String to Morocco

4. Part leather: quarter morocco, marbled boards: Robinson Crusoe

The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (London: Harris, 1818) is a 170-page book covered in marbled boards with morocco (usually goat) leather down the spine. New book-form fiction could be sold in ‘sheets’ (sewn signatures), (paper-covered) ‘boards’, part-leather, or (later) cloth binding, or custom bound, often lavishly. Commonly, the purchaser paid to have a work sold in sheets or boards bound according to taste and budget. This novel probably sold for several shillings, far from twopence for the Ross edition; morocco leather was a finer grade than the more usual calf; this edition of Robinson Crusoe belonged to someone from the middle classes at least. Given the wear and tear, this was likely a well used volume, as expected of a popular classic.