Jilly: Books Lost and Found

Title Page, 1728 quarto edition of Lewis Theobald's Double Falsehood (via Wikimedia Commons)

Title Page, 1728 quarto edition of Lewis Theobald’s Double Falsehood (via Wikimedia Commons)

Could you lose a manuscript? Maybe your first novel, the one you wrote on now-obsolete word processing software, queried without success and put away in a drawer or a storage box under the bed?

Kay posted on Thursday about the upcoming release of Harper Lee’s novel Go Set A Watchman, almost 55 years after the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird. The ‘lost’ novel was actually Ms. Lee’s first book. It included flashbacks to the childhood of the protagonist, Scout, which Ms. Lee’s editor told her to take out and make into a separate story. She did, that book was published to great acclaim, and Go Set A Watchman was forgotten until Ms. Lee’s lawyer re-discovered it last September, clipped to the back of an early draft of TKAM.

A whole novel by a prize-winning author lying forgotten for more than fifty years is a great story. I assumed it was an unusual one, until Continue reading