Literary Ramblings

More bits & bobs of news about reprints & books in general. Scott has announced the third author to be reprinted later this year with his new imprint, Furrowed Middlebrow Books, & I’m very excited. Frances Faviell’s A Chelsea Concerto is Scott’s favourite WWII memoir & I’ve wanted to read it for ages. It’s mentioned or quoted in many books about the Home Front & I love a Home Front memoir so this will be a real treat, especially with an Introduction by Virginia Nicholson, author of Millions Like Us. Scott will also be reprinting Faviell’s other memoir about life in Berlin after the War, The Dancing Bear, as well as her three novels.

It’s sad that a reappraisal of an author’s work often has to wait until after their death. Anita Brookner has always been appreciated by a discerning audience (I have a friend who has read them all) but her reputation had declined a little. I think only her most famous novel, the Booker Prize winning Hotel du Lac, was in print when she died in March. Penguin had announced plans to reprint all her books & have now brought the program forward so all her books will be back in print in the UK by the end of the year. The covers are just gorgeous, so elegant, very Anita Brookner, I think. Here is a lovely tribute to Brookner by Julian Barnes & if you’d like to know which Brookner to read first, Thomas at Hogglestock, currently rereading all her novels, will guide you.

Fans of the British Library reprints of the novels of J Jefferson Farjeon will be pleased to hear that Harper Collins are planning to reprint his Ben the Tramp novels later this year. I think it’s encouraging that other publishers are jumping on the Golden Age bandwagon & resurrecting more writers of that era.

In October, Random House are publishing Georgette Heyer’s short stories in Snowdrift and other stories. This is a reprint of the collection Pistols for Two with the addition of three newly discovered stories. As I haven’t read any of Heyer’s short stories, I’m looking forward to this.

Finally, Kathryn Hughes has inspired me to think that George Eliot’s novel, Felix Holt, might be a fascinating read after all! I love Eliot & Middlemarch is one of my favourite books but Felix & Romola have never appealed to me very much. I have this ancient copy on the tbr shelves so I may read it this year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its publication.

8 thoughts on “Literary Ramblings

  1. I'm also very excited by Scott's book announcement. It must be wonderful to think ” I wish someone would reprint this” and have a company say Yes we will!
    My WWII Home Front collection is huge but always room for a few more.

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  2. I hadn't heard about Georgette Heyer's short stories being republished – with three new ones. I have Pistols for Two. I find the stories mildly entertaining, though there is one very creepy one quite unlike anything else in the book – or most of her books!

    I will be looking for A Chelsea Concerto as well.

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  3. I have ignored Romola and Felix Holt as well thus far, so I'll wait and see what you think of them before I embark (I do love George Eliot though).
    And yes, it's a shame that Anita Brookner's books had fallen out of fashion – I hope she gets a bit of a revival!

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  4. I'm still resisting Romola but I may give Felix a go as I own a copy. Kathryn Hughes' article made it sound quite tempting. I'd like to read more Brookner so I hope these new editions inspire some interest.

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