When was this book written?
October 2, 2007 1:53 PM   Subscribe

I recently bought a paperback book from an antique shop. The book's called The Mystery of Love, Courtship and Marriage Explained, and it was written by Henry J. Wehman, published by Wehman Bros. But there's no copyright date! Anywhere! In any form! The cover looks like it's a "newer" edition (1920's or so) of an older writing, since the writing uses language and refers to customs that seem outdated even for the early 20th century. There are details such as proper flirting with your parasol, the inappropriateness of women's rights meetings, marrying outside of your social class, calling your husband "Mister" instead of his first name, etc. The word "hugging" (not the act itself) is even called a vulgarity. So, it's old. But how old? How can I find out when this was actually written? Google turns up nada.

If it helps, I've scanned a few pages, including the cover.
posted by katillathehun to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Worldcat places it at 1890.
posted by jessamyn at 1:57 PM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

A bookfinder search on "Wehman Brothers" doesn't bring back anything published earlier than 1908. Not definitive, but a datapoint.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:59 PM on October 2, 2007

Response by poster: *gapes* I searched all over the web and could not find any mention of it. Thank you!
posted by katillathehun at 2:00 PM on October 2, 2007

Gah! The librarian mind will always triumph over the retailer mind.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:00 PM on October 2, 2007

Unlikely to be an 1890 paperback. Some sort of reprint. What size/format of paperback? I didn't think they existed mass market until the 1930s. In my experience absence of copyright dates is common in old mass market paperback books
posted by A189Nut at 2:01 PM on October 2, 2007

Response by poster: A189NUT - as mentioned in my post, I suspect it is, indeed, a reprint. I just wanted to know when it was originally penned. But you're right - paperbacks weren't common until the '30s according to Wikipedia.
posted by katillathehun at 2:06 PM on October 2, 2007

And I can't seem to find anywhere online to read or buy it, more's the pity.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:10 PM on October 2, 2007

Oh, this Henry J. Wehman was a fine ole boy. He wrote and published all sorts of goodies.
posted by JJ86 at 2:33 PM on October 2, 2007

katillathehun, I hereby saddle you with what you should consider a sacred obligation to scan every page of that book and post it on the interweb.

The copyright is most certainly expired. You live in 2007; you are not fifty feet from a scanner (or at least a digital camera). Get to it.
posted by Netzapper at 3:01 PM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

Mod note: removed a few comments, sorry folks
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:14 PM on October 2, 2007

This will be deleted, but Jess, thank you a million times for worldcat. I've never seen it and it is 10,000 kinds of awesome. You should sidebar it or stick it in the blue.
posted by The Bellman at 4:32 PM on October 2, 2007

I was going to write exactly the same thing, Bellman.
posted by mojohand at 7:24 PM on October 2, 2007

posted by Savannah at 8:54 PM on October 2, 2007

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