A book that has been missing from the Hereford school library in England has been returned – after 120 years.
Professor Arthur Boycott attended Hereford Cathedral School between 1886 and 1894. During that time, he stumbled upon an interesting book – ‘The Microscope and its Revelations,’ by Dr William B Carpenter. Being a scholar himself, Boycott borrowed the book so he could read it, except he forgot to give it back. Presumably it was an accident, as he constantly borrowed books and returned them back.
The book was probably quite useful, as he eventually graduated with first class honours in Natural Science, moving on to become a distinguished naturalist and pathologist. He had a strong passion for nature and constantly wanted to learn more about it, up to the point where he was a dangerous driver because he looked so much at the surrounding flora.
The book found by his wife in a huge, 6,000-book collection. If the Hereford Library would charge fines for every day the book was late, the fine would have been £7,446 – but of course, they’ll waive all fines.
It’s not the first time something like this has happened. Recently, an ancient carving was returned to the same school after 50 years, with an anonymous note saying that it was taken ‘on a dare.’
Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!