When you’re in grade school the “lost and found” is usually a well-worn cardboard box filled with mittens, lunchboxes and retainers carelessly left behind. But the literary lost and found is a never-ending bounty of wild discoveries. Let’s take a peek and see what’s in this week’s collection:
A set of letters, including four written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, were recently auctioned for 45,600GBP (~$80K USD). The letters contain insight into Shelley’s atheistic themes and were written while the poet was studying at Oxford University.
Speaking of watery graves … an American Civil War-era submarine thought to have inspired Jules Verne’s Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was discovered just off the coast of Panama. The unique lock-out system of the Union submersible, The Explorer is nearly identical to the one described by Verne. No word yet on if they’ve found the craft that inspired Roald Dahl’s “Wonkavator”.
Now with 50% more nougat … Alexandre Dumas fans are in for a long overdue treat. An unfinished story by the French novelist has been pieced together from serialized chapters and published in novel form. (This process is not unlike how they make hot dogs.) Ok, so they added an ending. And a few robots. Ok, no robots, but the adventure tale is set in revolutionary France, so you never know what might happen! This work is actually the third installment of a trilogy — no word yet on when this final piece will be widely available.
And finally … you just never know what you’ll find in a book of poetry. A Piggly Wiggly receipt, library card, a bus pass maybe — good poems, if you’re lucky. But if you’re really lucky you just may find a previously unknown Bach aria. The music was said to have been written as accompaniment to poems in the book. Alas, there is not much to be said about the poetry or the poet — and apparently the only reason the book survived a recent fire is because the librarian was intrigued by the unique binding. So, poets take heed — the key to survival is in the binding.