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The Text Wish-List: A Meme

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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!

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About Natalie Bennett

Natalie blogs at Philobiblon, on books, history and all things feminist. In her public life she's the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.
  • Baronius

    1) Alexander Pushkin led a pretty wild life, and was a great writer. When they went through his possessions after he died, they found a diary labeled “2”. I’d love to see the first diary.

    2) Fermat’s Last Theorem, the original notes.

    I’ll have to work on my other picks. I like the question.