More lovely books have arrived in the last couple of weeks. Lots of preorders coming home to roost as well as some surprises that I had no intention of buying but I couldn’t resist such bargains. With Christmas just around the corner, I had to have this lovely anthology from Vintage, Round the Christmas Fire. There are some lovely treats such as ghost stories by Edith Wharton & M R James, diary entries from Francis Kilvert & Adrian Mole, extracts from Nancy Mitford’s Christmas Pudding & Jeeves & the Yuletide spirit by P G Wodehouse. I’ve decided to make it my Advent treat & read one story every day. A lot less fattening than chocolate.
Period Piece by Gwen Raverat is the latest memoir to get the gorgeous Slightly Foxed treatment & the binding is a beautifully Christmassy red. I love the Slightly Foxed Editions & have collected them all. I read Period Piece many years ago & loved it. Raverat was a member of the lovably eccentric Darwin family & this recollection of a Cambridge childhood is just glorious. Funny, witty & illustrated by the author. If you’ve never read it, you’re in for a treat, perfect Christmas holiday reading.
Virago have been adding to their Modern Classics with the Emily books by L M Montgomery. I’ve only read the first Anne book but these looked so lovely & many people prefer the Emily books to Anne so I’m looking forward to reading them.
Angela Thirkell is another new addition to the VMC list & I love the beautiful covers of these reprints. Pomfret Towers & Christmas at High Rising have just been published & there are three more to look forward to next year. Desperate Reader has devoured them already & you can read her enthusiastic reviews here & here.
Lucinda Hawksley’s new biography of Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria, has received some press coverage due to the scandalous revelations of illegitimate births & love affairs. I’ve always been interested in Louise who seems to have been quite the rebel, an artist & sculptor who seems to have led a life far removed from that of most royal women. Lucinda Hawksley’s previous biographies of Lizzie Siddal & Katey Dickens were excellent & I can’t wait to read this one.
I was contacted by Michael Walmer, a publisher who is reprinting late Victorian/Edwardian books that have been overlooked by the other reprint houses. Simon at Stuck in a Book thought I might be interested as Michael is based in South Australia. Well, I was interested & Michael has kindly sent me two books for review, I Pose by Stella Benson, which Simon has been enjoying & The Twelfth Hour, Ada Leverson’s first novel. The books are POD but are excellent quality. The covers are attractive & the fonts look like the originals. I’m looking forward to reading them both.
Now, the books I couldn’t resist. My favourite remainders bookshop, Clouston & Hall, had a Special Selection of OUP World’s Classics. At about $8 each, I wasn’t going to refuse to look through the list, obviously. I’ve read the Willa Cathers before but it was many years ago & I’d like to reread them & I can’t do that if I don’t own copies, can I? I also bought The Paston Letters (I have Helen Castor’s book on the Pastons, Blood & Roses, on the tbr shelves so this is an essential companion read), The Italian by Ann Radcliffe, A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne, Gwyn Jones’s History of the Vikings, Polidori’s The Vampyre, & Dickens’s Sketches of Young Gentlemen & Young Couples which is an early work reprinted last year for the Bicentenary. Luckily I’d read lots of the books on offer or I could have spent much more!