It’s always fun to come across evidence of provenance in our collection.  From bookplates belonging to eighteenth century aristocrats, to the carefully written name of a young reader on the front page of a nineteenth century children’s book, I can’t help but imagine the life of a book’s previous owners.

For our newly accessioned copy of Boz: An Intimate Biography of Charles Dickens, I didn’t have to imagine much, because the owner was one of the twentieth century’s most famous figures—Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor.

The inscription on this copy reads; “To Miss Elizabeth Taylor, a fine little actress, with the best wishes of Joseph C. Boarman author of Boz April 4, 1946”

Taylor would have received this copy when she was 14 years old, two years after her breakout performance in National Velvet.  If you’d like to know more about this book, email Christina Jensen, Head of Public Services, at cwjensen@smu.edu

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