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Friday, July 23, 2010

William, Jane, And John Must Be Separated!

This blog post originally appeared 3/10/2008.

While Elisabeth was waiting for her oatmeal to cook the other morning, she was wandering the stacks and came upon an interesting book called Virgins: Reluctant, Dubious, & Avowed. It has proven to be fascinating and covers all aspects of chastity, celibacy, and prudery. Speaking of prudery, check out this passage from a Scotswoman's 1877 diary:

"It is a rule that on our library shelves the books written by authors and authoresses must be kept apart. Lady novelists must be strictly separated from the gentlemen writers so Mamma was extremely annoyed that Emily had put them back on the wrong shelves after dusting. She sacked the girl without more ado. 'Look what you've done! You've placed Miss Jane Austen between Mr. William Shakespeare and Mr. John Milton. Go pack your bag this minute and leave this house immediately.'"
While quaint, I don't think we'll adopt this method of shelving here at MLC.

Segal, Muriel. Virgins: Reluctant, Dubious, & Avowed. Macmillan, 1977. 142-143.

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