RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS
16 September 2009
That was a bad typo...
It is hard to imagine a worse place to make a typo (typographic error) than on the title page. Copies of the book with the correct title page are fairly abundant--the British Libray has one and there are several in US libraries. One can only speculate how this one came about--possibly the book was a cheap pirate of the original local best seller and the title was shouted across a busy print room with the 'how' pronounced in the Italian style. When the error was pointed out the printers may have just kept printing them as a hilarious curiosity like the riverside sign 'Omlets' in 'The History of Mr Polly". *
I can see the book being touted about 1950s Venice by bent gondoliers and a bunch of shady crooks (as played, say, by Italianate versions of the young George Cole). I only have the title page which someone left folded into a Baedeker 'Italy from the Alps to Naples' and I subsequently stuck it on the wall of my book pricing room along with other mildly amusing bookish tat -like a headline clipped from a 1960s UK tabloid 'The Man with a Mountain of Books'. That's another story...
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more likely that the print setters were non-English speakers and didn't realise that they had misplaced the letters... but it reads well as a kind of wistful "Owh!, To Visit Venice"
Who was 'The Man with a Mountain of Books'? Does anyone know?
A real owhler!
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