Friday, 29 October 2010

Persephone perchance?

It's been a bit of a Persephone week or two hasn't it? Very exciting for a Persephone lover such as myself. Even if I haven't yet ordered the new books (but I will do, just waiting for a more financially favourable moment). I am excited by both of the new books - Monica Dickens is one of my very favourite authors, and although I have read all of her oeuvre, I will be looking forward to rereading Winds of Heaven -I am always interested to try and read the books from the view of why they were chosen as Persephone titles and for what they have to say about domesticity and women's lives so it will be good to read it in that context. Mrs Oliphant is familiar to me from reading her titles published as Virago Modern Classics, and she can certainly tell a good tale so I am looking forward to this collection of her two novellas.

As I'm sure many of you will know, Persephone have also published a 2011 diary! I am very lucky in that my lovely and extremely kind friend Claire was given a copy to give as a gift having helped Nicola and the team with envelope stuffing of the Persephone BiAnnually's last week, and she decided to give it to me! I am very much looking forward to seeing it when I meet up with Claire at the start of December.

Talking of Claire, or Paperback Reader, as you may know her, I feel I should mention that she is hosting the Persephone Secret Santa this Christmas. I'm not sure whether my finances will favour my involvement but do pop over and think about joining in.

Anyway, I decided to get a Persephone book off the shelf at the start of this week - I have read my way through all of them (with the exception of the two just published), but some I have never read in Persephone editions. It has been a while since I read a Dorothy Whipple - encountering her early on in my Persephone experience, I quickly ordered all of the ones that I could from the store at my library headquarters and devoured them. They were sisters was my choice, and it has kept me enthralled, even on the second reading, throughout a week of lunchbreaks. It's a rather disheartening picture of marriage as the book tells the story of three sisters and their very different husbands, and how the husbands and marriages affect the three women. Whilst Lucy's husband is a wonderful companion, Vera is bored by hers and seeks entertainment elsewhere. Charlotte's husband is emotionally abusive and drives her to breakdown. It's fascinating seeing how events play out, and the effects of marriage on parenting and children. I am now very keen to reread High Wages, but as this is one of the very few Persephones I don't yet own, I will have to wait.


  1. Thank you for the lovely mention, Verity, and for the link to Persephone Secret Santa. I do hope you will be allowed to join in... you may then well own that Persephone edition of High Wages (it is one I haven't read although I do have an orange and white Penguin copy).

    They Were Sisters is such a great read although I do find Whipple emotionally draining (not necessarily a bad thing).

  2. I have Someone at a Distance queued up on my reading table, but haven't gotten to it yet. It will be my first Whipple. I'm looking forward to getting my Persephone Biannual and "making my list." :) Noting your sidebar, is the Persephone reading week always in May, or does it move around? Off to move Whipple higher up in the stack.... :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. It has been nine books since my last Persephone reading experience and I am definitely feeling the need to pull one off of the shelf.

    The diary looks lovely and probably even more so in person, how lovely of Claire to give you such a gift!

  4. Claire - I'm afraid I won't be joining in, I just can't justify it while I'm not buying books.

    Susan - ooh, what fun to be discovering Whipple. We held the 1st persephone reading week in Sept 2008 actually, so it does move around - the week was a lot of work last time so I think it may just be a weekend next time. Claire and I must discuss it.

    Darlene - yes, she's very kind! And you should definitely pull a Persephone off the shelf - which one will it be?!

  5. We went to the Persephone shop today, and came home with the 2 newest novels. They've been handed over to Santa, and will be delivered back to me on Christmas Day.

  6. I just got my 2011 Diary AND my BiAnnually! I am trying to decide what to buy for my Secret Santee and am overwhelmed with choices. It's terrible.


Do leave a comment - I love to hear from people who read my blog.