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The Holy Bible (miniature).

$400.00 $250.00

Miniature bible with original magnifying glass.

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Glasgow: David Bryce and Son; London: Henry Frowde Oxford University Press Warehouse Amen Corner 1896 – 64mo, 43 x 27 mm, pp. 876, 28 illustrations  by C. B. Birch (verso of title-page), including frontispiece, printed on India paper, original magnifying class contained in inside front cover pocket, original green morocco binding, with ornately gilt fretwork surrounding centre green morocco circle, spine gilt, all edges gilt; lower front hinge starting, slightly sprung, some slight wear to extremities, but generally a very good copy, with the inscription “M.E. Bebrouth/from her Mother/Thursday Island/ 1897” on the verso of the front free end-paper. The text is a reduced facsimile of the Oxford University Press “nonpareil Bible.” Darrow and Moule (revised) 2064.

My research has turned up only one M. E. Bebrouth in the births, deaths and marriage records of Australia from 1788 – 1925. Margaret Emma Bebrouth, was born in 1887 to Master Mariner John Thomas Bebrouth and Ann Jane Cook. In 1897, when she received the Bible from her mother, Margaret was most likely 10 years old. Her father died on Thursday Island in 1905, but by then the 16 year old Margaret was a district nurse in Charters Towers. She later married, had one daughter, and spent the second half of her long life in Brisbane where she died in 1977 aged 90.

So the book, published in Glasgow in 1896, was gifted on Thursday Island the following year. Over the next forty-eight years it slowly made its way south with Margaret to Charters Towers, Mitchell, Ayr and Rockhampton, all places she lived. Perhaps it travelled with her to Innisfail when her mother died there in 1915 (pure specualtion on my part). Finally arriving with her in Coorparoo, Brisbane, in 1943. She then lived in Bardon for more than twenty years, but died in Windsor. Sadly her daughter, Edith Ann, passed away only three years later in 1980, aged 58.

We acquired it from a relation (also a Bebrouth) who was ready to part with it, but who didn’t seem to know who M. E. Bebrouth was, except that she was related – it’s a quite uncommon name. It’s also an uncommon first edition of the bible – the 1905 reprint is more common.
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