Wednesday 21 July 2010

Bloomsbury is Back!

Thanks for your votes on the impromptu Jane Austen poll, still not sure if the poll is itself working, so do pop your favourite JA novel in the comments too. And still a bit of time to get your hands on a copy of Travelling Light by Tove Jansson here - I (or Patch) will do the draw for the Weekend Miscellany.

Today - and I can't believe it's taken me this long, given how very excited I am about this - we'll be turning our attention to the latest Bloomsbury Group titles! If you've been living under a rock for a year, then perhaps you aren't familiar with this group of early-20th century reprints, including the oh-so-wonderful Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker.

Well, there are now a further four books in the series, with a rather exciting and bright aesthetic that I love. And the return of Penelope Beech's brilliant cover illustrations - that gal is jus too darn talented. Here are those four....

Henrietta Sees It Through by Joyce Dennys
Everyone raved about Henrietta's War, myself included, and so we're delighted to see Bloomsbury reprint the second volume. I'd love to see them do more and more Joyce Dennys...

Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris by Paul Gallico
I've had this on my shelves for ages - but a lovely Bloomsbury Group reprint is just the catalyst I need to move it up the pile. A charlady saves up to travel to Paris, and a Cinderella story begins... (Also has one of the sequels included)

Mrs. Ames by E.F. Benson
You know how much I love Mr. Benson, and this one comes with the seal of approval from Elaine at Random Jottings. The blurb starts 'Reigning over a social merry-go-round of dinners and parties...' and I just know the pen which crafted Mapp and Lucia has provided another gem.

Let's Kill Uncle by Rohan O'Grady
What a great title! An orphan goes to stay with his uncle, and is sure that his uncle intends to kill him... and wants to get in first. Dastardly!

I'm so excited about this continuing publishing venture - and I hope you are too. Which of these are you most looking forward to? And what would you like to see in the future?

I amuse myself sometimes by thinking what I'd include in my own reprint publishing company in thirty or forty years' time... I suppose my 50 Books You Must Read! (Dad pointed out that none have been added since last October.. oops! I'll have to wrack my brains...)


  1. I have just read Henrietta Sees It Through and Let's Kill Uncle and just started Mrs. Ames. Everyone out there, listen to Simon. You are in for a treat.

  2. I was given Henrietta Sees It Through when it was published 25 years ago, & I have read a library copy of Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, so I am looking forward to getting Mrs Ames. Well done, Bloomsbury.

  3. Excited for them all but especially Henrietta Sees Through It. But I need to finish the first set first by reading Mrs. Tim of the Regiment.

  4. I am almost sure I have read the story of the char lady but not a 100 percent certain. Thanks for the recommendations re the other books.

  5. Oh, I am so wanting these! Henrietta Sees it Through is at the top of my list. And I, like you, love the bright colors on these.

  6. Thanks for the mention at the end.
    I'm not sure your uncles Mike, Dan and Steve would be pleased to see one of these tomes taking a prominent place by your side!

  7. Oh I've jsut read Mrs Harris. I loved Mrs Harris goes to Paris and wish I'd waited a little to read Mrs Harris goes to New York as I didn't find it quite as perfect as Paris. It was a wonderful uplifting and beautiful book.

  8. I have read many of these books in the past and throughly enjoyed them. One which I hope Bloomsbury will reprint is 'Family Album' by Antonia Ridge. If you liked 'Mrs Harris' you'll love this. A lonely spinster schoolteacher travels to France to try and find some long lost French relatives. Cosy but also literate - includes mention of the novels of Honore de Urfe, for example!

  9. Do read "Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, it is absolutely delightful. I have just passed it on to my Mum who is also enjoying it hugely.

  10. I am very excited about these, I have already devoured Henrietta Sees It Through and think I might try Let's Kill Uncle next! I still have three of last years to read though... ooops!

  11. What lovely books. I only have the Henrietta book. I thought I ordered the other three and was waiting for them to arrive and they never did, so when I contacted TBD I found out I somehow muddled the order and it never went through. As I had recently decided the credit card was going to be sealed away so I could make progress paying it off I didn't order them again (if I give in this once I'll just fall off the wagon). Eventually they'll be published over here so I will be patient. Besides I still have most of the books from the first set to read!

  12. THose books just look great - literally and literarily (if that's even a word, but you know what I mean).

  13. EllenB - I think Mrs. Ames will be next - Let's Kill Uncle will be reviewed soon...

    Gill - don't they pick well? Well, with our help of course ;-)

    Frances - I was impatient and found the second Henrietta book in the library! Nice to have my own copy, though, of course.

    Mystica - I will read it soon, and maybe my thoughts on it will jog your memory for definite ;-)

    Susan - Book Depository, free postage... it's all I'm saying ;-)

    Dad - haha, I don't think it will give me ideas...

    Joan - I can't believe I still haven't read any Paul Gallico! I've had the Mrs. Harris book for years... this reprint will force me to get around to it.

    Michelle Ann - I've never heard of that, but I've loved so many books about spinsters that I can't imagine that would fail to please. Do email Bloomsbury with the suggestion!

    Alison - oh I will, I will...

    Simon - I still have one of the last set to read... but YOU need to read Miss Hargreaves! Get onto it, boyo!

    Danielle - they must test the resolve! If you *thought* you'd already ordered them, surely that doesn't count??

    Hannah - I think it is a word :) certainly fits these gems

  14. The Mrs. Harris books are some of my very favorite comfort reads! I hope they come out with the last two as well. In the meantime, I'm very excited to see the sequel to Henrietta is finally available!


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