Chance discovery of dedicated book

When book collector John Watts bought a job lot of rare books, he wasn't even expecting one by Alfred Williams - but unearthed a unique copy of Villages of the White Horse.

"To be totally honest I knew very little of Alfred Williams until I came across this book," said John (pictured above), who lives in Taunton. "I am a book collector and bought the lot of books at an auction recently for other volumes rather than for this particular one.

"Of course, it is always interesting to look through the rest of the books to see what one has purchased. I realised there was a theme running through the collection, that many of the books were either written by or previously owned by members of the Arnold-Forster family of Basset Down."

The inscription reads: "To Mrs Story Maskelyne with the author's sincerest regards. South Marston, 15 Nov 1913. Alfred Williams."

There are other books by Alfred Williams in the collection _ Life in a Railway Factory and Folk Songs of the Upper Thames, but what makes the copy of Villages of the White Horse of special interest is the inscription.

Not only is it signed by Alfred, but there is an inscription and that inscription is to Mrs Story-Maskelyne, whom Alfred dedicated the publishing of the book to.

"I always carefully examine books for inscriptions, book plates, etc." said John, "and it was a pleasing discovery to see that this copy of Villages of the White Horse had a special inscription."

Our thanks to John for contacting us and supplying the photographs. If you have a special copy of one of Alfred's books, please contact us as we'd love to see it.