I recently stumbled across an Ebay auction of a double volume of THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS. Of course, I had heard of that newspaper before (after all, my current academic research focuses on Victorian periodicals), but I hadn't realised what a gem it was. But the person selling his copy on Ebay kindly provided pictures. OH MY! Where are my smelling salts?!?!?!?
That volume on Ebay was in a bad shape and the price was already quite high when I discovered the page, so I decided not to bid on it. The volume that I ended up buying (because, hey, it's for research, right? and I can use it for both my academic work and my creative work -- awesome! it's like "Buy one get one free"!!!) arrived today. In a word: it's gorgeous!
So far I've just leafed through it and took pictures of some of the highlights, e.g.
- intriguing bits of paper pasted into the newspaper (pic on upper right)
- prize cattle
- masses of people emigrating to the New World
- the construction of the Crystal Palace for the Grand Exhibition in 1851
- the new railway station in Newcastle upon Tyne (pic on upper left)
- some sheet music
- the Assyrian sculptures from Nimrod at the British Museum*
- Stamp Duty in action
* I yelled "Wheeee!" when I came across that particular picture because DEVIL'S RETURN deals with the excavations in Nimrod in the mid-1840s. :-)