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Stamp Collecting In Novels

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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
1187 Posts
Posted 05/12/2014   02:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Terence Collins to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi joe1225us,

One stamp story you have prompted me to think of is the P.G. Wodehouse story "Anselm Gets His Chance" in the collection "Eggs, Beans and Crumpets". About a burglar who steals a stamp collection. I believe "Something New" might be another stamp story. Will have to read those.

Terry
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Valued Member
United States
473 Posts
Posted 05/12/2014   07:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add joe1225us to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Glad to see there is a fellow Wodehouse reader on the board (although I assume there are more of them in the UK than the USA). The novel is Something Fresh, but there may be others.
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Pillar Of The Community
Czech Republic
619 Posts
Posted 05/26/2014   07:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add florian to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Cape of Good Hope by Zygmunt Nowakowski (1891 - 1963), first published in Polish in 1931.

A whole chapter bearing the same title as that of the novel is dedicated to a pre-school Polish boy from Krakow at the turn of the 20th century musing over his stamp collection. His 19th-century stamps (Italy, Roman States, Spain, Austria, Netherlands, Great Britain, Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala, Salvador, Mexico, Haiti, Persia, Borneo, Hong Kong, Japan, Ceylon, India, Zanzibar, Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Cape of Good Hope, St. Helena, Western Australia) can more or less be identified.

The boy's reflexions on the assassinations of kings and royalty by anarchists as seen by his elder brothers already attending school, his compassion for the very young King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, shown on the country's stamps, his childish understanding of Granny's recollections of her stay in Italy in 1870 when the Pope lost all of the papal lands and became, of his own free will, a 'prisoner of the Vatican', a fine valuable spare of the Roman States unwittingly traded by his brothers at school for a few cheap exotic stamps, his vivid bizarre dream about Persia viewed as a fantastic chessboard battlefield, his musings over the collection of stamps featuring rare animals, unusual trees, coats of arms, and sovereigns such as Queen Victoria reigning on all continents and now even in Transvaal where she defeated the 'brave lad', Pieter Maritz, whose defeat is described in a school-prize book won by a brother of his, the stories told in the family of the fate of Poland after the partitions and uprisings, Austrian stamps enough to burn: to be thrown away or collected so as to ransom someone exotic suffering in slavery who might become the boys' faithful and obedient servant - a puerile fantasy not of his own making, soon fallen into pieces, the beautiful lady of the yellow Cape of Good Hope in her golden gown, her feet resting on an anchor, turning her head eastwards, expecting the swan from the rose-coloured Australia swimming towards her across the pale blue sea as seen on the map the kid has consulted ...

As if you could see your stamp-collecting father or grandfather at the age of between four and five contemplating his stamps and expressing his views of the world around him ...
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Edited by florian - 05/27/2014 02:55 am
Pillar Of The Community
1515 Posts
Posted 05/26/2014   11:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jenny2U to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The One Penney Orange Mystery
Author: Morris Ackerman




Book Description:

An interesting discovery on the remote island of Mauritius evolves into a tale that propels the reader into the sophisticated world of the philatelic elite, the little known world of stamp collecting.

The ebook is free for those with Amazon prime, otherwise $5.95. I haven't read it.

http://www.amazon.com/One-Penney-Or...s+stamp
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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
1187 Posts
Posted 05/27/2014   03:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Terence Collins to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Jenny2U,

This might be a better read, by Howard Fast writing under the name of E.V. Cunningham.

Terry
Edited for typo. TC.

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Edited by Terence Collins - 05/27/2014 03:28 am
Pillar Of The Community
1515 Posts
Posted 05/27/2014   12:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jenny2U to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Terry - thanks much for the recommendation - it's even available as an ebook on Amazon (which is all I read).

A stamp related memoir I read and enjoyed is The Error World: An Affair with Stamps by Simon Garfield. I purchased it when it was on sale for $1.99, but the price is higher now:



Book description:
From the author of Mauve, an obsessively readable memoir that brings the mania for stamp collecting to life. From the Penny Red to the Blue Mauritius, generations of collectors have been drawn to the mystique of rare stamps. Once a widespread pastime of schoolboys, philately has increasingly become the province of older men obsessed with the shrewd investment, the once-in-a-lifetime find, the one elusive beauty that will complete a collection and satisfy an unquenchable thirst.

As a boy, Simon Garfield collected errors—rare pigment misprints that create ghostly absences in certain stamps. When this passion reignited in his mid-forties, it consumed him. In the span of a couple of years he amassed a collection of errors worth upwards of forty thousand pounds, pursuing not only this secret passion, but a romantic one as his marriage disintegrated.

In this unique memoir, Simon Garfield twines the story of his philatelic obsession with an honest and engrossing exploration of the rarities and absences that both limit and define us.The end result is a thoughtful, funny, and enticing meditation on the impulse to possess.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
608 Posts
Posted 05/27/2014   5:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add centerstage98 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have "The Error World" and I am pretty sure it is not a novel. It's the author's memoir, as stated in the description above. I didn't dislike it, but it was so much about Brit stamps (which I know nothing about) that I struggled and finally put it aside with hopes of finishing it at a later date.
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Valued Member
Learn More...
United States
99 Posts
Posted 06/30/2014   11:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rascal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just finished Jeff's novel "Chasing Jenny". It's an easy read and I enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to future stories.


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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
6546 Posts
Posted 04/11/2017   11:08 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Remembered this thread when I came across this

http://www.bramley.demon.co.uk/phil...iction-1.pdf
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Valued Member
Ireland
291 Posts
Posted 04/11/2017   11:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add FitzjamesHorse to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"The Unsuspecting Wife" by Philip Stone. Was turned into the movie "Charade" (Cary Grant-Audrey Hepburn) ...as I recall money was being transferred from one country to France via stamps on an envelope.
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Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
1943 Posts
Posted 04/11/2017   12:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I seem to recall that there was a book about FDR and stamp collecting?

Jack Kelley
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Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
35793 Posts
Posted 04/11/2017   3:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


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United States
35 Posts
Posted 04/14/2018   11:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bobeid to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great stamp collecting-related piece from Bleeding Edge (2013) by the great American author Thomas Pynchon:

Tracking from one group of attendees to another, locating presently a normal-enough-looking citizen with an interest in migratory-bird hunting and conservation stamps, known to collectors as duck stamps, and his perhaps-less-involved wife, Gladys –
"… and my dream is to become the Bill Gross of duck stamps." Not only federal duck stamps, mind you, but every state issue as well – having wandered with the years into the seductive wetlands of philatelic zealotry, this by-now-shameless completist must have them all, hunters' and collectors' versions, artist-signed, remarques, varieties, freaks and errors, governors' editions ... "New Mexico! New Mexico issued duck stamps only from 1991 through 1994, ending with the crown jewel of all duck stamps, Robert Steiner's supernaturally beautiful Green-Winged Teals in flight, of which I happen to own a plate block …"
"Which someday," Gladys announces chirpily, "I am going to take out of its archival plastic, compromise the gum on the back with my slobbering tongue, and use to send in the gas bill.
"Not valid for postage, honeybunch."

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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
6546 Posts
Posted 04/04/2019   05:22 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For non-members of the liberal elite, the New Yorker recently published a 1965 story, newly translated into English, by Amos Oz, which has a stamp collecting element. I can't really recommend the story, but ...

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/...4/all-rivers
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2857 Posts
Posted 04/04/2019   06:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not a novel and certainly more my speed is the Donald Duck comic The Gilded Man. It opens with Donald working on his stamp collection, with himself and his nephews traveling to British Guiana to look for you-know-what.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_G...Man_(comics)
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