Washington and Lee book found after it was missing for 145 years

Mike Dau never thought that his overdue library book would make national news.

That will happen when a book has been missing for almost 145 years.

“I was driving to work and listening to a Chicago radio station,” said Dau, a former college football head coach who lives and works in Illinois. “I heard them mention my name. I thought, ‘Are they talking about some other guy?’ Then, I realized, ‘Holy mackerel! They’re talking about the book!’ “

Wednesday, it seemed that everyone was talking about “the book,” a 167-year-old tome that had gone missing from the Washington and Lee University library during the sacking of Lexington in the Civil War in 1864, back before the place was even called Washington and Lee.

W&L announced Wednesday that volume one of “History of the War in the Peninsular and in the South of France,” part of an exhaustive study of the Napoleonic wars penned by a long-dead British solider and historian named W.F.P. Napier, had been returned to the university after a 145-year absence. According to a release from W&L’s communications office, the book might qualify as “perhaps the longest overdue library book in history.”

No overdue fines are expected.

Source: The Roanoke Times

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