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Check your local Yellow Pages under “Books – Antiquarian & Rare,” “Books – Used” or “Books – Appraisals.” Though you may find someone who’s willing to look at the book free of charge, many booksellers do charge a fee for examinations of this sort, or appraisals. How much research you should do just depends upon the book in question (is it very valuable or unusual?
) and how much time you feel comfortable putting into it.
If so, the library who owns the book will have an informational listing for it which may include an estimated date.
But 19th century (and some newer) books are often not dated. Author bibliographies are sometimes enlightening, especially in the case of first editions and other early editions.
Many reprint publishers did not include dates, either. Some are available online; others will be accessible through your local library.
However, if there are illustrations, especially if they were created just for the book in question, it may be helpful to find out what dates the illustrator lived & was active.
Biographical information may even mention the illustrations for the book in question.