There are many difficulties encountered when transcribing historical documents as inks fade, pencil smudges or wears away, or handwriting can be troublesome to decipher. Luckily for us, Isabella Woods’ autograph book has not suffered from cosmetic damage: there are no water marks, no evidence of bookworms or mites. The pages are brittle but still intact.
The ink however, can be quite the challenge, and this week’s transcription – an untitled message from an unidentified friend dated August 22nd 1868 – had faded quite badly and can be difficult to make out in places!
When twice a shadowing veil has cast
O’ver many a year flown fast away
And memory of the joyous past
Shortens the bitter of today;
As there a thought, sad from healing
Which can [asolule] your grief suspend
Yes there’s a shout, a holy feeling
‘Tis the remembrance of a friendImage above
As you can see, in the third last line there is one word I cannot quit make out. Based on the surrounding writing, it appears to begin with a lowercase a, and end with an e, though any relevant words that come to mind don’t quite appear to make sense in context.
Ah, the troubles with transcription! Comments & suggestions of a better reading are always welcome!