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Tuesday
Apr022019

Proof Positive You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover

I am most intrigued by this book cover on my April calendar page. ‘Where Ghosts Walk.’ What does it mean, I wonder? Is it a blood-curdling nineteenth century gothic novel set in a monastery, or crumbling medieval mansion? Or is it perhaps a haunting moral tale of love lost and a quest for redemption?

Then I remembered the global librarian, Professor Google, and made enquiries. I was disappointed to discover that the subject of this book published in 1898 is nothing so lurid (or fun). Amazon describes it as ‘The Haunts of Familiar Characters in History and Literature’; one person on Good Reads has rated it two stars, but left no review to explain this scathing dismissal.

 Is it a blood-curdling nineteenth century gothic novel set in a monastery, or crumbling medieval mansion?

A subsequent and brief perusal of the first chapter on the Internet Archive did not incline me to read further: it is tedious and the literary style both old-fashioned and laboured. The chapter titles are deceptively enticing however: ‘Her Gloomy Honeymoon’, ‘Dante’s Everyday Wife’ and ‘Told on the Lagoon’ for example. The text does not live up to them. (Feel free to confirm this yourself, but don’t blame me for the minutes of your life lost.)

I wonder if this is why the publishers chose this book cover for the month that begins with a day of trickery? I would have preferred a gothic novel, BUT we can all enjoy the attractive design of the cover – and it proves that old adage of not judging a book by its cover!

Happy April, by the way!

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