So, a few months back, I bought an 1894 SPCK biography of George Herbert. Unusually, it was anonymous, so I didn't view the inscription on the flyleaf by one John J. Daniell as anything worth reading, more of a defect than anything else.
Of course, if I'd read the inscription, I'd have noticed that the inscription identified Daniell as the author. Here, look for yourself:
(click to enlarge)
Modern reprints of the biography identify Daniell as the author; according to Hymnary.org, Daniell was "born at Bath, Oct. 6, 1819. In 1848 he was ordained by the Bp. of Manchester. His subsequent charges included the curacies of Gerrans, Menheniot, Kington-Langley, and others, and the vicarages of Langley-Fitzurse, Winterborne-Stoke, and Berwick St. James, Wilts, and Langley-Burrell, having been preferred to the last in 1879. Mr. Daniell is the author of several prose works, as: Life of Mrs. Godolphin; The Geography of Cornwall, &c.; and of a poetical work, Lays of the English Cavaliers.... He died Nov. 1, 1898."
So this evening, I open up the book, and find in it two letters from Daniell, one of which discusses the book, and the other responding to his correspondent's thoughts on the volume, and discussing future literary plans. Here's the earlier letter, written in the same bold (if not always perfectly legible) hand as is the inscription:
So Daniell was in his 75th year when he wrote the book, and the letters.Between that fact and my own illegible scrawl, I'm not knocking his penmanship.
Rather a nicer find than I had thought, taken all in all.