Tuesday, October 6, 2009

On the Length of Subtitles on Many Old, Rare, and Antiquarian Books

Or, the Custom of Publishers of olde to Load the title page with a Reader’s Digest condensed version of the Contents so complete that when finished perusing one’s need to Read the Actual Book is obviated and further Exploration Unnecessary; title pages as Cliffs Notes, Advertisements, Promotional material, Infomercials, and other forms of Ballyhoo meant to capture the Prospective Reader’s imagination and Cash at a time when there were no attractive Dust Jackets or other means of Merchandising books, and reading a title page with War and Peace longitude was like going to Wallach’s Music City, choosing a new record, taking it into a listening booth and sampling before buying; and the Curious Practice of twenty-first century Publishers to reintroduce the Extended Subtitle as a means of Gaming the Search Engines by the liberal sprinkling of Magic Keywords, which has inspired the wrath of many complainants in the blogosphere; including Various and Diverse elucidating examples to Inform and Delight the reader who may feel that by the time this sentence ends, as if stuffed by a full meal, a nap is necessary.

POE. Edgar Allan.The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Comprising the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American brig Grampus, on her way to the South Seas, in the month of June, 1827. With an Account of the recapture of the vessel by the survivors; their shipwreck and subsequent horrible sufferings from famine; their deliverance by means of the British schooner Jane Guy; the breif cruise of this latter vessel in the Antarctic Ocean; her capture, and the massacre of her crew among a group of islands in the eighty-fourth parrallel of southern latitude; together with the incredible adventures and discoveries still farther south to which that distressing calamity gave rise. (1838).

BOSWELL, James. The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Comprehending an Account of His Studies and Numerous Works, in Chronological Order; a Series of His Epistolary Correspondence and Conversations with Many Eminent Persons; and Various Original Pieces of His Composition, Never Before Published. The Whole Exhibiting a View of Literature and Literary Men in Great Britain, for Near Half a Century, During Which He Flourished. In Three Volumes. (Dublin: 1792).

(WORLIDGE, John). Systema Horti-culturae: or, the Art of Gardening. In Three Books. The I. Treateth of the Excellency, Situation, Soil, Form, Walks, Arbours, Springs, Fountains, Water-works, Grotto's, Statues, and other Magnificent Ornaments of Gardens, with many necessary Rules, Precepts, and Directions, concerning the same. The II. Treateth of all sorts of Trees planted for Ornament or Shade, Winter Greens, Flower Trees, and Flowers, that are usually propagated or preserv'd in the Garden or the best Florists, and the best ways and methods of Raising, Planting, and Improving them. The III. Treateth of the Kitchin Garden, and of the great variety of Plants propagated for food or for any culinary uses: Together with many general and particular Rules, Precepts, Observations, and Instructions, for the making hot beds, altering and enriching any sort of Garden ground, watring, cleansing, and adapting all sorts of Earth to the various plants that are usually planted therein. To the great improvement of every sort of Land, as well for use and profit as for Ornament and delight. Illustrated with Sculptures, representing the form of Gardens, according to the newest Models. (1677).

DEFOE, Daniel]. The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner; Who Lived Eight and Twenty years in an uninhabited Island on the Coast of America, lying near the Mouth of the great River of Oroonoque: Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men were drowned but himself: As also a Relation how he was wonderfully delivered by Pyrates. The whole Three Volumes faithfully abridged. The Seventh Edition. (London:1777).

[MALORY, Sir Thomas]. The Most Ancient and Famous History of the Renowned Prince Arthur King of Britaine, Wherein is declared his Life and Death, with all his glorious Battailes against the Saxons, Saracens and Pagans, which (for the honour of his Country) he most worthily atchieved. As also, all the Noble Acts, and Heroicke Deeds of his Valiant Knights of the Round Table. Newly refined, and published for the delight, and profit of the Reader. (London:1634).

OGILBY, John (translator). MONTANUS, Arnoldus (editor). Atlas Chinensis: Being a second part of a relation of remarkable passages in two embassies from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the vice-roy Singlamong and General Taising Lipovi, and to Konchi, emperor of China and East Tartary. With a relation of the Netherlanders assisting the Tartar against Coxinga, and the Chinese fleet, who till then were masters of the sea. And a more exact geographical description than formerly, both of the whole empire of China in general, and in particular of every of the fifteen provinces. Collected out of their several writings and journals, by Arnoldus Montanus. English'd, and adorn'd with above a hundred several sculptures. (London: 1671).

KIRCHER, Athanasius. Iter exstaticum coeleste, Quo Mundi opificium, id est, Coelestis Expansi, siderumque tam errantium, quam fixorum natura, vires, proprietates interlocutoribus Cosmiele et Theodidacto: Hac secunda editione Praelusionibus & Scholiis illusratum; ac schematismis necessariis, qui deerant, exornatum; nec non à mendis, que in primam Romanam editionem irrepserant, expurgatum, Ipso auctore annuaente, P. Gaspare Schotto regiscuirano e Societate Jesu, Olim in Panormitano Siciliae, nunc in Herbipolitano Franconiae Gymnasio ejusdem societatis Jesu Matheseos Professore. Accessit ejusdem auctoris iter exstaticum terrestre, Synopis mundi subterranei. (Herbipoli [Würzburg]:1671). (Ovelay hosetay onglay Atinlay ubsay-itlestay!).

[SWIFT, Jonathan, attributed to]. The Benefit of Farting Explain’d: Or, The Fundament-All Cause of the Distempers incident to the Fair-Sex, enquired into. Proving á Posteriori most of the Dis-ordures In tail’d upon them, are owing to Flatulen-cies not seasonably vented. Wrote in Spanish by Don Fartinando Puff-indorst’, Professor of Bumbast in the University of Crackow. And Translated into English at the Request, and for the Use, of the Lady Damp-fart of Her-fart-shire. By Obadiah Fizzle, Groom of the of the Stool to the Princess of Arsimini in Sardinia. (Long-Fart[Longford in Ireland]: Printed by Simon Bumbubbad, at the Sign of the Wind-Mill opposite Twattling-Street, 1722 reprinted 1735). (Not to be confused with The Winds of War by Herman Wouk).

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