Literary Tattoos: Edna Lyall Donovan

This is Donovan’s tattoo:

When my great-great-grandmother was pregnant she was ridiculed by the rest of the family for reading a book that was not the Bible. As revenge for the taunts she named her son after the main character of the book. That’s how Donovan became a common name in my family. Since I’m about to receive my MLS I thought a library tattoo would be very appropriate and had a cataloger friend determine the proper LC call number. I managed to find a copy of the book a few years ago, so I’m giving you a shot of the tattoo with the first page of the novel. It’s about a lad who gets kicked out boarding school for gambling and goes off to be a privateer. The book is Donovan by Edna Lyall, the copy I have has a hand written date of 1896 in it. I could not be more proud of my great-great-grandmother.


  1. Heather says

    I recently found a copy of Donovan in Houston, and inside is written ‘Isabel MacDonald, Oct. 1896′ .

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