Thursday, 28 June 2007

June knows where other Dupine books can be found!

Hello Amy,
Here is a list of where the Dupine books are, sorry I didn't email it to you before but I did not go into work yesterday as I was feeling under some weather. Perhaps it is because I have been through the wringer! (what is a wringer?)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Information
Date: 26-Jun-2007 17:05
Subject: Dupine stockists

Hi June

What a curious request. Dupine Classics were cheap as chips (look who wrote Wuthering Heights according to them!). I don't know for the life of me why we acquired them. I've been looking for where editions might still be stocked but the database keeps crashing, so I haven't got them all. I think there are a few more in bookshops and libraries up north. But in the meantime, here's what I could find. Apart from Foyle's, where there's quite a few, I think all the places only have one book each.



Bath, Waterstone's

Birmingham, Waterstone's (New Street)

Bolton, Waterstone's

Cambridge, Border's

Canterbury, Waterstone's

Cheltenham, Waterstone's

Fareham, Waterstone's

High Wycombe, Waterstone's

Ipswich, Waterstone's

Leeds, The Idle Hour

London, Forbidden Planet (what a classic book is doing there, I don't know)

London, Foyle's

Nottingham, Waterstone's

Reading, Waterstone's (Broad Street)

Swindon, Waterstone's

Whitby, The Whitby Bookshop

Yeovil, Waterstone's

And some libraries.

Blackburn Library

Darwen Library

Neath Library

Redruth Library

St Ive's Library

Wokingham Library

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Someone sent me an email a few days ago suggesting that the scribblers (the one that I'm entering for that competition) might be being used to construct a rival book or something by a 'Fake fforde'.

Now, I happened to mention it to you-know-who - just making conversation and all - and she has urgently insisted that she issue her own statement to you all. And so I (lucky me) am to be her amanuensis. And here it is.

In her own words:

Be careful. He is not... well. How could he be? If he were well he would never have abandoned me at the altar.

(Miss Havisham wishes to point out that she can write with a quill faster than i can 'tip tap'. She has also complained that the 'tip-tapping' is giving her a headache. In fact, now she has decided she will tip tap herself. Over to you MH)


(Right. That took her 20 minutes. I'll just get on with it and if I type fast enough she won't be able to insist on me putting in more of her complaints.)

He was

(All right, I'm to say she doesn't complain - she instructs me in a helpful spirit)

He was always very… sensitive about his writing. I understand this. I too have been treated as a secondary character. Like all me he finds criticism hard. Impossible you might say. We do not wish to push him to extremes. He already has many books under his control. If angered, he could destroy them entirely.

He may also have help from others. He has some trouble in writing still, but in person... I can only say he is very persuasive.. and you do not know what
he may try and persuade you to do.

One thing: you tell me that one of our helpers feared he is using the scribblers for his book. This may be true, but the author retains control of unpublished writing. As long as everything between you is in writing, you should be safe. Do not agree to meet him. Do not use the hand-chatterer machine to speak with him. If he has your words it is possible that you may have some control over him. I need to think more on this.

I need to know what he is doing and what he is writing. There will be a clue somewhere.

But be careful. He may have help from inside. There are plenty of disgruntled characters if you know where to look. Do not speak secrets in front of open books.

If all else fails, as many of the authors of the unpublished scribblers must be in the place called Swindon on the seventh. That may be our only chance to stop him. If his book is published, it could spell the end for many.
After much teasing, flattering and coercing of Grande Dame Havisham, she has decided to let me show you her lurrve letters from the errant groom to her during their courtship. I actually had to wrestle them from her stick-like grip, as she was staggering about in search of a match to torch the lot (she is still, to say the least, a little 'angry' with him). Still, I can sort of see why. He's certainly led her up the garden path with a clunky and smarmy charm. But he also has unacceptable sentence structure and I thought she, of all people, wouldn't have fallen for that - she is a real know-it-all, you see.

Anyway, it is a sensitive issue for her, and she doesn't want to be judged by us - she believed at the time that they had something special between them.... And here's how he did it:



Ok, this is the reply I received from June Haversham:

Hello Amy,

What you say does sound very strange, but such strange things have been happening recently that perhaps I don't really know what normal is after all!
I have never met anyone called Miss Havisham even though my name is similar to Miss Havisham, what is she like? Is she the same as the Miss Havisham in the book Great Expectations?
Can you tell me more about the book you found - how was it blank? on the outside or the inside or both? this is very strange. I will read your blog, I also have a blog! it is called . Perhaps the strange things that have happened in your work are related to the strange things that have happened in my work, although so far I don't see how they could be other than they have happened at the same time.

In my work I have been emailing Jasper Fforde because I work in the publishing house where his books are published. Not long after I started my placement in the Publcity and Marketing Department, I received an email from Jasper saying that he had lost all his contacts by dropping his computer on a wall. I got everyone to email him so that he had their addresses again, but he still emailed me instead.

He asked me to stop the quiz going out on time so he could check the questions and then he added a new last question and the 'scribbler' tie breaker challenge. This made the quiz late and I got in big trouble. : (

I then found out that he had made the last question of the first rounds wrong! He had put the correct answer as being that the new book is called 'The Great Samuel Pepys Fiasco' when it is of course 'First Among Sequels'! It is easy to make a little error, but he should know the name of his own book, that is a really big error!

I started to get suspicious that the writing style in his emails was so very different to the writing style of his books so I asked some nice people for their opinion and some people said they thought he was an imposter this whole time!

Now he has asked me to help him find a range of his favourite books called Dupine books, but even though it is a very simple task I'm not sure I should help him at all in any way if he has been lying to me!

So those are the strange things that have been happening at my work.

oh, and my friend peter has stopped answering my emails, but that's not too strange because he is a Narcissus. > (

Does any of this sound similar or help you at all? I know some very nice helpful people I could ask them to help you too.


The books that I have seen in Foyles are all Dupine. Why would Jasper Fforde want to find these books? (And do you think June should be telling us all this about Jasper Fforde?! Tee hee, she seems a little stressed and doesn't really know what to reveal and what to sit on. Good for me though.) I have emailed back asking about the dupine series. Also, I was wondering if the person (I don't think it's wise to mention names on a blog, no?) who emailed me with thoughts of a fake Jasper Fforde to help me out a bit here, or if anyone else knows about it. That's something I'm not really sure I understand.

P.S I have been given a 'scribbler' for the competition: a first and last line that I have to link with 200 words - interesting!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Also, on the strength of various people mentioning Jasper Fforde to me, I thought is time to follow up that one. And, on a suggestion, have looked at that someone came upon a couple of weeks ago. So. I kind of bit the bullet(does anyone know where that phrase comes from? a peculiar phrase. I digress) and entered, well, I say entered, I got this reply from a June Haversham - I know, a verisimiliar nomenclature! and this is it:

Hello Amy,

It has been pointed out to me by my boss that the last question on the first part of the quiz has the wrong answer let you win instead of the right answer. She said lots of people have emailed to say that it isn't right that they have to give a wrong answer to win. I'm very confused that the answer is wrong in the quiz. Of course the book is called First among sequels! Did you email in? If you did, don't worry, you don't lose any points if you gave the right answer before the wrong one.

That last question and the scribbler tie-breaker were two of the things that Mr. Fforde had us put in at the last moment, so I am very surprised that the question was wrong, because he checked them himself.
Oh dear, this is all going a bit wrong, this is my first job and I'm starting to get the impression I'm not expected to last long here. I've never worked in a publishing house office before, it's all a bit overwhelming. Have you ever worked in an office? can you give me any advice on how to not get 'the boot'?


To be honest - I wouldn't really have a clue anyway. (And June sounds a bit stressed! ) Still, I have replied with details about the books and MH - she will probably think I'm a kook but eh.

In the meantime, we need to close in on those books.

(Thanks to everyone who's emailed me - it has been a great help and nice to know that I'm not doing this all alone!)
Ok. So. The summary.

- I witnessed the appearance of a bride and groom on the bookshop floor of Foyles and also the bride singing an aria on the steps of St Pauls. She had apparently been jilted at the altar.

- I sent out a series of leaflet and email scatter-bombs in an attempt to contact the pair. Many people offered to help but to no seeming avail. We were all in the dark.

- I find a virtually blank copy of Wuthering Heights in Foyles.

- I manage to contact the bride – the crumbly Miss Havisham of Great Expectations - through a series of letter drops in copies of the book.

- I meet Miss Havisham (and embarrass myself on a video interview) – link below.

- Miss Havisham believes that a thief is stripping down books for sinister motives. She declares some books to be most at risk – those which title she can’t remember. A series of clues are issued.

- And - with the help of some pro-active and savvy thinkers - this is what is thought to be missing:

1) Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë)

2) Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)

3 ) Pride and prejudice (Jane Austen)

4 ) Modern Promethus as Frankenstein - (Mary Shelley)

5 ) The Raven ( Edgar Allan Poe)

6 ) I think Great Epectations, (Charles Dickens)

7 ) The picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)

8 ) Gullivers travels (Jonathan Swift)

9 ) Three men in a boat (aka To Say Nothing of the Dog apparently) by Jerome K. Jerome

10 ) Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

11 ) The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare is a novel by G. K. Chesterton

12 ) Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

- The first three have been found mis-shelved in Foyles. They are part of an unknown Dupine series.

- We need to find where they all are.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Thank you Carlos for letting me know about the youtube link - is it now working more effectively ? I am not savvy with all this....

Failing that, this is the inefficient link:

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Doesn't matter, I think it is more important that you see this now.

The preface:
I received a note from Havisham to meet her today at St Olave's (a funny little medival church that survived the Great Fire of London.) Anyway, she seemed to think that the groom had mentioned it as being a place of inspiration for him - but she wasn't sure. A hunch to follow nonetheless.

Anyway - low and behold! - I met the eccentric and surly Havisham.

Follow the youtube link below to see for yourself.

NB. It was no small task convincing a woman of 19th Century fiction to talk to a camera - I did my best. And a shower forced us inside the church for the tail end of the footage - she didn't want the veil to get wet. As you will see, she needs our help. Please contact me if you think you can. (P.S I don't sound like that in real life, I think I sound really weird on that clip.)


Okay so does anyone know how to turn images around on a video so that they're not the wrong way round?

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Letter number 4, received today. I need to meet her. This seems a convoluted form of communication when there is work to be done! How can I find her?
My third letter, left in a book in exchange for one of mine. Has anyone else ever corresponded with a fictional character? I am all a flutter. Are you 'loyal fans of fiction'? Can you help?

Thursday, 21 June 2007

And today, my second letter.... I can't quite believe this is happening!

Et voila. Who would have thought an impromptu reading of Great Expectations could have led a cynical girl like me to such an unlikely correspondance? See for yourself... This is what I recived yesterday...
Another peculiar book has appeared.
Today I found a copy of Wind in the Willows sitting in the crime section: I'm going to leave it there. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for any mysterious searchers/contributors. If you see it, PLEASE PUT IT BACK, it may be my only chance to figure out where they are coming from.

(I don't know where the Bronte book has gone but I've a hunch it's still loitering somewhere. If you find anything out of the ordinary, please leave it as found - and email me. I don't want to scupper any chances.)

And you know that lead I had? When I find a scanner you will see for yourselves that I was barking up a seemingly lifeless tree... but it's bearing fruit...

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Right everyone. Apologies for my online absense - I didn't really feel like I was making any progress.... until a few days ago.... And I've since been very distracted. And I think, with a kind of tremulous excitement, that I might have found something. I have been all over literary London - the British museum, Doughtey Street, the London Library, the British Library, the Sherlock Holmes museum, you get the idea - and I just hope my peregrinations have been worth it. If not, I'll be quite embarrassed. And back to square one. Now I just have to wait and see.

Thanks to all those who have been in touch. And if my half-baked unlikely theory has some substance, then I'll let you know...

Monday, 11 June 2007

A strange occurance.

Today at work I came across an unauthorised copy of Wuthering Heights tucked in and squashed among the Brontes. It is an austerely plain paperback - title and author are the only things to animate the cover. What is most puzzling, however, is that most of the text is missing. In fact, I think even I (were it not for the title) would have trouble identifying the book from the fat that's left on the bone - there is no mention of Heathcliff, Catherine, Cathy, Lockwood, Nelly Dean, Hareton, Edgar or Hindley anywhere. But checked against one of our copies, the skimable bits remain.

Should I be concerned?

I've left it hidden in the Brontes so that you can see for yourselves - or to see if anyone comes to collect it. (Please do not take it to the counter - my boss will remove it. In fact, if you do come to see it, please put it back.)

My slightly tempered excitement is that.... this must surely be relevant to the wandering bride and groom. I don't want to jump to conclusions but surely these are not isolated oddities?

Finally, do I have a lead?

Sunday, 10 June 2007

The time for action is nigh. The avenues of enquiry are expanding. Feelers are flying out to find the elusive bride and her errant groom.

If you see below, I've attached the flyer that will be circulating the internet, libraries, cafes and bookshops.

Yeah yeah, I know - sketches. But you get the gist - the pair of them really are in possession of an alluringly peculiar demeanor. (I do actually think I've captured an essence that's not a far cry from the real deal.)

Please can you forward to anyone you know.



Friday, 8 June 2007

No new information.

(And I had a boring day at work.)

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Still nothing. If anyone has any information, please contact me.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

No reported sightings or information.

Monday, 4 June 2007

No reported sightings.
Ok so they didn't come out very well on the video but I think you should see them. Just clink on the link:

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Rational arguments for:
Her dress touched me as she ran out of the shop.
They ran out of the shop and got on a bus.
The Bride spoke to the verger - I am not the only person who has witnessed this. (And I don't think that a verger would lie.)
I have recorded the events on my phone and anyone can see for themselves. (Link to follow.)

Rational arguments against:

No reported sightings.
No-one has contacted me even though, as seen in my film footage, many other people should have had seen them.
I don't know how they got into the bookshop. It was very bizarre.
Maybe they were ghosts?
Still no reported sightings
Hooray (!) Finally. Jeff has told how to put the videos on the web. He thinks I should stop writing this blog.
Good old wikipedia. I'm 98% certain it was Dido's Lament by Purcell.

It goes:

When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;(x2)
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate,(x2)
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.(x2)

Can anyone confirm I'm right? Perhaps I'll check with the verger, the verger will know.

I'm now worried she is going to commit suicide. (If she is alive that is) And now I really won't be able to get to sleep.

Thank God I've not got work tomorrow.
I can’t get to sleep. And you know why? Because I can’t get that song she was singing out of my head - well, no doubt some hackneyed, bowdlerised version of her song – I don’t know how it goes but I think it goes something something ‘trouble….remember me’ and ‘forget my fate’. It’s beginning to drive me round the proverbial. It is an operatic tune I think. Perhaps it was originally written in another language. Does anyone recognise it?
I'm exhausted. Speak to you tomorrow.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Dear Friends and Strangers,

I thought perhaps a description of the bride and groom might help to trigger memory. They are a very distinctive pair.

Bride: About 40. Darkish hair. She was wearing a long bridal veil dependent from her hair, or rather it looked like it was supposed to be white but had faded – it was old and tatty and had lost its lustre. Also, most noticeably she looked like she hadn’t really finished dressing – her dress looked incomplete and was a poor fit. She was only wearing one shoe. And she has a piercing stare. She has bright albeit sunken eyes – if you’ve looked her in the eye you will know who I’m talking about. There is something familiar about her. And she was incredibly pale compared to him, utterly drained of colour. I think she is lost and unhappy.

Groom: Ok, I’d know him if I saw him. but I can’t remember him nearly as well as her - probably because the only time I saw him I was in shock. He was wearing a shirt and shorts – not smart enough for a wedding. That’s all I can remember. And I suspect he is a rogue.
Is it possible to stop my boss from seeing this blog? Or how do I amend that bit about him?
Right. I have just read over my late night rambles. I want to apologise for the over-used exclamation marks. I must have been possessed by some grammar devil. I swear it’s not something I usually do – I’m not an excitable girly girl but I was very tired and confused about all of this. So try not to let it undermine the authenticity of what has happened. Also, I clearly failed to post a cogent message. It is was a mess. I am still tired. But

To Summarise:

If anyone saw a scruffy bride and groom on Friday 1 June in Foyles on Charing Cross Road or on a bus from Charing Cross Road to St Paul’s Cathedral or at St Paul’s, I would really appreciate it if you would get in touch via the email above. Thank you very much.
(Or in fact, if you have any information you think might be relevant, please pass it on.)

My boss has given me two warnings, one for leaving in the middle of my shift and the second for being an hour late today. I tried to explain the circumstances and even suggested I prove it to him with our CCTV footage but he told me to stop making up stories. For the record, I am not making this up. I’ve never liked him very much.
P.P.S I think my boss is an idiot.
Just to follow up.

My shift is from 9am to 4pm. (I am very late!) If you fancy dropping by again, I’ll be on the same floor as yesterday. If you come at around the same time there shouldn’t be too many people either. I won’t film you, just come and talk to me.
I'm going to bed now. Sleep well everyone.
And I’ll be at work again tomorrow, if you fancy dropping by.
My email address is:
In fact, if the bride and groom are reading this. Hello, I am the one who chased you out of the bookshop – I didn’t mean to scare you. Please get in touch. And to the bride, if you have amnesia, maybe I can help you re-trace your steps?!
So can anyone who was at the Cathedral at that time or anyone who saw her please get in touch with me – the smallest piece of information could be very helpful. When I figure out how to post my phone film please see if you recognise anyone in the film and please give them my email address – should be top of the page!
Also, just so you know, I was not the only one who saw her. She spoke to the verger! She can talk. I am not going mad. Ask yourself.

Apparently the verger had been concerned about the noise the bride was making and asked her if she was ok. The bride told the verger that her lover had left her. When asked what his name was, she couldn’t remember. Apparently she doesn’t even know her own name. Curious. Is it not?
So just to fill you in a little….

1. The incident in Foyles.
It occurred at about 11am. The shop floor was quiet before the lunch rush hour. I was checking the F and E sections on the Classics floor when a book came off the shelf. And, it wasn’t like the book fell, it actually seemed to leap off, but anyway. And as I went to pick it up, a man and woman dressed as bride and groom (albeit rather scruffily) materialised out of the ether. (And no, I wasn’t hallucinating, I hadn’t been drinking, I’ve never taken drugs, I’m not crazy, I’d had a good night’s sleep and I am very cynical when people claim to have seen ghosts, monsters and guardian angels etc.) But this tatty bride and groom did literally appear out of nowhere. Honestly. Just like that. And they seemed as alarmed as me to be standing there face to face. When I asked them how they had got there, they made a break for the door. (I caught the tail-end of their exit on my phone for those of you who - like I might have not had I not seen it myself - don’t believe me. Does anyone know how to put phone video messages on this blog? Is it possible?)

They then ran out and jumped on a bus going East. And I’m going to be in deep sh*t tomorrow with my boss because…. so did I!!!!! (I needed to know I wasn’t going crazy you see) I had lost sight of them but I watched the streets like a hawk. And, low and behold, the bride was upon the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.

2. The St Paul’s incident.
She was pacing the steps crying and singing opera! (The words went something like ‘trouble…. Remember me…. Forget fate’ something like that – does that ring any bells?) There was no sign of the groom! And I caught that on my phone too!

Does anyone know how to put my video on the internet? I have a Sony Ericsson W810i. That would make things easier

If any of you saw these two people, please get in touch.
Do you need to know more than that?
Doesn’t matter.

The reason for me writing this is that I am looking for witnesses.

If you were at the following places at the following times, I would like to talk to you:

1. Place: Foyles, Charing Cross Road. Classic books section (1st Floor)
Date: Friday 1 June 2007 (today)
Time: 11 am (ish)

2. Place: St Paul’s Cathedral*
Date: Friday 1 June 2007 (today)
Time: 1pm (ish)

*Please note, not to be confused with St Paul’s Church on Covent Garden Piazza where the street performers perform. I mean the Cathedral near Liverpool Street (massive dome/whispering gallery and designed by Sir Christopher Wren). Just in case!

I have attached map links for both of them, please let me know if they don’t work.

If you were there – PLEASE CONTACT ME on the above email address. Thank you.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Sorry, it’s my first blog. Does anyone know how to delete/amend previous entries?
Perhaps I shouldn't have put that on the internet?
1 June 2007. My name is Amy Greenford. I work in the Classic books section of Foyles on Charing Cross Road.
1 June 2007. My name is Amy Gree