Wednesday 25 February 2009

Extra! Extra!

I warn you now, this post is going to come in breathless enthusiam, rather than the carefully worded eloquence one might hope from a magazine or newspaper (incidentally: I've noticed a few bloggers also write for magazines as a result of a blog... I would so love to do this, how would one go about offering oneself?)

My exciting news is something I've known for a little while but had to keep secret. The good people at Bloomsbury emailed around the bloggers a while ago - in the wake of the success of Mary Ann Shaffer's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Emma Smith's The Great Western Beach, they thought the early 20th century could be a good area for potential reprints. Not a view likely to meet with disapproval here at Stuck-in-a-Book, of course. And Bloomsbury obviously recognised that bloggers were also obsessive readers, and might be able to put a title or two in their direction. They were looking, mostly, for things which hadn't been reprinted by othe
r reprint publishers.

Those of you who know me well will know that one name came straight to mind.

Miss Hargreaves.

And, guess what, they're going to republish Miss
Hargreaves (by Frank Baker - see my ravings about it here). It's on my list of 50 Books You Must Read But May Not Have Heard About and, although that list isn't in any order, I'd probably put Miss Hargreaves at the top. I don't think I could be more excited if my own (hypothetical) novel were being published.

Miss Hargreaves is going to be one of six novels called The Bloomsbury Group - I think they're intending to bring a set out every year. More on the other novels tomorrow.

Now the not so good news: it's not until August, according to their website. We'll have to be patient. Don't worry, I'll be reminding people. A lot. For those who don't know the novel - I can do no better than quote the brilliant blurb on the Bloomsbury website:

An endlessly surprising fairy tale from the 1930s, introducing an unforgettable heroine and a story that shows that anything is possible with a little imagination

Part of The Bloomsbury Group: A new library of books from the early twentieth-century chosen by readers for readers

When, on the spur of a moment, Norman Huntley and his friend Henry invent an eighty-three year-old woman called Miss Hargreaves, they are inspired to post a letter to their new fictional friend. It is only meant to be a silly, harmless game – until Miss Hargreaves arrives on their doorstep, complete with her cockatoo, her harp and – last but not least – her bath. She is, to Norman's utter disbelief, exactly as he had imagined her: enchanting, eccentric and endlessly astounding. He hadn't imagined, however, how much havoc an imaginary octogenarian could wreak in his sleepy Buckinghamshire home town, Cornford.
Norman has some explaining to do, but how will he begin to explain to his friends, family and girlfriend where Miss Hargreaves came from when he hasn't the faintest clue himself? Will his once-ordinary, once-peaceful life ever be the same again? And, what’s more, does he want it to?


  1. Oh this sounds right up my street! I think its great that publishers like Bloomsbury are looking to republish books that some may have forgotten and certainly shouldnt be! Loving your enthusiasm, I am going to HAVE to get a copy!

  2. Hello,

    just to let you know that I have given you a blogging award on my blog

    I have a lovely Bloomsbury Classics edition of The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore (which was great), and I've never seen so many typos in one book. It was bizarre. I liked the cover though.

  3. Oh, how lovely! I'm also delighted to see they are including The Brontes Went to Woolworths in the group of six, although I luckily have a Virago copy. It was actually via Miss Hargreaves that I first found my way to your blog as you had passed on a copy of the book to Danielle at A Work in Progress.

  4. This is wonderful news! I'm so glad that publishers are realizing that these books are not past their time but timeless.

  5. This has been very exciting, I've bombarded them with suggestions too, sadly I've just heard today that the book I was going to a cover quote for has come up against rights issues and now won't be included but it will be good to see Miss H in there.

  6. That's so exciting! (And I would love to write for a magazine as well if you learn any tips and feel like passing them along.) :)

  7. Wow! How exciting this is Simon! These new Bloomsbury editions look great.


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