Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Persephone Books

As soon as one of my fellow book club members recommended Persephone Books to me, I knew I wanted to start a collection of their books.

A small publishing company based in the UK, Persephone rediscovers forgotten classics from early twentieth century, mostly British, mostly female writers. They describe their titles as "appealing to the discerning reader who prefers books that are neither too literary nor too commercial, and are guaranteed to be readable". Sounds just right to me. Their London shop also looks to be just right- possibly the quaintest bookstore I've ever seen.

Their standard grey, cloth bound editions have vibrant, ornate endpapers hidden beneath the front cover. They also publish a series of paperback editions for some of their bestselling titles, which is where I decided to start for my first Persephone book.

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Stracey is a novella originally published in 1932 by the Woolfs (as in Virginia and her husband, Leonard). It's a tongue-in-cheek romp through an upper class family household during the hours leading up to the eldest daughter's wedding. And yes, I know I just used the word "romp" to describe a book, but it actually did come to mind while I was reading it. Truth be told, though, I think I'm more smitten with the cover than with the story itself. I'd love to find a real life version of that drapey green top.

1 comment:

  1. How is it possible that neither of us had heard of Persephone Books?



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