I just realized that I have an 1814 copy of Elegant Extracts. I knew I had a couple of books from the early 1800s but it had been a decade or more since I acquired them and had forgotten what they were. We were cleaning and I picked this up and then exclaimed.
Why? Because I’d just finished a reread of Jane Austen’s Emma. Allow me to show you this excerpt from Chapter 4.
“Mr. Martin, I suppose, is not a man of information beyond the line of his own business. He does not read?”
“Oh, yes! that is, no — I do not know — but I believe he has read a good deal — but not what you would think any thing of. He reads the Agricultural Reports and some other books, that lay in one of the window seats — but he reads all them to himself. But sometimes of an evening, before we went to cards, he would read something aloud out of the Elegant Extracts — very entertaining. And I know he had read the Vicar of Wakefield. He never read the Romance of the Forest, nor the Children of the Abbey. He had never heard of such books before I mentioned them, but he is determined to get them now as soon as ever he can.”
I collect etiquette books and I’m sure I picked it up because of that, but I did not connect it with Austen until just this moment. I am looking forward to reading it– very carefully.
If you want to look at a few photos of the lovely binding, I’ve got a small slideshow below.
The interior has an inscription in Latin to Jonathan E. Woodbridge. I don’t know who Mr. Woodbridge was, but I totally want to insert him and the book into Without a Summer now.