Sunday, 25 April 2010

✴ the woman in must

I live in a 1930's house, surrounded by other 1930's houses an an area which still hints at this homely and iconic era. From the quaint parade of shops and the deco style train station to the croquet lawns, allotments and the abundance of parklife.
The local charity shop, nestled within the quaint parade, is often a treasure trove of this time. Many 1930's pieces can be found there. Often tea sets and serving dishes and tureens with a crackled glaze and a pretty floral pattern.
This time I picked up these two lovely romantic ladies,
Ilka The Captive Maiden (print edition 1922) and The Woman In White (print edition 1933).
The first book struck charity shopping gold with the handwritten inscription on the front page;
To Greta Campbell Betty Millar
from Jean Robertson.
Mission S.S. "Jan. 10th 1932"
Oooohhh....Mysterious, no? Why was Greta's name crossed out? What's Mission S.S? And why was the date in quotation marks?? Curiouser and curiouser, I thought as I peered through my imaginary Miss Marple style half-moon spectacles....
I love the smell of old books. That musty damp sort of smell. I know it's not everyones cup of tea but for me it's so synonymous with old costume departments and theatres in which I have spent rather a lot of time over the years.
It particularly reminds me of work experience I did at the Royal Exchange Theatre costume hire dept when in my first year at uni. The musty old smell of the cramped rails of costumes, fresh coffee brewing in the corner and classic fm on the radio, such a sensory delve into the past!
Must noun. Mustiness, dampness, or mold: a pervasive smell of must.
More hints of must over at her library adventures.


  1. Lovely books! I also love the pincushion in the previous post, what a great idea.
    I won't hold it against you that you moved down south I would do the same given half a chance.

  2. What a great find! I love the decorative element on the spine of the black book. The Woman in White is one of my very favourite reads, Wilkie Collins was a great writer, enjoy!

  3. Your little town sounds so idyllic. I'm with you, I'm curious about the inscription in the front of your book. Very mysterious in a detective kind of way. xo

  4. Oh so gorgeous, love a bit of history & atmopshere!! Love Posie

  5. Where you live sounds so lovely!! And what great mysterious! :)

  6. i try to imagine living where you live (as you describe it) and i am (positively) envious! great, great find!!

  7. oh I love old books too, wonderful finds

  8. mmmm i love the smell of musty old books too..and i LOVE your gorgeous books.
    i also wish i knew where to find that quaint little charity shop :)