Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mon Bonheur

One of the delightful things for a collector is sharing finds with other collectors. The late John Bennett Shaw once told me ‘if you have one of something, gloat; if you have more than one, share.’ This is the axiom I have tried to live by and it is also the one my friend and fellow Sherlockian collector Gabriele Mazzoni lives by. I can prove this by my recent Italian vacation. One evening, I had the pleasure of spending several hours with him and his collection near Empoli, Italy.  I am not too sure that ‘gloat’ is what Gabriele did but he did swell with a certain amount of pride when he showed me items of which  I was unfamiliar. However, ‘share’ is the exact word to use when he came across a duplicate item that I did not own. 
Mon Bonheur #7, 1907 Part 2 of 12
Le Chien de Baskerville
Gabriele studied in France and so his French section of Sherlockiana is nearly as extensive as his Italian section. One of the items he brought out was from 1907. It was a French magazine titled Mon Bonheur. Numbers seven through eighteen featured Le Chien des Baskerville. I am fairly familiar with French translations of the Canon because the Société Sherlock Holmes de France keeps a marvelous website that lists 1,171 different Canonical French translations. Mon Bonheur is not one of ones listed. Gabriele then reached up to another shelf and handed me issues eight, nine, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen. With a twinkle in his eye he told me these were duplicates and handed them to me. For yet another time, I was speechless. He told me they were not that difficult to find and I found this to be true upon returning home.

Searching eBay, I found all but one of the issues I was missing with the HOUN in it. I found that one on ABE Books. The ones on eBay were less than $10 apiece while the ones from ABE Books were around $25 each. As I was searching, I also discovered that issues forty-eight, forty-nine, and fifty also from 1907 ran “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” and it was my turn to ‘gloat.’ I let Gabriele know of this discovery and I hope I can find more copies so I can ‘share.’
Mon Bonheur #49, 1907 Part 2 of 3
Le Mystrere de la vallee de Boscombe

Mon Bonheur means "My Happiness"in French and it was certainly a mon bonheur finding these lovely little treasures. The cover says "No. 10 - troisième année, 1907" which translates to "No.10 – third year in 1907." In my on-going  research I have only been able to find a few issues from 1905, 1906, and 1907, the first three years it was published. It was a weekly magazine. I have created a spreadsheet with three columns and fifty-two rows so I can keep track of those issues with Sherlock Holmes and those without. Each time I find a new issue I will fill in either –No SH or the four-letter Christ abbreviation. I have only found twenty issues of a possible one-hundred and fifty-six. I have yet to find any issue later than 1907, but I am still actively researching. I also let the French society know of this discovery. They responded that they were familiar with this publication but it had accidentally been left off of their website.They did shed more light on the history of Mon Bonheur, responding that issue twenty-four includes 'The Crime of the Brigadier' thus one more item to look for. I wonder if Cliff Goldfarb knows about this one. He is the premiere collector of Brigadier Girard. Hmmm, gloat or share; gloat or share. I'll call Cliff.

Happy Blogging!

1 comment:

  1. Somehow I knew I would read the words "created a spreadsheet" before the end of the post & you did not disappoint. Glad you're still finding new treasures to delight you.