A Beautiful Book [The Book of Ancient Greeks]

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As promised, I present to you my special library find – The Book of Ancient Greeks by Dorothy Mills. I would like to start featuring beautiful old books here more often, so you might see similar posts in the near future. As for this little cutie, I couldn’t resist its charming exterior and not brag about it. There is something about hardcover books the size of a paperback that really draw me in. The chunky, short volume with its thick, luxurious pages and foxed edges is simply divine to the touch. I love how the cover looks like a newspaper clipping and has a little summary on the front. Please forgive me for leaving my interlibrary loan sticker on and not letting you see the whole thing more clearly, but those are the rules I have to follow. I couldn’t find the exact year inside besides the original 1925 publication and an indication that this is a twenty-second impression. The publisher seems to be G. P. Putnam’s Sons, which is now part of Penguin Group.

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The inside is just as precious. Right after the table of contents there is a gorgeous fold out map of Greece and its surroundings printed in a rich yellow. Call me a design nerd, but I love everything about this map, from the size to the quality of inking. At the back there is another folded supplement – a table of dates and important cultural notes, which I will be copying to my notebook for future references. In the same section I found a good chunk of glossy black and white photos of Greek art and architecture. To add a pang of nostalgia, this book also has two library lending cards with stamps dating all the way to the sixties. The cards state that the book belongs to Thelma Fanning Memorial Library in Nanton, AB. Hey, I’ve never even heard of Nanton before, and I know all kinds of small towns in Alberta! That’s kind of exciting to receive a book from an unfamiliar place. Should I leave a little letter in between the pages to the like-minded stranger far-far away?


  1. Leaving a letter sounds like a wonderful idea!

  2. I’m so glad you included a photo of the map. Her maps are just awesome! I find current books often leave out maps or have little tiny ones that aren’t very useful, but hers are excellent.

    Your copy looks like mine ……. I scored my Greeks at a booksale and loved it so much, I ended up buying (used) the Ancient World, the Romans, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and Reformation. What I like about these books is that they give a balanced treatment of both the historical figures AND the history (politics, society, etc.), and, of course, it is all chronological. It’s a great overview.

    I think the letter is a fantastic idea; it’s ideas like that which make life more interesting! Oh, and I love that your stuffy seems to be enjoying the maps and the books as much as you will!

  3. Oh great, so I won’t come off as a creeper if I leave a note in a library book! 🙂

    Cleo, I can’t believe you were able to find so many of her books used! Who in their right mind would get rid of them?! I will eventually be picking up the rest, and keep my eyes open for purchasing opportunities (I actually looked this one up on Abebooks, but they want minimum $15 with shipping; a bit steep for my liking). Oh yes, my bear was assisting me with the photo shoot and managed to get absorbed into the writing! It was THAT good! 🙂

  4. Honestly I don’t think you are going to find them for less unless it is an unusual circumstance. I just loved them so much that I swallowed hard and paid the $$$$. There are some cheaper ones on Amazon.com but if you add the shipping & exchange, the price will probably be similar. I will keep my eyes open here for you. There are a couple of great used book stores across the border …….. one of her books just might pop up there.

  5. I might have to break down and pay too. Shipping is definitely one of the worst here in Canada. It’s pretty cheep to ship something to States, but very expensive to send anything over here. So strange. I’ll be looking around though, I guess the hunt itself is part of fun. Thank you so much for all your help!

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