Feeds

'Picture of Dorian Gray' borrowed in 1934 is finally returned

Intriguing case of immortality work lost for generations

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A rare book telling the story of a young man who sells his soul in a bargain whereby he stops ageing has been returned to a library after having been taken out in 1934.

The tome in question is a valuable first edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray, the novel written by noted 19th-century writer, wit and theatrical luvvie Oscar Wilde - the Stephen Fry of his time. In it a young man embarks on a life of debauchery after having his portrait painted, and for some reason or another the picture becomes old and raddled while the chap remains yummy and does not age.

Perhaps needless to say, the eponymous protagonist eventually comes to a bad end, but not before having lots of fun.

Possibly mysteriously, the first edition of the tale held by the Chicago Public Library was checked out in 1934 ... and never given back. However the Library is currently holding a "blue moon" late-fees amnesty, and this prompted the volume's long-delayed return.

It seems that the book was found by a Ms Harlean Hoffman Vision in her late mother's effects, but Ms Vision didn't dare return it as she had calculated that fines of more then $6,000 had built up. Thus she waited until the rare amnesty was declared (the Chicago library hasn't held one since the 1990s).

In fact, according to this Reuters report on the case, there's a cap of $10 on late fees, so the book could easily have been returned earlier. There's nothing in the story about Ms Vision's mother having lived an unusually long time without apparently ageing or anything. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so
Website letting consumers claim $10 cash back crashes after stampede
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors
'It's ecological' says spokesman, now how would you like your Bambi done?
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.