I guess bob didn’t like the book
While prepping to teach a graduate seminar in classical theory seminar a couple of years ago, I decided to buy this edited volume featuring a series of Durkheimian scholars dealing about the role the notion of “representations” played in his work.
This is one of those Routledge hardback-only deals that is only of interest to a small audience of cognoscenti, which means that you can only find it for exorbitant prices at the usual used book sites. The price was indeed exorbitant, but I decided the shell the big bucks anyways (as opposed to a lot of edited volumes, this one was actually worth it). The seller said that the book in good condition, and the pages were generally all clean except for some writing in the first page. I remember seeing that the book indeed had some writing, but it only consisted of some sort of note written by a person who bought the book and obviously sent it to somebody else as a gift or something. I didn’t pay too much attention to it at the time. The note in the first page is shown below.
When I picked up the book again a couple of months ago it struck me this scribble might actually be more significant than I first realized. I don’t want to proffer any grandiose theories here, but I submit to you that the writer (“Bill”) is William S. F. Pickering (the book’s editor and a well-known Durkheim scholar and founder of The British Center for Durkheimian Studies) and the intended recipient (Bob Jones) is not a third-generation hellfire and brimstone evangelist, but the equally renowned Durkheim scholar Robert Alun Jones. Since I now own the book, either Prof. Jones wasn’t very impressed (which I doubt because the chapters are great), or he figured (correctly) that there was a good market for these kinds of hugely overpriced limited edition books among suckers like myself (other scenarios are of course possible, maybe involving a forgetful Professor lending his book out to a starving grad student).