When you visit a stately home and see that their library is full of books with the same binding it may be because it was fashionable for wealthy people to buy the books without binding and have them bound in their favourite cover.
My copy of The Visitor, or Monthly Instructor for 1842 has this cover, which seems to have been used for all the publisher’s books:
I accidentally dropped it down the stairs and discovered that the spine is bound with musical notation. Either the Victorians recycled their scrap paper or this particular publisher wanted their books to have a specific piece of music notated in the spines of their books.
I bought this book in 1990 for £10 and it is my favourite book, partly because it has a fascinating article about Stonehenge in which the writer describes what it is like to visit the ancient monument and partly because holding it is like stepping back in time to 1842.
In my first novel, The Significant Deaths of Cage and Constance, the character Micajah “Cage” Reynolds owns a copy of this book. He was given it by his parents at the age of six (in 1848). Over a hundred and seventy years later, he still owns it…