Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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"The Book of xxx" by Henry xxx (lecturer at the University of Hull), mid 1960s. Possibly fantasy of some sort.

Anybody have an idea who the author might be, or what the book? The title (what I have of it) is so generic as to be unsearchable in the usual ways.

(Yes, this is connected to my Larkin project. I've had the go-ahead from the estate to write an article quoting the letters to my mother, as long as I run it by them before trying to publish it.)

I was able to persuade a large (Amercan) library catalog to give me "The book of ..." with the name Henry somewhere in the record, for the publication period of the 1960s, but nothing likely turned up.

Oxford catalogue is down right now; British Library catalogue looks as if it'd support this kind of search, but it's fncked.

Thanks for doing that - I appreciate it. It may well be that the book was never actually published, at least under that title, but I wanted to make sure I hadn't embarrassingly missed one of the great works of the 1960s through my ignorance.

I've had the go-ahead from the estate to write an article quoting the letters to my mother, as long as I run it by them before trying to publish it.

Cool!

That is an astonishingly generic title fragment. May I ask why you don't have either of the missing nouns?

It's because Larkin (in describing the book to my mother) couldn't remember them. He'd been asked to look at the book in typescript and had recommended a couple of publishers, and was wondering whether she'd come across it.

and was wondering whether she'd come across it.

With that title, of course she'd know!

You need a reference librarian. Really. Anyone who has spent much of their career looking for "There was this book with a blue cover, I forget what it's called and who write it, but it turned out they were twins..." can probably do something with that bit of info.

I could always try Whatwasthatbook here on LJ, too. kalimac is a librarian, and the catalogues don't appear to have yielded the information to him, though it seems they were playing hard to get. I'm beginning to conclude that it probably didn't get published, at least under that title. Another possible line of enquiry is to look at Hull lecturers called Henry during this period - if indeed such a list were easily obtainable.

Edited at 2015-06-15 12:16 pm (UTC)

Can you give some idea of why you're searching for that particular book by a writer whose surname you don't know? This will help. What IS your Larkin project?

Ah - you probably didn't see my original post on this, which on advice I made private until the copyright situation was sorted. Philip Larkin knew my mother quite well (her cousin was his fiancee for a while), and she has a number of letters from him stretching over some four decades, which we were thinking might be made the basis of an article for the TLS or similar. In one, from the mid-60s, he mentions this novel, and asks if she's come across it.

?

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