Gone For Good: The Long Lost Works Of English Literature

December 8, 2014 1:13 PM

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Gone For Good: The Long Lost Works Of English Literature

Sadly it's not uncommon for writers and authors to leave manuscripts unfinished at the time of their death. Charles Dickens's Mystery of Edwin Drood ends without the mystery ever being solved. The 11 surviving chapters of Jane Austen's final novel Sanditon suggest that, had she lived to finish it, it might have become her greatest work. And Mark Twain famously attempted numerous versions of his Mysterious Stranger in the late 1890s and early 1900s, but completed none of them before his death in 1910. But in some cases, a frustrating and tantalizing gap can appear in an author's back catalog when an existing work is lost or destroyed, either intentionally or accidentally, leaving us with little more than fragments or descriptions of its content. From ancient to modern, covering almost three millennia, the stories behind 10 of literature's most intriguing long-lost works are explored here.

Margites, Homer Relatively little is known of Homer's life other than that he lived sometime around the 8th century BC, but even less is known about his long-lost poem Margites. Predating both The Iliad and Odyssey, Margites was a grand comic poem whose eponymous hero -- in stark contrast to Achille...

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