JLS (jlsjlsjls) wrote,


One of the great benefits of e-interaction is that making a simple comment to somebody else can give one the bright idea to look up/hunt for things that might not otherwise have occurred to one if depending on one's own thoughstream.

One of the great treasures in my bookcases is a copy of Sheila Braine's "The Princess of Hearts". It was originally published in 1906 and is a wonderful, magical story, beautifully illustrated by Alice B. Woodward. The copy I have belonged to my grandfather, then to my mother, and is now with me because I was the only kid in my family who loved it enough to re-read it frequently (still do and it has never lost its charm). The family copy has been missing page 83-84 for as long as I remember (it was already gone the first time I read the book ... there are quite a few loose pages in it) ... there obviously weren't any major plot points on it, since no "huh?" moments occurred while reading the rest of the story, but it was a shame. Once the World Wide Web came into full swing, I used to occasionally check used book sources for it with an eye to getting an entire copy ... it's rare and always very expensive. And then, yesterday, after a casual mention of it in a convo about childhood reading (my previous post, actually), it finally occurred to me to run a search to see if it had, since it was old enough to be in the public domain, been scanned anywhere.

It has!!!

It's a different cover, but exactly the same as my copy on the inside. And now I've finally read that missing text (and admired the accompanying illustration of the Queen of Hearts polishing the King of Hearts' crown) more than forty years after the first time I picked up this book. :-) I'll have to dig out some good acid-free paper to print and reinsert that page into the hard copy for the benefit of the next generation.

P.S. If you've not heard of or read this tale, I heartily recommend you treat yourself to a little second childhood fun ... especially since the University of Florida's Baldwin Library has made it possible for you to do so without shelling out a hundred bucks or more for the privilege. It's a lovely bit of magic. :-)
Tags: reading

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