18th Century Books Stolen in the Late '50s Found in a Locked Wardrobe

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The London Library is getting some long-overdue books back. Several of the library’s historic books dating back to the 18th century or older were recently discovered in a locked wardrobe, The Guardian reports. The 200-year-old London Library doesn’t sell books, so they must have been stolen by whoever squirreled them away.

Taken from the library sometime in the late 1950s, the books were discovered by a dealer who was asked to evaluate the collection of a family’s deceased relative. The stolen books returned last week include texts like A Discourse on Witchcraft (1736); a 1680 book with the long-winded title The most Sacred and Divine Science of Astrology by JBBD, a Protestant Minister of the True, Antient, Catholick and Apostolick Faith of the Church of England; the 1722 text The First Part of the Treatise of the Late Dreadful Plague in France Compared With That Terrible Plague in London, in the Year 1665; The Age of the World Collected in All Its Periods by JS (1707); A Collection of Letters by His Excellency General George Monk Relating to the Restoration of the Monarchy (1714); The True-Born English-man. A Satyr (1708); and The Famous History of the Seven Champions of Christendom (1696).

The library does not impose late fines, and the family of the book thief won’t be charged. Some of the pages were mutilated due to attempts to remove the London Library stamps on them, but at least one text still had a complete stamp, allowing it to be identified as the library’s property.

The London Library is thrilled to have its books back, and really, 50-some-odd years isn’t that long to wait for an overdue book. Some libraries have waited more than a century to get their missing books back.

[h/t The Guardian]