Thursday, November 10, 2011

These Things Are Mine

This is the title of George Middleton's autobiography, which he published in 1947. I recently bought a copy of the book from a third party vendor via Amazon. And I got this book for only $9.25.

Now, the reason I bought this book is that George Middleton, a famous playwright in the early 20th century, married Lola, the daughter of Robert M. La Follette, about whom I'm writing a book. In his book, Middleton describes his perspective on a key incident on which I needed full research. But to my amazement, when the book arrived, I find that it is signed by the author himself and he even stamped it twice with a signature block:

Now, I didn't recognize the name Richard Eberhart, so I googled it, along with the word "Dartmouth." I find that this book was addressed to the long time professor of literature at Dartmouth, Richard Eberhart, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1966.

I suspect I could resell this volume on Ebay to either an Eberthart or Middleton fan for something more than $9.25. But there's no way I'd ever do that. This thing is mine. And I will hold it near me for inspiration as I try to write words worthy of both these great men.