The table turned out to belong to the back yard carriage house of a neighbor, Wade Hampton Barber (yes, a descendant of Civil War General Wade Hampton and also an architect and a very kind man.) Not wanting to be table-pilferers, we were quite prepared to lug our two-legged friend back out again, but he told us to keep it. So it became ours. A two-pedestal number with one weak, repaired leg--not right as to house style and marked by many long-ago dinners--the table looked wonderful in the room.
Later on, it moved to a federal house in Cooperstown with us and went through many adventures, the leg breaking and being repaired multiple times, once collapsing under the pressure of our daughter's birthday party (eleventh, I think.) Many girls leaning at one end of the table, plus a major Schneider's Bakery cake, did in that table. Happily, both cake and girls survived. The table was propped and cake happily demolished soon afterward. For some years we relied on clamps and supports (jars, cans, anything stackable) hidden under generous tablecloths, the table sometimes standing on its own, sometimes with help. After multiple rounds of repair by a carpenter, we finally consigned the table to the garage and nabbed a sturdy Hickory Chair table on Craigslist. The new table is quite fine and has strong legs, but I miss the old one.
The table's original owner was Wade Hampton Barber's Aunt Thalia. Her name was pronounced this way: THAY-leeah. We always referred to the wayward table as Aunt Thalia's table. Aunt Thalia's name went back to ancient Greece, where Thalia (Θάλεια) was the name of various mythic figures: one of the Charites or Graces; the Muse of comedy and idyllic or short pastoral poetry; a nymph and goddess of plants who was the daughter of the creative god Hephaestus; and one of the Nereids. I like the link in meaning to abundance, flowering, and flourishing.
One summer day in the village of Cooperstown, I woke up with a long poem streaming in my head, and the name of the heroine was Thalia. And that is how a table named a book called Thaliad.
The second printing of The Foliate Head is officially out of print, with no more copies via the publisher, though there are some copies left at online bookstores. In print are: Maze of Blood; Glimmerglass; Thaliad; A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage; The Throne of Psyche. See more links above.