Wednesday 21 September 2011

Londoning (the books)

Time to share with you the books I bought in London!  Blogger has a new interface thingummy, so I'm hoping things will go to plan... if I press the wrong buttons and everything turns out enormous or slanting to the right or something, then forgive me.  (Is the font still a readable size?)

First up are the two books I bought at the conference.  My heart more or less stopped beating when I walked into the conference hall on the second day - there was the most middlebrow bookstall in front of me.  Elizabeth von Arnim, E.M. Delafield, Viragos everywhere... Not the cheapest selection in the world, but I did manage to pick up a couple of gems:

Opus 7 by Sylvia Townsend Warner: the first book she published, this is a book-length poem and thus not my normal cup of tea, but I'll give it a go.  Plus... beautiful, no?

Novels and Novelists by Katherine Mansfield: a collection of her reviews, which is rather wonderful.  Lots of unfamiliar names in the index, and thus probably a more accurate representation of the period.  It does, serendipitously, include a review of Elizabeth von Arnim's Christopher and Columbus, which I was reading the day I bought this.

Off I trotted during some free time, and down to Judd Books, wherein I bought these: 

At Freddie's and Innocence by Penelope Fitzgerald.  There are plenty of Penelope Fitzgerald novels around, but I fell in love with this series of editions from Flamingo - another incentive to explore more PF territory.

The rest of the weekend's purchases are shown, colour-coded...

Blow on a Dead Man's Embers by Mari Strachan: I recently loved Strachan's first novel, so was delighted to pick her second up for £1.

Loitering With Intent by Muriel Spark: it's no secret that I adore this novel, but the copy I read was from the library - I've been on the look-out for a cheap copy for a while.

The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay: somehow this was not amongst my Macaulay collection, despite being perhaps her most famous.  Thanks to Mary for spotting this outside the bookshop!

Epigraph on George Moore by Charles Morgan: I love authors writing about other authors, and although I've only read one book by Morgan, and none by Moore, this seemed like one I rather wanted to own...

Plagued by the Nightingale by Kay Boyle: between recognising Boyle's name, an instinctive covetousness for any Virago Modern Classic, and the cover painting, I couldn't leave this behind.  The cover is 'Portrait of a Young Woman' by Meredith Frampton, one of my favourite paintings in the Tate Gallery.

The Old Maid by Edith Wharton: I've been wanting to read more Wharton, and this is perfect for my research into 1920s spinsters - not to mention a rather lovely copy.

T.H. White: A Biography by Sylvia Townsend Warner: another one I should probably have on hand for my research - making this book buying haul, on the whole, an academic excursion... no?


  1. Academic excursions are always the best. Those are heavy-duty books you just got for yourself. I feel myself literally ageing (yet paradoxically growing youthful) as I look at your loot! I am sure that these are fantastic reads.

    And yuh, I was led to your new blogpost thanks to FB - so the networked-thingamagig works - I use it myself and it links automatically - not to my FB profile - but to the fanpage I put up for GatheringBooks.


  2. I love your selection. I doubt I will get the vintage lot you have found, but at least this will give me an idea of what to look for.

  3. An academic excursion? Probably 'No' - but perhaps I am confusing it with the cake-fest on another day! If you keep buying books at this rate you'll be reduced from cake to gruel! ;-)

  4. What a great selection of titles. When you are finished with them, please will you send them to me?


    liz in texas

  5. Wow, amazing loot!! If I ever get to England, I had better bring an extra empty suitcase just for books.

    I have read The Old Maid, it's also included in Wharton's Old New York volume of four novellas set in New York. I think it was my favorite of the four. I look forward to your reviews.

  6. I agree with ovw. At this rate, you'll have to start selling at some point. You'll need to open a bookshop yourself - don't wait until you're waaaay too old - then, someone else will have to disperse them. :-)

    Novels and Novelists by Katherine Mansfield: I have that book too!

  7. Myra - I like my false self-justification! And I'm glad FB is doing its thing - hurrah!

    Mystica - I do feel very privileged to be surrounded by such bounty in the UK.

    Mum - you'd better not look too carefully at my most recent post... :S

    Amy - aren't they!

    Liz - haha, nice try! I hope you manage to secure lots of gems while you're over here.

    Karen - definitely a second suitcase required... I don't know what I'd do if I were book shopping on a limited capacity. Having said that, my bedroom is a limited capacity...

    Nancy - I do think that at some point I'll have to overhaul my library and self off half of it... maybe one day I'll follow Rachel's example and open an online shop!


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