One of my “lost books” was A.A. Milne’s Once On a Time. I lent it to someone many years ago and didn’t get it back, but I never got around to ordering it from one of the many online book stores that helps you track down out of print books. I found it in a used bookstore here a couple months ago! I only have the paperback version, I’d like to get a hardcover copy some day. Fortunately even though it is out of print, it seems to still be in plentiful supply at many used bookstores. Here are a few passages for you, from this “fairytale for adults”.
King Merrywig of Euralia sat at breakfast on his castle walls. He lifted the gold cover from the gold dish in front of him, selected a trout, and conveyed it carefully to his gold plate. He was a man of simple tastes, but when you have an aunt with the newly aquired gift of turning anything she touches into gold, you must let her practice sometimes. In another age it might have been fretwork.
The Countess Belvane! What can I say which will bring home to you that wonderful, terrible, fascinating woman? Mastered as she was by an overweening ambition, utterly unscrupulous in her methods of achieving her purpose, none the less her adorable humanity betrayed itself in a passion for diary-keeping and a devotion to the simpler forms of lyrical verse.
Meanwhile Hyacinth, innocent of the nearness of a mother, remained on the castle walls and tried to get on with her breakfast. But she made little progress with it. After all, it is annoying continually to look up from your bacon, or whatever it is, and see a foreign monarch passing overhead.