Very exciting Milne in the post

I wrote a while ago about my love of A.A. Milne, and how he had been the perfect author to set me off on a love of book hunting – being very prolific, with books ranging from in print to impossible-to-find. It’s rather wonderful (if sometimes frustrating) that, more than 12 years after I first started avidly collecting Milne books, there are still some that I’ve never seen copies of online.

One of his later plays, Other People’s Lives, was in the category until recently. It’s not even in the Bodleian Library. I’ve had ‘want’ alerts at abebooks.co.uk for more than 10 years, and it’s never appeared there… until a couple of weeks ago!  And here it is…

It looks very ordinary there, but you can’t imagine (or perhaps you can) how thrilled I am to have it in my possession now. And it was still cheaper than your average new hardback (somebody obviously wasn’t aware of its scarcity… or perhaps they thought nobody would care.)

Like a few other of Milne’s plays, it was never published for readers. The only versions ever made were acting editions published by Samuel French, intended to be used by theatre companies, amateur dramatics societies, etc. This one obviously found its way to Waltham Forest Libraries at some point, but (having not been taken out since 1965, according to the stamps on the sheet inside) was put out for sale.

And is now in the hands of the person who will perhaps appreciate it the most!

16 thoughts on “Very exciting Milne in the post

  • April 2, 2015 at 11:29 am
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    Congratulations, Simon! How exciting to get such a rare volume. It gives me hope that the long-out-of-print books on my ABE wishlist will turn up eventually as well.

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    • April 2, 2015 at 9:41 pm
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      Never stop hoping! I couldn't believe this eventually turned up. ONE day I will complete my AAM collection…

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  • April 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm
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    Congratulations to you andto the Waltham Forest for not destroying the books. Here in the US, unwanted library books are routinely stripped of their covers, the covers put in the trash and the pages in the recycling….whether they are still circulating or not!

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    • April 2, 2015 at 9:41 pm
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      That is heartbreaking! Better World Books are great at selling ex-library stock, and some of the money goes to literary charities too – which made it all the better.

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    • April 4, 2015 at 8:51 am
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      Congratulations, delighted for you! I still remember pre-internet days when I'd go to every second shop possible, then to great jumble sales and car boots with long lists of wants. It would easily take a few years but I'd eventually find my desires and lots of other treasures on the way. Holidays weren't complete without visiting the possibilities wherever we happened to be. I found the book I'd been searching for the longest in a farm car boot sale in N Wales, now it (part of a quartet) has been republished in pristine condition but I keep my old find. Hunting fun.

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    • April 2, 2015 at 9:42 pm
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      Fingers crossed! It's going to be a bit of an anti-climax if I hate it…

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  • April 2, 2015 at 8:13 pm
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    How exciting Simon! The thrill of the chase is something we bookish types love, and well done on tracking down a rare one! :)

    kaggsysbookishramblings

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    • April 2, 2015 at 9:42 pm
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      People aren't book obsessives definitely can't understand the thrill of the chase like we do…

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  • April 2, 2015 at 9:54 pm
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    What a treasure for you to find and I know it has found the right home.

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  • April 3, 2015 at 12:28 am
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    Congratulations. Very pleased for you and the book, which will be looked after as it deserves.

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  • August 19, 2015 at 6:47 am
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    Very cool. By the way, did you ever read “Enchanted Places” by Christopher Robin Milne – his autobiography of being the muse for his father’s stories and poems? It is a lovely book!

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    • August 19, 2015 at 8:41 am
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      Oh, definitely, a few times! The sequel (The Path Through The Trees) was even better.

      Reply

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