Friday 11 May 2007

Don't blame me, blame dovegreyreader...

Sometimes it isn't what you know, but whom you know... (I always get paranoid about who(m) on here... hope that's right. Apologies if not). And today I want to point the finger at dovegreyreader, who so callously included me in the little list of links at the side of her blog. Callous, I say.

Well, of course I am joking, and am grateful
for a longstanding e-friend to point others in my direction. But did she realise that her fame has spread to the independent publishers of the world? And they've realised something: these bloggers visit dovegreyreader for a reason - they probably quite like a nice book or two. Or three. Or eight hundred. Probably not adverse to hearing about them... wouldn't mind a quick email... and catalogue...

And this is how I was the recipient of a very nice email from Ellie, of Hesperus Press.I feel I should make that more clear. Hesperus Press. There we go, that should get your attention. Ellie suggested that I might be interested in a catalogue - well, by now my head was dizzy with the fame of having my blog recognised by an Official Body. I practised my signature a few times on some napkins (definitely the one with the bows looping round the S - though a speedier moniker would have to be developed for occasions when the crowds reached triple figures) and sent an enthused reply. A quick check of their website, you see, showed me that they had books by Virginia Woolf AND Jane Austen. If you're still wondering why I was excited, then we need to have a chat.

Can I quote my friend Ellie for a moment? "We specialise in revitalising and reprinting neglected classics, and in translating into English major or meritorious works that have somehow evaded translation." All very admirable. I am especially taken by the reprints of not-so-famous works by famous authors - for the collectors out there, here are the works that Penguin haven't published in a pocket edition. Alongside Austen and Woolf, authors include Alcott, Bronte (give or take an accent I can't find), Collins, Conan Doyle, Dickens, Dostoevsky, George Eliot, Fitzgerald, Gaskell, Hardy, Lawrence, Mansfield, Melville, Pope, Shaw, Shelley (M & P), Thackeray, Tolstoy, Twain, Wharton and Wilde. And those are just the authors in whom I'm especially interested. (Pretty certain that 'whom' was warranted).

Ok, the authors are great. But let's get judging books by covers - Hesperus' are stunning. Not really obvious from the picture, but do check out the website. Howsabout another link? Here we go. They've gone for that close-up-detail thing that works so well, and looks so impressive. Let's face it; I want them all. And when do you not need these books? That's a much better way of phrasing it... And they're an independent publishers, as I said, which always make me feel like I'm Saving The World in general, and Baby Seals in particular.

So my first order has gone in. Update when the books arrive...

I'm not working on commission. Yet...


  1. Did I hear my name? Yippeee I love it when this happens, one blog leading to another,publishers realizing that there are legions of really genuine book lovers out here who will give an honest appraisal of a book from a reader's point of view.You will indeed adore Hesperus Simon,the books so far have taken me nicely off the beaten track but with familiar writers like Edith Wharton and Emile Zola,then new ones to me like Colette.I can't wait for the Brief Lives series to come out.

  2. Leading us into temptation again. I haven't quite recovered from being introduced to Persephone and now you are dangling Hesperus before me. I will not buy more books until I have read the ones I have got; I will not buy more books....... This is the mantra for today's meditation session.

  3. I certainly do hope you adore us, (thank you dovegreyknitter!) and in the meantime good luck with your finals - and be grateful that you're just over the road from Schools, and not at St Hughes! Fingers crossed for you over here...

    Katya (from Hesperus. And Magdalen. No wonder you have such amazing taste...)


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