Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Two Old Treasures Revealed

This world of blogging can be nothing short of amazing. Earlier in the year I was sent a book Meme and when posting it I also posted pictures of book shelves in my home. See under 'books and reading'

Very soon Sara from Much Ado About Something commented on my post and this was the result:

Sara: I see you have 2 Elizabeth Goudge books on your shelves

Barbara(in my thoughts): Do I, where?

Then followed a week where I, on 4 separate occasions, looked through my book shelves (I have book shelves in 6 rooms) and could not find any Elizabeth Goudge books. In my mind I kind of pictured some very old books which I was sure I no longer had.

I became frustrated thinking that someone in California was telling me that I had something in my home that I could not find. Could she have made a mistake? I was on the verge of E-mailing Sara to ask her where did she think she saw these books.

But, just one more last look first.

I found them, tucked away in a corner of a shelf in one of my guest rooms amongst some old James Herriot paperbacks. I had obviously not scanned this shelf carefully enough thinking they would not possibly be there. They were bought second hand many, many years ago and the covers were faded and the pages dark brown with age. At some forgotten moment in my life I must have thought they were worth keeping. I knew that Sara was a fan of Elizabeth Goudge and knowing her fine taste in books I decided that they would be worth reading. So with the smell of old and slightly mildewing paper in my hands I began to read one of them.

When I first began to read I never anticipated that it would become a book that I could not put down. I could not wait to finish the first in order to read the second one. What treasures I had been missing.

Elizabeth's descriptions of everything are a delight and she takes one back to an almost now forgotten era. Her insights into the human thinking and behaviour in those early years of the last century strike a cord with life today in many ways. It would seem that nothing ever changes in the human psyche. All human expereince is the same whether we can articulate it or not.

She was obviously a very devout and spiritual woman. Her faith comes out in the telling of her stories in a most beautiful way. Never intruding, just part of the story, told in a very beautiful and natural way. I am hooked.

As I am typing this I see a great spiritual lesson. So often we miss out in this Christian life because we are not aware of what we already have. We do not always benefit from the life of Christ within us because we forget we have it until some situation arises that causes us to seek it out. The treasure, the abundant life, the beauty is there waiting for us to open the pages and devour all that is already there and laid out for us. Jesus Christ is always at our disposal but we cannot live from that reality until we seek Him out and make Him our own. One never knows what one possesses until it is tested.

So here are those 2 old treasures. Thank you a million times Sara for bringing these books back into my life. All Elizabeth's books are long out of print but I have already been searching Amazon and see that I can purchase many old and second hand copies there.

It took a blogging friend all the way over in California to tell me what I had in my home.


Anonymous said...

Barbara, an amazing story, indeed! A great find amongst your own things and a spiritual lesson, too!

Oh, and Emmaline may well be on her way to you. She apparently thinks she's in your time zone and makes an enormous racket at 4am (that's your afternoon, I think).

Willow said...

Very interesting, indeed, Barbara!

I must rethink my reading list for June!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Barbara, I'm so glad you found the books! And even more so that you read and enjoyed them....there can't be too many Elizabeth Goudge fans out there, in my opinion. Your description of her style is so right on the mark, better than I have ever been able to explain it. And what a wonderful spiritual lesson you have garnered as well to share with us. Thank you.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I have a couple of her books that I've purchased at library sales. This post makes me KNOW what I will get off the shelf next.

I discovered her long after my mother-in-law's books were given away (after her death). I know she loved E. G. and Pearl Buck and had many of their books.

Loved the story about the hunt. Having been there myself, looking for a book I knew I had somewhere, one feels rather bewildered when they finally find it in a place they have already looked. :)

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

How fun and funny!

Guess it is time to get busy and catalogue your collection so you won't forget what treasures you own.

Anonymous said...

My bloggy friends introduced me to Goudge also. I'm so thankful. I've enjoyed every book of hers I've read. Your are right she weaves faith into the pages in a wonderful way. I kind of get the same feel from George MacDonald. Enjoy...
don't shy away from the books of hers that are supposedly written for children. I thoroughly enjoyed them too.

Mmm said...

that is fantastic story! Love it. BTW, I love James Herriot's books.

a woman who is said...

Bless Sara's heart. She introduced me to Elizabeth Goudge just a few months ago. I am having trouble finding her books to read myself. Just two left at my local library.

...and yes I agree with Sara your description nails her writing. You can't help but want to read them all.

I love your analogy of our sometimes hidden treasure…right in our heart.

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Hello Barbara....

What an amazing story. I do agree, blogging and the friends we make never fails to amaze me and you know why!

I’m going to be on a mission now, searching out Elizabeth Gouge books, first stop my library. Have a good day. Marion

Elizabethd said...

Elizabeth Goudge has always been a favourite of mine. The first one I read was 'The little White Horse' a childs book, but with so much wisdom. I still have it and treasure it.

Vee said...

Wonderful post! I am going to be looking for this author.

Just wanted you to know that I have my award up and my recipients named. I think I told you that I'd let you know.

Have a wonderful day, Barbara!

Betty said...

I'm not familiar with this author but now want to see if I can locate any of her books...

This world of blogging is so very interesting....the glue that binds all our thoughts, interest, hobbies, friendships together.....Betty

Charity Grace said...

Love Elizabeth Goudge!!!

Barb said...

What a great spiritual lesson as well as a fun read.
I will be on the quest for Elizabeth Goudge books through the summer.

Have a very blessed evening.

hugs to you,

Lavinia said...

Barbara, this is a remarkable post. I am really agog at how Elizabeth Goudge came in to your life...twice! It might never have happened if not for Sara who lives thousands of miles away.

The influences of blogging...can't be underestimated, can they.

I am intrigued enough to add this author to my "books" list, which I keep in my purse and whip out whenever I am in a second hand bookshop.

I find, on a personal note, that some of the very best reading comes from books that are long out-of-print.

You are right...some (if not all?) aspects of the human experience never change.

Susan said...

What an inspiring story and a life lesson. There are so many ways God speaks to us "right under our nose" so to speak!!

Pappy said...

Hi Barbara, Just came over from a Woman Who Is. She honored us both and I thought I would come by and say hi. Come by Pappy's Balderdash if you get a chance. Pappy

Jeanne said...

Love you..........
Much love
I love all that you share.

Elizabeth said...

Yes, Elizabeth Goudge is a wonderful writer.
I wonder if you have discovered the Virago list of books by mid-century English women writers?
Also the re-issues by Persephone books.
So many wonderful writers - much richer than most current best sellers.
ps I was in Essex last Sunday. I'll post pictures soon.

Knitting Mania said...

What a wonderful story Barbara. I just love how blogging connects us to one another and brings new insights into our lives. Sis loves to read, I'll have to keep an eye out for that author, I would love to surprise her at Christmas. Shhhhh don't tell her though. ;)

Thanks for your prayers by the way, we sure felt them...it feels so good to be here finally, in snowy Montana, yup woke up to 2 inches of snow this morning, I guess this is normal around here, "Christmas in June", hmmmm too funny!

Bless you!

someone else said...

What a great story! I love Elizabeth Goudge and have several books by her. The one called "A City of Bells" is what attracted me so completely to Wells, England. I've heard she wrote it with Wells in mind. I'll have to go re-read some of ours.

Lorrie said...

What an amazing story - and a lesson in truth.

I read a couple of Elizabeth Goudge's books a long time ago. It might be time to see if the library has them and re-read them, and find more that people have mentioned here,