As some of you may know I sell antique and vintage books on Etsy. It’s a hobby that allows me to do one of my favourite things – buy old books – without feeling too guilty. It’s not really about making money (although that’s nice too), it’s about the joy of finding beautiful old / rare books, researching their history and giving them a new home. In this new feature I will be sharing some of my finds with you!
The Jewel of Kasr-Ed-Shendi (1973) by Penelope Fletcher
Found: Tiffin School Car Boot Sale, Kingston-Upon-Thames
Before setting out at the beginning of her first term at boarding school in Scotland, Pat is entrusted by her father with the care of a valuable diamond. Although she knew she would have to face danger, the events of that term were to become more horrifying than she thought possible. It proved to be a time she would never forget, when her character, strengthened by her Girl Guide training, was to be tested to the limit.
Although she had little in common with her room-mate Muriel when they first met, their adventures together revealed sterling qualities of unsuspected depth, and welded a bond of friendship between them.
Girl Guiding has a long and rich history of empowering girls and young women, and this book is a lovely product of that history. Written by Penelope Fletcher and published in 1973, this first edition is a sought-after book for Girl Guide aficionados.
Penelope Fletcher was born in Birkenhead in 1907 and became extremely interested in the Girl Guides during her school days. She joined her School Company and the Blackbird Patrol and later became the Lieutenant in the Girl Guides Y.W.C.A Birkenhead. After her marriage, Fletcher became Captain of the 1st Hollesley Girl Guides until they disbanded in 1938.
The Jewel of Kasr-Ed-Shendi is a Girl Guide School Story full of outdoor adventure and friendship aimed at celebrating the female of the species in line with the true spirit of the Girl Guides.
One of the main things I love about old books is finding inscriptions. This one has a lovely inscription which just adds to its rich history as far as I’m concerned. It reads ‘To dear Josie, Lambert & family, with love & best wishes for health, wealth & happiness now & always from auntie Pene. Dec 1973.’
I’ve tried to research this to no avail, but it’s quite a coincidence it’s signed auntie Pene – perhaps the author herself!?
I can only find 3 copies of this rare, collectable book online. Sunrise Books are selling one on AbeBooks and Amazon Marketplace for £164.99. There is another copy on Amazon marketplace for £95, and one on Ebay in France for 194.99 Euros.
I’m selling my copy for £75, which you can view in full here.
Does this book mean anything to you? I’d love to hear more about the history of this book and Penelope Fletcher.