It was this letter, so flatly pressed that it adhered to the page.
For nearly sixty four years the pale blue watermarked Basildon Bond,
marked Sybil's place in Mrs Dalloway.
4th August '47
This is to wish
you many happy returns of to . day.
I hope you're not tired of having
Mrs Woolf for a birthday present.
At any rate, you've nearly got the
lot now, so I shall have to find
someone else to collect.
I send you all my
love and a tremendous number
I wonder which ones were missing from her collection.
If he was giving her the novels she should have had
The Voyage Out, Night and Day, Jacob's Room, To the Lighthouse,
Orlando, The Waves, The Years and Between the Acts,
but I hope he thought to give her A Room of One's Own one year.
In any case, she might well have been hoping for a change.
Did she open Mackenzie's parcel with a heavy heart?
Even he suspects his go-to gift might be getting a little monotonous.
By page 28, where she abandoned the book forever,
Septimus is sitting with Rezia in Regent's Park
listening to a message in Greek words from sparrows
perched on the railing.
Poor Sybil. What's he going to start her on next?
I'd like to give her
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winfred Watson,
just as a little light relief.
There's a very nice First ed. on Abebooks.
Worth every penny at £209.