Found by Vanessa Parks; Shrewsbury, MA
“Puzzling how the tense vacillates a bit. Is the subject of the note dead, or alive and perhaps soon to be dead? I think it’s an epitaph anyone would, and should, be happy to to have.” -V.P.
Found by Mike Heaney in Bordentown, NJ
FOUND by Rod in Sacramento, California
I found this in a book I picked up at a thrift shop. Notice the dates of the stamps; the earliest is from 1963. Love the cute little dog.
FOUND by Cindy
I found this inside a 1921 copy of Oral and Written English Intermediate. Miss Grace Dietrich wrote her name inside the book as well. Not sure if it was an exercise for the class or if the letter is real.
FOUND by Andy Tuck at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
My friend found an obscure library book on Victorian-era art (mostly silver cups, china cabinets, etc.) as a source for her thesis on Thomas Hardy. As I looked it over I noticed a 40-year-old inscription in the front, clearly written by the previous owner: someone named Penny telling someone named Martha, “May we never relive this particular past.”
I thought this was an odd thing to write in the front of a book being given as a gift. And why was it an “illustration of ennui?” I like to imagine that Penny and Martha were lovers, and celebrating the passing of an era that condemned all but the oldest and most restrictive forms of love. And why did Martha give away the gift? Was there a separation? A death?
Probably all just my imagination, but it’s still fun to wonder.