Browsing through Bartlett's -- a 'new' edition

Browsing through Bartlett's -- a 'new' edition

When my fellow blogger Marianne Goss published this post on her fine blog, Retired in Chicago, the phrase "editing reference books" caught my eye much better than the word "outdated." Her edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is two editions younger than my previous 1956 edition, which I inherited from a friend of a friend, so -- surprise! -- I got in touch with Marianne and her edition is now mine.

(Other books came home with me, too, and at least one -- "On Language" by William Safire -- will be the subject of several other posts.)

The other night, I decided to move the forest of bookmarks in the old Bartlett's into the new one. Most of them have been there long enough that I can find things by the picture on the bookmark in my mind. However, some adjustments were needed.

The Anglican Communion's Book of Common Prayer didn't show up on first browsing, so I took the bookmark with a painting of an angel out of the old edition's Book of Common Prayer section and moved it to the section for the Holy Bible in the new (to me) edition.

Some things are marked with sticky notes in the 1956 edition. I decided to leave them on those pages. In some cases, I wrote notes to signal the same author or quotation in the new book.

But I'm keeping the old one around... my handwritten circles and arrows should come in handy for some of the older quotations.

I just have my new(er) edition on the shelf and my old(er) edition on the lowest shelf, a.k.a. a pile on the floor.


Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.


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  • But did you find any newer than 1956 quotations?

  • Oh yes, such as "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." -- Janis Joplin, I think -- but that's why I need the new(er) edition.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Joni Mitchell sang it, and references say she wrote it (which was usual for the time).

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks, Jack.

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