Sunday, October 17, 2010

19th-century feminist Martian utopian novel affixed with creepy Catholic religious bookplate

The Internet Archive has a beautiful digitized copy of the oft-forgotten Unveiling a Parallel: A Romance by Two Women of the West (1893), a feminist utopian novel set on Mars that was written by Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant. Beyond the novel itself, which is presumably housed in the rare book collection at Perkins Library, Duke University, this copy has several cool attributes, including this creepy Catholic religious bookplate. Drawing on my high school Latin and my Catholic Bible, I believe Omnes morimur et quasi aqua dilabimur in terram means “We must indeed die; we are then like water that is poured out on the ground.” 2 Samuel 14:14


  1. Any updates on the origin of the book plate? I found one a few weeks ago:

  2. the rest of the quote is "and cannot be gathered up again" It is indeed catholic but it if from a time before the reformation. Death is depicted as a Pope holdig authority over both church and state.