Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thrift Store Adventures: "Reflections" by Virginia Clarke

I love old books - maybe because I believe that The Neverending Story was a documentary, maybe because I just love the mystery of them - but I always get this rush of excitement whenever I find a beat-up, wrinkled old book. I love imagining the hands they've passed through, whose lives these words have maybe influenced, the stories behind the stories themselves - which is why I flipped when I found this one, Reflections collected by Virginia Clarke, at my favorite Brooklyn shop.

This small book was published in 1914, and is a collection of poems written by the likes of Shakespeare, Poe, Browning, Tennyson, Longfellow, and others. I'm not sure if this was a personal publication of poems that Virginia Clarke just seemed to enjoy - but either way, it's pretty freakin' cool. There are also handwritten notes inside by a mystery hand, with a short scribbled intro on the first page:

"These Reflections I've read for the last time. I return them - now- together with the clippings attached to this page that were enclosed. I've taken the liberty to make a few marginal notations to sort of supplement yours marked, so..."

The notes must have continued onto the page that was originally clipped to the book, which clearly lost its way along its travels. If anyone knows anything about the old Virginia Clarke (not the current living editor of the same name, coincidentally), please do share!

No need to click "Read More" - there's nothing else!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

According to the post by "bethntim" on this snopes.com forum -

http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=52;t=004387;p=3

Vigrgina Clarke is the grandmother of Sarah Clarke, who is an actress on the tv show "24" (here's her IMDB page - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1020124/

Impossible to say for sure if this is THE virginia clarke whose book you now own, but I think the timing works. would be pretty cool if it was...

Adri Cowan said...

Hey, thanks for this info!!! Don't you just love a good mystery? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I own "Sunny Hours" A collection by Virginia Clarke, 1914. I too love old books

Pamela said...

I have an old book titled Sunny Hours by Virginia Clarke Published by Regensteiner C.Co. Chicago. I do not see a copyright but it is obviously very old. A beautiful collection of poetry. This is for sale should anyone be interested. PLFreud@gmail.com

Pamela said...

I have a book,beautifully soft leather bound, copyright 1904 "GEMS from James Russell Lowell"
in fair shape for sale...
PLFreud@gmail.com

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