Philobiblon: The text wishlist

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The text wishlist

The arrival of the latest History Carnival reminds me of a meme I was trying to promote, but haven't actually got around to completing myself.

So, five texts that I wish had survived but apparently haven't:

1. The complete works of Isabella Whitney, the first poet of London. (Which I suspect must include a significant number of anonymously published ballads, and possibly more books - given that the two we know of survived only in one copy.)

2. The complete works of Sappho - well of course: one has to include the mother of poetry. (The "newest" poem is here.)

3. The memoirs of Phryne, courtesan of Thebes. (What a read that would be.)

4. The private diary of the Empress Wu - the only woman to ever rule China in her own right. (And her tomb has yet to be excavated.)

5. The private memoirs of Pharaoh Hatshepsut, her compatriot in ancient Egypt.

(Well OK, the last two probably never existed, but they should have.)

Please, compile your own list (including plenty of women, of course) and leave the link in the comments here!


Blogger Ronnie Smartt said...

I agree with you about Sappho, though the man who, having read some of Wordsworth's better poems, goes out and buys the complete works may be a bit disappointed. Enjoy Biarritz. I went there a few times in the sixties when there was still a faint whiff of Edwardian decadence and tenue de soiree in the casino.

9/03/2005 08:09:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

I agree "best offs" are usually the best way to read poetry, but with Sappho we haven't even got that.

9/09/2005 06:15:00 pm  
Anonymous Jonathan Dresner said...

It took a while, but I've perpetuated the meme. My choices are .... well, idiosyncratic, I guess.

10/04/2005 11:44:00 am  

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