Sunday, 13 September 2020

Excellent!


I have been collecting books on the Loch Ness Monster since I was a kid. Back then I had the well known titles such as "Loch Ness Monster" by Tim Dinsdale, "In Search of Lake Monsters" by Peter Costello, "The Loch Ness Story" by Nicholas Witchell and "The Great Orm of Loch Ness" by Ted Holiday. After a hiatus of some years, I went back to collecting monster titles in the late 1990s and it has grown steadily over those years but tailed off as nearly all the titles came into my possession.

Some take a lot longer due to their rarity and when they do come up, a bidding war may ensue. So it was with Constance Whyte's "The Loch Ness Monster" published in 1951. It is a small work of fifteen pages and is a prelude to her greater work, "More Than a Legend" published six years later. I actually put out scanned copies of this booklet a few years back and you can read them here. But I did not own it and had to consult a library copy. Now the booklet did appear on eBay about six years ago and the bidding went up to about £250. I was not the highest bidder.

Last Tuesday another copy appeared with a Buy It Now price of £10. That is good and bad at the same time. It is good because you will get it at a great price. It is bad because others will be looking for it. When I got the eBay alert to its presence I was surprised no one had grabbed it hours before. Providence was on my side and I had no hesitation in clicking that buy button as fast I as could. The booklet is now sitting proudly amongst my other Nessie books.

How much is the booklet actually worth? Ten pounds or two hundred and fifty pounds? The answer is whatever someone is prepared to pay at the time. It may be another six or seven years before another one appears, so I would rather not wait for the next opportunity. But who knows? Another may appear in a matter of weeks. We shall see, but the problem with being a collector is that the more you collect, the less there is left to collect. There are now only three titles I do not possess and they are all booklets. I have never seen any of them on eBay or on the leading second hand book websites. It may therefore be reasonable to conclude that there is no one on earth who has the complete collection.

As befits a serious collector, I have also collected the various revisions and reprints of Nessie books. For example, Tim Dinsdale's aforementioned book went through four editions and all were updated in line with Tim's adventures and the latest news from the loch. Other titles were republished with the exact same content, so it seemed unnecessary to me to buy them. Of course, new titles continue to come onto the market, the last I think was "The Loch Ness Sea Lion" by Rob Cornes back in August 2019. Stories, films, photos and investigations always appear each year, so there is always scope to publish a new book on the subject.

Anyway, here's to all the Nessie books out there, the good, the bad and the ugly! With apologies for any omissions.





The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com


 

33 comments:

  1. Congrats on getting that book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The good, the bad and the ugly.There is plenty of good ones there and i will plum for Binns's book for the ugly and Loch ness nessie and me for the bad.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I do love it when you grab a massive bargain on eBay!

    In your opinion, what's the best and worst books you have?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For bad and ugly, on the sceptic side, you can't beat Binns' exaggerations, misdirection, half-truths and guesswork. On the "believer" side, Searle's "7 Years" book is a fail for someone who claimed to be the No.1 monster hunter, he plagiarized parts, it is lightweight compared to others and looks like it was written for the money.


      Delete
    2. On the good side, I would take Tim Dinsdale's "Loch Ness Monster" for completeness and readability. Mackal's book is more complete but more like a reference book. Holiday's Orm book comes close but is hindered by his Tullimonstrum wanderings.

      Delete
  4. A great collection indeed.
    My personal favourite has to be Constance Whytes "More than a legend".
    (Superb title I think). Prior to discovering this blog she remains my go to person for her sheer tenacity and open mind.
    Lucky enough to have her book and GBs two most recent publications.
    That's the sum of my very small collection..... though I have read many others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are lucky to have this book. Right now through Amazon (U.S.), there's one copy available for $985. eBay has one copy for $498.

      Delete
    2. Are you referring to Whyte's larger work, "More than a Legend"? It is the book in the bottom left of the above mosaic.

      Delete
    3. I am pretty sure you can get it cheaper than hundreds of dollars?

      Delete
    4. Yes, her large book, the one indicated.
      What copies I've found doing a quick Internet search are still pricey. Besides the prices I quoted before, there's one bookseller in England selling his single copy for £200, another English seller has one for $100 USD. I will go about downloading the pamphlet pages you so graciously provided earlier, and thank you for that. As for the book, oh well.

      Delete
  5. Funny enuf Ive just got costellos lake monsters book off ebay 8 quid lol..i thought I'd broaden my horizons from not just Loch Ness!! I have a great collection now of at least 20 books and my all time favourite is Ted holidays great orm followed by mackals! Just started reading search at Loch Ness by Dennis meredith although I've had it a while. I agree with the Binns book absolute rubbish, "and harmsworths not the best!! Each to his own though! I wud love to see Mr Feltham write a book.. One day maybe! Happy reading lads . Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  6. A wondrous collection, a few I owned and binned when I moved house.
    I daresay, as a collection, they will present the weary bloodshot eyed reader with fearsome examples of shameless plagiarism, lazy writing and repeated exaggerations and arrant falsehoods [ St. Columba's easily dispelled sighting ? yawn ].

    ReplyDelete
  7. Didnt Binns' try telling every1 the surgeons photograph was an otters tail although it didnt look anything like an otters tail? How could anyone1 read his book after that ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, i thought i saw an interview with him on television once and he said it was an otter's tail.

      Delete
  8. Wot ?

    Roy Mackal's canonical work not on the list ?

    Shame on you GB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Speaking of Mackal, what's your thinking on Mokele-Mbembe?

      Delete
  9. Ah yes, must be later edition than mine.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great collection, Ronald.
    Love your blog.
    My classics teacher from Annan Academy,Alan Wilkins, had a great series of sightings back in 1975 and his first hand account was the catalyst for my interest in this magical mystery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I have been trying to contact Alan for some time with no success.

      Delete
  11. Nice addition.

    I've got a first edition copy of Rupert Gould's The Loch Ness Monster from 1934. I'll never sell it as it was a gift from a girl.

    It's probably my favourite pro book - I haven't read any of GB's books sadly.

    I thought Steuart Campbell's The Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence was a very good against book. Read it a few times.

    I actually enjoyed Binns' first book (though I get that everyone here despises it, he's pretty smug) because it talked about a lot of incidents I was unfamiliar with at the time.

    I think A Monstrous Commotion is the best neutralish overview. Gets a few details wrong but it's overall very well paced.

    True story: I was working on a film at the time and the only book I read all year was that - I read it 3 times. Utterly bizarre thing to do. I think it was just easy and I was so stressed it was like a comfort blanket.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My computer has been out of action for about ten day's so I am re-reading F W Holiday's The Dragon and The Disc. I don't know what the truth of any of this is but I find it a fascinating read.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I know they are anathema to many on this blog but It's long been my thought that the Campbell and Binns books do the excellent and long overdue task of weeding out the vast majority of bogus sightings and iffy photos thus leaving us to concentrate on the small hardcore of good evidence that is impossible to explain away.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The title SOLVED still makes me chuckle ha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolute propaganda book..which I bought when young.when I realized the author had been paid to push propaganda instead of a balanced book on the creatures in lochness,I wanted my money back.
      In addition this is a rank insult to all those intelligent witnesses of a dinosaur like animal seen in the loch. And why are all of you continually pushing this rot of a book when there are others that one can consider Real books.binns is trash!!

      Delete
  15. I'd be surprised if Binn's book wasn't hated by dedicated believers. A serious student of the LNM should welcome a study of the evidence that highlights evidential inconsistencies, exaggeration, fakery, and the lies and chicanery of the many charlatans that litter the history of the LNM, Wilson, Grant and Campbell just for starters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Curious how you defend binns crap book,and cite a few frauds but pointidly avoid all the hundreds of valid sightings.

      Delete
    2. I don't think Binns adds much to what Maurice Burton said 22 years before. Being someone who appears to be involved with literature he tries to spin the Loch Ness story into a story of intrigue and psychology as he caricatures various monster hunters in various ways to spice up the book. His lamentable treatment of various sightings have been covered on this blog before.

      Binns covets the title of master nessie skeptic but it is beyond his grasp.

      Delete
    3. Rutherford may be one of the paid skeptics you mention john.

      Delete
    4. I thought they would all be on furlough just now.

      Delete