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  • Writer's pictureLinda Borromeo

Jane Austen, Merry Hall and a Traveling Book

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

Close to five thousand miles—across an ocean and the third largest continent—that's how far the book in my hands had traveled.

On a rainy spring day, I'd just started browsing in a used bookstore, looking as always for an unexpected treasure. I saw a familiar author and reached for the book. What I discovered, however, was more than I imagined.

When I opened the cover, I found an inscription left by, almost certainly, the first owner of the book: G. A. Ives. And, I found that G. A. Ives had lived on Eastville in Bath, England (I obscured to specific address to protect the privacy of the current residents).

Here is the journey the book, Merry Hall, took to reach the United States and make its way across country to a used bookstore in the Pacific Northwest:

Map courtesy of