Library Book Collection

The Creux Mahie, October 1888

The largest cave in Guernsey, once a major tourist attraction. From the Monthly Illustrated Journal, (Guernsey Magazine), October 1888, p. 85; and the cave in 1951, when a party of three including a press photographer go in search of bats there. The illustration is a detail looking out of the Creux Mahie from a small 19th century visitor's guide to the cave.

A Guernseyman is duped, 1590

A cheeky tale, suspiciously similar to Boccaccio's Decameron, from The Stranger's Guide to Guernsey and Jersey, 1833, pp. 128 ff., written by Dr Thomas Bellamy. 'In an old book, now out of print and very scarce, published in 1590, entitled Morgan's Feats of the Cardinals, is the following ludicrous account of the midnight ramble of a gentleman, sent from the island of Guernsey to Naples, in Italy, to buy horses.' The detail is from the frontispiece of the Library's 1566 edition of the Chroniques et Annales de France, Vol. I.

Parsnips

La ponais, Guernsey's favourite crop (you thought it was the tomato, didn't you!) From Bellamy's Guide to Guernsey, 1843, pp. 130 ff.; the woodcuts in this charming volume are by Thomas Bellamy himself; and Duncan's famous The history of Guernsey: with occasional notices of Jersey, Alderney, and Sark, and biographical sketches, 1841. Frank Dally, in 1860, claimed that 'before the potato disease of 1845 the potato [as opposed to the parsnip] was the staple root of tillage, particularly in Guernsey, since which time it has very much declined.'

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