Friday, 16 March 2012

A tale of Lost and Found - 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Jane Eyre'

This is the story of two books.  One was given to me as a present on my birthday some years ago.  I was thrilled beyond words when I opened the plain paper package to find a copy of 'Jane Eyre', by Charlotte Bronte, dated 1933. On the cover it had a picture of a golden Pegasus flying amongst the stars and I loved it immediately.  'Jane Eyre' is one of my all time favourite books and I couldn't have been happier.  I was told it came from an old book shop in Dublin and it took pride of place on my college book shelf.

Some years later, while visiting Haworth in Yorkshire, the picturesque village where the Bronte family lived and wrote, I took a walk along the cobbled main street and went browsing at a secluded book shop while sheltering from the rain.  Just as I was about to leave, a golden Pegasus caught my eye and it reminded me of something.  It was on the binding of a copy of 'Wuthering Heights', by Emily Bronte.  I quickly exchanged money for this treasure and buried my find at the bottom of my bag to protect it from the rain.  It wasn't until a few days later, when I had returned to Ireland and I was placing the book upon my bookshelf that I noticed the similarity... my old Dublin copy of 'Jane Eyre' and this new Yorkshire copy of 'Wuthering Heights' were a matching pair!  Both were published in 1933, by Daily Express Publications London, both with a flying golden Pegasus on the front.   It took some seventy years, but I like to think that these tomes were reunited at last, not unlike the heroes and heroines of the books themselves, on my bookshelf, never to be parted again.

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