I have a habit of collecting books by an author but not actually reading any of them. It’s on the rainy day principle. If a long out of print author is suddenly in print again, I rush to buy their books because they may not stay in print very long & I’d hate to miss out on that little window of opportunity when they’re available. Elizabeth Goudge is the latest author that I’m stockpiling against the day when I’m in the mood for one of her books.
I remember reading several of her books when I was much younger. I especially remember The White Witch, set during the English Civil War. Capuchin began by reprinting Green Dolphin Country a few years ago & now Hendrickson in the US have started reprinting her books, including The Scent of Water, of which I read an enticing review here,
and the Eliot Family trilogy, also known as the Damerosehay series. So far they’ve reprinted Volumes 1 & 2 so no 3 can’t be far away.
Then there’s Angela Thirkell who has many devoted fans in the blogosphere. Since Virago reprinted High Rising & Wild Strawberries (with Pomfret Towers to come later this year), there have been many appreciative reviews of her work. I have the Virago reprints as well as an omnibus I bought in a secondhand bookshop years ago which contains The Brandons, Cheerfulness Breaks In & Before Lunch.
I have read some Somerset Maugham – The Razor’s Edge, some of the short stories – but it was many years ago.
I’m afraid I can always be seduced by a beautiful cover & these Vintage editions are gorgeous.
I’ve also just bought these two lovely Vintage US editions of Up At The Villa & The Painted Veil (now I can’t decide which of the Vintage covers I like best…) from my favourite remainders bookshop, Clouston & Hall in Canberra. I’ve been buying books from them by mail order for over 30 years now. I must have bought hundreds of books from them over that time & they have the most wonderful bargains. Most of my collection of Wodehouse came from them when the Arrow reprints were remaindered. The links are to reviews of the Maugham books by Simon at Stuck In A Book & Dani at A Work in Progress.
Maybe one day, when I actually get around to reading their books, I’ll be inspired to join the Elizabeth Goudge Society & the Angela Thirkell Society (there doesn’t seem to be a Maugham Society). If anyone is a passionate advocate of any of these books, let me know in the comments. I just need a gentle shove in the right direction, I’m sure, & I’ll be off!