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I've had a copy of a BIGGER version of this book (684 pages rather than 357 in generally the same format and typeface) for almost thirty years. It wasn't in great shape to begin with so, unfortunately, through a number of moves, it has lost the title page, the spine has vanished, and the cardboard front and back covers are no longer attached, but the contents are complete.
I've cross-checked entries and it appears that my version contains ALL the entries in the Google-books version and many more that this version does not. I bought it used from either a used book store in NYC or in Holyoke, MA.
Ripley's Believe it or not does not hold a candle to this book.
Unlike Ripley where the exotic is emphasized even if completely false, this book actually tries to be accurate or at least to reflect the contemporary state of knowledge. For instance, the last entry is on "Music of the Hindoos" ius about 500 words long. At that length one cannot expect anything comprehensive, but given that this was produced in England of 1859 (after the war in India), it does not put down the music or the musical theory, provides Sanskrit words with diacritical marks to help pronounce them correctly, and there is nothing grotesquely wrong. All said and done, it is a professionally done, scholarly essay within the limits of the genre.
My copy has had about a 100 yellow sticky-notes in it for the last twenty years and whenever I go back to reading it, I am always pleasantly surprised and truly amazed.
Other editions - View all
Ten Thousand Wonderful Things: Comprising whatever is marvellous and rare ...
E. F. King
Limited preview - 2019