Wednesday, 28 April 2021

of Old Books and the Evolution of Language

I have a confession to make. I’m a bookworm. I love books. I love bookstores, and I especially love used bookstores. I could easily spend hours in them, and have done just that a time or ten. There is nothing quite as awesome as finding those hidden treasures. Equally interesting is researching those authors of yesteryear. Who were they? What were they known for? Fascinating stuff!  

A friend of mine owns a used bookstore in the community I live in. Today I received a text message from her about two old books she had. I guess she knows me, because I was promptly in the car and headed to her bookstore. I walked out with my two treasures, plus eight others!

Ah, yes; the life of a bookworm!


Not being familiar with the author, I turned to Google to see what I could learn about the Rev. Charles Drelincourt. Amazing what one can find online today! Reverend Drelincourt was a French Reformed Church pastor who lived between 1595 - 1669. The book begins with a 16-page biography of the author.

I did a little more research online and discovered that modern copies of The Christians Consolations Against the Fears of Death can still be had. 

I wish I knew how old this book was. If we are to go by the Roman numerals on the cover page, MDCCLXXI, then it seems to suggest a date of 1771.

I will definitely read this book, gently and carefully, given its rough shape. To do so I am going to have to retrain my mind to some older ways of writing, such as the two forms of our modern letter “s.” The final “s” is written basically the same as we do today. Anywhere else in the word (other than the last letter), the “s” is written differently.

When I first saw this, I was instantly reminded of ancient Koine Greek which also has two forms for their equivalent of the letter “s.”  I found that fascinating to think of how languages evolved, and in some ways, similarly.

Happy reading. 


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