Thursday, August 7, 2008


This post isn't about New York at all; it's about books.
The first image is one of my photos of the Bahia Palace from when we lived in Morocco. In the recent movie version of Brideshead Revisited, this courtyard was where Charles and Sebastian encountered each other in Marrakech. It made me think I should re-read Waugh.
Vile Bodies is good too (what a title!) and almost as sad as Brideshead.
Movies of novels very rarely begin to capture the complexities and richness of the books themselves.
An exception The House of Sand and Fog. Both book and movie were stunning.

Beware! Commercial to follow.
Lots of my blogging friends read a lot. I read a lot. Always have.
So, a treat in store.
Go to PERSEPHONE BOOKS immediately.
These charming mid-20th century end papers have been snagged from their website.

I found my first Persephone book quite by chance at Cafe du Livre in Gueliz. A small neatly designed book, a delight to hold.
Then fellow bibliophile Sarah of Passementeries Diary told me more about them.
She recommended The Making of a Marchioness
and several others.

There are 78 books all by mid twentieth century women authors - almost all British and a few American.
Almost all fascinating and utterly readable.
I wanted to do the deal where you send off for the whole set at once, but settled for 3 to start off with:
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey
Wartime Stories by Mollie Panter Down
From the Other Side - letters written from Hamburg during the Second World War.
This last I will mine for details, since I'm working on a WWII book.

I have read a few before but if you don't know the work of Mollie Panter-Down you are in for a treat.
I have happy memories of reading Marianna by Monica Dickens years ago.
There is also a deal where they send you one each month.
They are such beautifully made books they would make super presents too.
Their whole list brings out the part of me which is very greedy and very extravagant...............


  1. Good morning! I'm intriguied! I'll be back for more.... :)

  2. I found out about Persephone over at the Becca and Bella blog. I haven't ordered a book yet, but you have sorely tempted me to do so. Beautiful books are such a delight, aren't they?

    I'm looking forward to seeing Brideshead, if only to see Castle Howard!

  3. These volumes sound wonderful and I feel a need to treat myself, so thanks so much for the recommendation!

  4. I don't read like I used to. Sounds like these books are a delight though! :)

  5. Hello Elizabeth, I was wondering what would follow those beautiful images ... after the interval.

    And now, all is revealed. Persephone is definitely a place to search.


  6. Those end papers are gorgeous.

    I agree with you about movies never capturing the depth of the books.

    The House of Sand and Fog (although brilliantly written) was one of the most depressing books I've ever read. I couldn't make myself watch the movie.

  7. Waugh: "A Handful of Dust", is my favourite. Sad and funny. The emptiness of upper class life in the thirties. Not so good as a film.


I look forward to hearing from you!