corner, not affecting text, later bookplate of Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx to front pastedown, and bookplate of Christopher Rowe to front endpaper, modern antique-style blind ruled maroon full morocco, gilt spine, folio ESTC S107097. Hayward 60. Grolier 27. A6, B-O4, P2, title, & A6, B-S4. Second edition of Book 1, with errata corrected, and first edition of Book 2. Provenance: Formerly in the library of Professor James A. Riddell. Often regarded as a companion work to Drayton’s Poly-Olbion, William Browne’s 2 volumes were described by Walter Greg as 'the longest and most ambitious poem ever composed on a pastoral theme' (Greg, Pastoral Poetry, 1906, 131). The text includes commendatory verses by John Selden, Michael Drayton, Edward Heyward, Christopher Brook, Thomas Gardiner, George Wither, Ben Jonson, and others.

Annual register. 123 vols. London 1758-1879. New Series 12 Vols. [p. 4 of 1895 Priaulx Library catalogue.] For sale with Edinburgh Books, complete run from 1728 to 1829, plus index. Small, decorative stamp (Priaulx Library Guernsey) to top of first blank page in each volume and some biro numbers to verso of title page. Armorial bookplate of scholar, author and bibliophile Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx to front pastedown of each volume. 

Pogson, W R, History of the Boondelas. Calcutta, 1828. [p. 138 of the 1895 Priaulx Library catalogue.] In a catalogue of John Randall Books of Asia, 'From conversion to subversion,' 2015.

Manuscript inscriptions at head of title-page and on front end paper show that this copy was presented to the Library of the Royal Asiatic Society on 6th February 1830. The Library’s stamp appears on the dedication leaf. It was subsequently sold as a duplicate from the Library on 14th November 1865 and acquired by Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx, scion of one of the wealthiest families in Guernsey, lawyer, spiritualist, and friend of the novelist Thackeray. In 1889 he bequeathed his house and book collection to the island to be the free public library which it still is today. Priaulx’s personal bookplate and the Priaulx Library’s stamp are both inside front cover.

On the same seller's cataglogue in 2019: 

Author’s ink presentation inscriptions: to the Royal Asiatic Society on initial blank and title, dated February 1830; manuscript note on blank recording sale as duplicate on 14.11.65. Bookplate of Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx (1805-1891) and stamps of the Priaulx Library, Guernsey, on front pastedown. [110201]

The lack of withdrawal stamp is noteworthy.

Neaner, Mich. Opus aureum et scholasticum, in quo continentur Pythagorae Carmina Aurea, Phocylidis, Theognidis, et allorum Poemata. Leipzig, 1559. [p. 125 of 1895 Priaulx Library catalogue.] Now in the National Library of New South Wales.

Notes Rare Books copy: Has bookplate of Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx, and 2 stamps of Priaulx Library, Guernsey. Another Priaulx stamp on flyleaf, with inscription below it: dedit Ioan [----berg] 1697. Inscription on title-page: Liber Nicolas Joannis.

Rare Books copy: Bound in old vellum, worn, with joints split, some light water staining to first and last gatherings.

The Nicolas Joannes of the flyleaf might be a Nicolas Jehan.

Album of Broadside Ballads. In the W H Peal collection of Manuscripts at the University of Kentucky. [Not apparently in 1895 catalogue.] Album primarily contains Irish ballads, arranged more or less in alphabetical order by title. Bookplate reads, Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx. Includes pages from George Cruikshank's Fairy Library: Jack and the Beanstalk.