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Tech: 'No preview available'? No problem!

Jim Dixon 13 Feb 09 - 10:34 PM
pavane 14 Feb 09 - 09:41 AM
Jack Campin 14 Feb 09 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Ray Hall 04 Feb 13 - 01:49 PM
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Subject: Tech: 'No preview available'? No problem!
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 10:34 PM

You can sometimes tease more information out of Google Books than they want to give you.

Here's an example of how it can be done.

I've been trying to trace back to their sources some of the songs on the album "The Tale of Ale: The Story of the Englishman and His Beer." (Results so far are posted in this thread.)

One of the songs was O ALE AB ALENDO. "rob d" had already provided a quote, although he was uncertain of some of the words:
O Ale Ab Alendo thou liquor of life
Would that I had a mouth as big as a whale
But mine is too little to sum the least tittle
That belongs to the praise of a pot of good ale
But though I will never drink all that I wish
Yet still I'll endeavor to drink like a fish
I found several sources for "O Ale Ab Alendo" but most of them lacked the ending "drink like a fish." So I set up the search argument with two phrases, thus:
"o ale ab alendo" "drink like a fish"
That gave me exactly one result:
Love and Drollery‎
by John Wardroper - Poetry - 1969 - 316 pages
Page 208
367 O ale ab alendo O ale ab ... Although it will never Be as big as I wish, Yet
still I'll endeavour To drink like a fish. ...
No preview available - About this book - Add to my shared library - More editions
The words "No preview available" means it won't be easy, but I'm not ready to give up. At least we have some new words, which are not quite the same as what rob d has given us, but close enough to let us know we are on the right track. Next, let's search again, using these new words as our new search argument:
"Although it will never Be as big as I wish"
This finds the same book again, but with a bit more new text:
Love and Drollery‎
by John Wardroper - Poetry - 1969 - 316 pages
Page 208
But mine is too little To sound the least tittle That belongs to the praise of a
pot of good ale. Although it will never Be as big as I wish, Yet still I'll ...
No preview available - About this book - Add to my shared library - More editions
This process can be iterated. Next, I search using
"But mine is too little To sound the least tittle"
This finds
Love and Drollery‎
by John Wardroper - Poetry - 1969 - 316 pages
Page 208
But mine is too little To sound the least tittle That belongs to the praise of a
pot of good ale. Although it will never Be as big as I wish, Yet still I'll ...
No preview available - About this book - Add to my shared library - More editions
So we seem to be at an impasse; we haven't gained any new words. But no—there is another trick we can use. We already tentatively know some words that come before "But mine is too little", so we can add them to the search argument:
"liquor of life" "But mine is too little To sound the least tittle"
This gives
Love and Drollery‎
by John Wardroper - Poetry - 1969 - 316 pages
Page 208
... thou liquor of life! Would I had a mouth as big as a whale! But mine is too
little To sound the least tittle
That belongs to the praise of a pot of good ...
No preview available - About this book - Add to my shared library - More editions
Now it has given us the words that span the gap between "liquor of life" and "But mine is too little". Just to make sure we haven't missed any words before "liquor of life", we can search again using
"O ale ab alendo" "would I had a mouth"
And we get
Love and Drollery‎
by John Wardroper - Poetry - 1969 - 316 pages
Page 208
367 O ale ab alendo O ale ab alendo, thou liquor of life! Would I had a mouth as
big as a whale! But mine is too little To sound the least tittle That ...
No preview available - About this book - Add to my shared library - More editions
Now all we have to do is piece together all the words we have found. We can use the capitalized words as indications of where the line breaks belong. I'm guessing the first "O ale ab alendo" is the title of the piece:
O ale ab alendo

O ale ab alendo, thou liquor of life!
Would I had a mouth as big as a whale!
But mine is too little
To sound the least tittle
That belongs to the praise of a pot of good ale.
Although it will never
Be as big as I wish,
Yet still I'll endeavour
To drink like a fish.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 'No preview available'? No problem!
From: pavane
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 09:41 AM

I have been doing exactly that for some time, but there will come a point where Google obstinately refuses to provide anything new.

Sometimes this is due to end of a page, but other times, if you can GUESS a word or phrase which is on the page, you will get a new selection!

Not really relevant to this example, but in the genealogy book, you can sometimes put in the name of a known relative to get more information.

(Unfortunately, my Google Books access has just been blocked here, though)


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Subject: RE: Tech: 'No preview available'? No problem!
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 09:59 AM

I've got Wardroper's book somewhere (will need a lot of tidying up to find it), so let me know if you need that checked out.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 'No preview available'? No problem!
From: GUEST,Ray Hall
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 01:49 PM

The words come from a three part catch (round) by John Hilton first published in his "Catch that catch can" of 1652. We do not (yet) sing this but The Aldrich Catch Club regularly sings many by Hilton


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