My collecting of religious books continues to fuel my imagination of days long ago. One of my more recent acquisitions is a Pilgrims Progress edition published in 1915 London by The Religious Tract Society. It has an attractive blue cloth cover with a nicely detailed and somewhat ornate illustration. The wear and tear over the past 100 years is really not that bad. There are some smudges and a few spots on the pages but that just helps confirm the book was actually read, consumed, and maybe used for the purpose it was written.
The most interesting feature of this book is a presentation label placed on the front of the first end page. It reads:
Sunday School 1914
My first search for Shankill Baptist Church sends me to the web page of a church by that exact name located in Belfast Ireland shankillbaptist.com. The community started in 1895 as the industrial revolution was taking hold of the area and there was a great need for evangelizing. Since the book was published in the UK and since everything I search with Shankill appears to be in Belfast, I’m thinking that may be where the book was presented to Agnes Irvine over 100 years ago.
I have since emailed Shankill Baptist in Ireland and await any information that may confirm the book actually originated from their church.