Past challenges

Continuing Notebook D II Challenge

So far, we have transcribed pages 02, 04, 05 and 06 of Notebook D (pages 01 and 03 are blank) and found extracts from three different works by the philosopher Sydney Smith in the following order:

  • 01: blank page
  • 02: Spring guns and man traps (final sentences of the essay)
  • 03: blank page
  • 04: On The Beautiful (3 sentences from the middle of the essay); Spring guns and man traps (sentences immediately preceding the final ones on page 02)
  • 05: I Would not Live Always (starting at line 7)
  • 06: On the Beautiful (preceding the text on page 04)

For our next challenge, we are moving on to pages 07, 08, 09, and 10.

Since page 06 was the text that immediately preceded page 04, it is highly likely that pages 08 and 10 will continue the journey backwards through On the Beautiful.

Pages 07 and 09 may also be working backwards through I Would Not Live Always or Spring guns and man traps, but they might also be a completely new text.

Have a go, and see what you discover!


  1. Background on Sydney Smith:
  2. A wide range of texts by Sydney Smith are available to access for free here.

Please complete as much of the entry form as you can and email us your solutions by 15 March 2024.

Download an entry form

The same file is provided in .docx and .pdf formats.