A copy of Gibbon's Decline and Fall

Contributed by Doc PM

A copy of Gibbon's Decline and Fall

The books are stamped with the name of the original book seller:Boskrow of Redruth in Cornwall. They also bear a circular stamp "OGL Holzminden". When I bought the books in Newcastle in 1964 the signatures after page 98 were uncut; having bought the books to read I cut the signatures in all four volumes. It was not until the 1980's, reading "The Tunnellers of Holzminden" By Col Durnford-Yates, that I realised the significance of the stamp "OGL Holzminden". Here were four volumes which had found there way from Redruth to Holzminden, a German POW Camp for captured British Officers and thence back to the UK for me to read! The fascination lies in the movements of the four volumes; the fact that they had remained together; and that so little of the work had been read. Was Volume one partly read before despatch to Germany, did a POW read part of Volume One, how did the books find their way back to the UK? So many fascinating questions. Both of my grandfathers fought in and survived the First World War. So for me these books are a poignant token of a major historical event to which I have tenuous connections both through the books and the grandfathers.

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Redruth Holzminden Newcastle

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