David Eden has always loved books.

“I’m very keen on antique books, vintage books,” said Eden.

He’s collected them for years and has picked many of them up from working in hospitals where old books are often donated and then sold for almost nothing.

One of the many books he’s gotten over the years was an old copy of Gone With The Wind, which was published in 1942.

It was in decent shape with original war bonds but Eden also found surprising items inside.  

“I start flipping through it and there’s a Valentine card in one page and then there is a postcard in another one and then a handwritten letter,” said Eden.

The letter is penned in old ink and the postcards date back to the Second World War.

“One is from October 1946 thanking her for something. A nice long letter,” said Eden.

Each of the postcards and Valentine’s cards, along with the letter inside, are all written by the same person.

“Only from a mystery lover,” said Eden “And he only signs them with the number one.”

The ink is pretty faded but after carefully analyzing it, Eden was able to make out that the mystery lover is writing the letters and post cards from Ireland, to a Ms.Owen, whose address was 1740 Cedar Avenue, Mount Tolmie, Victoria B.C.

“I would like to think that the war separated these two and she was stuck over here and he was stuck over there. I don’t know but I would like to think that there is some sort of a romantic thing and this wall of the Atlantic was just separating them,” said Eden.

After doing research on his own and posting the letters online to enlist help, Eden managed to find her death certificate.

“Hue W. Owen is the brother that signed the death certificate,” said Eden.

According to the document, her name was Elizabeth Owen. She was originally from Wales but died in Victoria at the age of 51 from ovarian cancer.

If she was still alive today, she would have been one hundred years old.

“According to the death certificate, she was also single so it didn’t look like she had a husband or anything like that,” said Eden.

And since then his imagination has been running wild, fascinated with the mystery and intrigued by the story Elizabeth’s letters could tell, Eden is now hoping he can find any of her living relatives.

“I would love to return it to the family if they want it on the condition that I get to know the story. That is pretty much it,” said Eden.

That way Eden can finally know what happened to a love he wants to believe she kept close.

“At the end of the day, it’s not my book to keep. It belongs to the family, so I hope they retrieve it,” said Eden.

 

Luisa Alvarez