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From an 1851 “list of imitation book-backs” sent by Charles Dickens to a London bookbinder, who fabricated mock books with the fake titles. The New York Public Library re-created part of Dickens’s collection for its current exhibition Charles Dickens: The Key to Character.
Five Minutes in China
Forty Winks at the Pyramids
Mr. Green’s Overland Mail
A Carpenter’s Bench of Bishops
Toot’s Universal Letter-Writer
Read the rest of “The Worst of Spines” in the Harper’s Magazine archive.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”