Thursday, 31 January 2008

I Love Hesperus

I don't know how to insert that little heart picture, otherwise today's subject title would be a play on the film 'I Heart Huckabees'. I know nothing about the film other than that the title is fun, so perhaps I wouldn't want to parody it.

ANYWAY. Somehow my posts often seem to stray into the irrelevant and slightly silly, but perhaps that's part of the charm. I certainly try to use it to full effect in Real Life and Real Work, since it covers a multitude of sins. No, ca
n't see how to turn on the printer - but I'll charm you so you don't notice. Where's Room 312, you ask? Couldn't tell you, but here's a dollop of charm. I do, of course, jest - which I should mention, as I believe some of my Bodleian superiors read this page anonymously from time to time.

ANYWAY. (I wonder how often I've used the term 'anyway' on
this blog?) ANYWAY. I'm talking about Hesperus Press and the very lovely Ellie, who responded with alacrity and generosity to my nonchalant enquiry as to the possibility of more books. I just mentioned a few authors I'd espied whom, you know, she could send, if she liked... please pretty pretty please. Well, the need for beautiful editions of unusual texts by classic authors was clear in my voice, and four stunners were sent speedily. Speedily on their side, that is - the good ole Royal Mail kept them at the post office for a while, and under the auspices of my housemate they remained at the post office for a while longer. But now they're in my hot little hands, and ripe for the reading. Just look at 'em.

Jerome K. Jerome - The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow
The first one I'm going to read - loved Three Men in a Boat, have Three Men on a Bummel waiting in the wings, and have heard excellent things about this gem. Can't wait for the woman's reply, Lazy Thoughts of a Lazy Girl by pseudonymous Jenny Wren, which Hesperus republish in March.

Elizabeth Gaskell - Cousin Phyllis
I liked Liz even before the BBC got their hands on her, but have yet to read this one. Won't be long... I need a nice dose of Victorian.

L. P. Hartley - Simonetta Perkins
A little disturbed to discover what my Christian name would be, is feminised, but The Go-Between was a joyous read last year - this will hopefully prove the same.

Fyodor Dostoevsky - The Eternal Husband
What a good title. And finally I am reading some Dostoevsky! Perhaps I should have started with one of the bulky classics, but I like this back-door entrance to the Great Man.

If there is a publisher making more beautiful books at the moment, I want to hear about them. Well, Persephone Books fight it out for the top spot - but Hesperus' are undeniably stunning. Go on, look at their website. If there's nothing you want there, then you might just be reading the wrong blog...


  1. Ellie is a great sender of books to keep us delighted and happy and my shelves now sport many of these lovely editions. I am currently reading Amos Barton and finished Janet's Revenge the other week. You will love Cousin Phyllis, story of a Victorian maiden who loved and lost and took to her bed in true vapourish fashion but as it is Mrs Gaskell it is more than that. I loved it. I have posted about it some where if you want to do a search.

    Today is 1 February now you can go and buy books again!

  2. You'd better have got those free.
    Well done for (as far as I know) staying on the wagon.
    Now don't binge and fill your whole cellar with books.
    Although, that's an idea, they probably wouldn't notice for a while... xx

  3. For future reference, the ♥ symbol is produced in HTML with the sequence & hearts; (without the space after the &). And they are some very lovely-looking books...


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