Friday, 8 June 2012

Daunt Books

You may not know, but Daunt Books have branched out into reprints.  Indeed, they did so in 2010.  It's been mentioned a few times around the blogosphere - I have an inkling that I may have mentioned it in passing here, actually - but today is the first time I have set eyes on the books they've printed.  Having seen my review of Ann Bridge's Illyrian Spring, they very kindly got in touch and offered to send me a copy - as well as two novels by Sybille Bedford: A Favourite of the Gods and its sequel A Compass Error.  When I went to the Celebration of Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Jane Howard listed Taylor and Bedford as the two authors universally praised by other novelists - so I'm excited to try her out.  These books are (I quote the email I got) 'about three generations of women living in Rome, London and the South of France in the first decades of the 20th Century.'  Sounds good, no?

Oh, and excuse my fancifulness with the images.  I've been envious of people who have Instagram, and then discovered that Picasa 3 is the Poor Man's Instagram (as well as being the Poor Man's Photoshop) so... yeah.  I'll try not to get too carried away for future posts!



Aren't they beautiful editions?  In terms of buying them, Daunt Books are primarily a bookseller, especially travel books, so they don't have a publishing website set up - but you can buy these editions from them.  Let me know what you think of their style - and, of course, whether you have read Sybille Bedford's work.

22 comments:

  1. I love the cover on Illyrian Spring. I've seen it around on a number of blogs recently and it is so striking that it always catches my eye. I haven't read anything by Sybille Bedford but these sound promising!

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    1. Isn't it beautiful? Much nicer than the tatty copy I had before.

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    2. The Daunt editions of Sybille Bedford are brilliant. A joy to read - perfect summer reading.

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  2. Sybille Bedford is another writer (who could have her own reading week perhaps?). I've never read her, but only heard good things. I have one of her books on my shelf - Jigsaw.

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    1. I'm hoping to get onto it soon, so will report back!

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  3. Surely you should be using GIMP? V2.8 is quite impressive (and closest to photoshop of any open source thaqt I know about) and v3.0 (coming soon) will properly handle 16 bit depth image data.

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    1. Thanks Peter - not something I've heard of, but I will investigate. Perhaps unsurprisingly I don't know what 16 bit depth image data is, but handling it properly can only be a good thing!

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  4. I was so pleased to find I could finally order an affordable - and beautiful! - copy of Illyrian Spring! And there's something particularly delicious about getting a parcel from Daunt's!
    The name Sybille Bedford rings a bell, but I can't place her. Was she at all connected to Bloomsbury? I have a feeling I came across her name in Rosamond Lehmann's correspondance a few months ago and am kicking myself for not paying better attention...

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    1. I come up against the same question mark! I thought maybe I'd heard of her simply from seeing her name in secondhand bookshops, but perhaps she did have a connection...

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  5. I read A Favourite of the Gods about four years ago now, and loved it. I then tried Bedford's more autobiographical writing in A Legacy and couldn't get on with it at all, oddly. I had forgotten that A Compass Error existed - hmm, very tempting!

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    1. Glad to hear you loved it - further encouragement for me to read it! These editions are also beautiful to hold - like the Sort Of Books Tove Janssons - whch might be an added incentive (!)

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  6. I lourvvveeed Illyrian Spring! And the new cover is so perfect for it...i'm just wondering why they didn't send ME a copy! ;)

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    1. Isn't it lovely? Ask them! I'm sure they'd send a copy!

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  7. I have no excuse for not reading Illyrian Spring now, which has been on my wishlist for *ages*.

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    1. No, you don't! It is such a lovely book - and now it's a lovely book inside and out!

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  8. You will love Sybille Bedford; I must go back and re-read my old Virago copies. And there's another one, a travel book that doesn't get mentioned so often which is such a good read, A visit to Don Otavio. Much classier writer than Ann Bridge (but don't tell Rachel I said so!)

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    1. I shan't mention it to her; I value your life! ;)
      I look forward to the Bedfords, although my allergy to travel writing will keep me away from A Visit to Don Otavio, I think.

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  9. I've been trying to remember where I've seen her name, and then recalled that there is a large two volume biography of Aldous Huxley by SB sitting in my favourite local charity shop (Samaritans) - very tempting!

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  10. I'll ignore what Mary said. ;)

    I got sent the same package from Daunt. LOVE the Illyrian Spring - gorgeous. I just got back from a week in Greece with my mum. I forced her to read Illyrian Spring, and I read the two Bedfords alongside a few others - holidays are reading opportunities for me so I always whip few six books or so. Bliss!

    Anyway, rambling on...the Bedfords are sublime. Really, truly, excellent. So evocative and beautifully written. Get to them quickly. Bedford knew everyone in her day and was best friends with a lot of the major artistic figures of the mid century. It's highly likely she knew Rosamond Lehmann. I'm looking forward to reading everything she wrote now. Even the book Mary says is better than Illyrian Spring!

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    1. I'm very excited about the Bedfords now, Rachel!

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