Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Slightly foxed editions and Persephone Books

Reading a memoir by the late Richard Kennedy of his youthful apprenticeship at Leonard and Virginia Woolf ‘s Hogarth press. It’s refreshing to see Virginia Woolf remembered as rather vibrant and sophisticated and not simply depressive, and the eccentricity of writers even running a printing press ( I mean that’s as absurd as an artist running a record company!) is heart-warming. The Bloomsbury memoir is coupled with ‘A Parcel of Time ‘, where Kennedy describes his childhood and how it is affected by the First World War. I’m really enjoying this book but what I am really dotty about are ‘Slightly Foxed Editions’ who publish it [link]. I’ve eagerly collected all their titles since I discovered them about two weeks ago! These are books you want to hold AND touch. There are some really exciting independent publishing houses now that understand that reading is not solely a visual activity but also a tactile one. Another great bonus is that often they are re-publishing books that have been unjustly forgotten and unavailable. Persephone books [link] is another fine example of this. They publish gorgeous editions – using a fabric design for the book’s interior which match the mood and date of the book. ‘Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day’ by Winifred Watson is my current favourite, how could we have lived without this book for so long ?!! Lots of Love tt