Thanks for all your sympathy and encouragement with The Challenge! I know, in the grand scheme of things, that a month without buying books isn’t a biggie… but it might well be the first for a few years, and strain my self-discipline. This isn’t about buying books to read immediately – otherwise Peter’s suggestion about using the local library would, of course, meet with my cheerful approval – but more a magpie instinct which could do with calming…
And another book sneaked/snuck into my hands before the ban starts. Well, actually, this book wasn’t an impulse buy. I saw it in one of Crewkerne’s bookshops a few months ago, and decided I couldn’t *really* afford it… but the fact that I’m still thinking about it all this while later suggested that it wouldn’t be an unrewarding purchase.
The Yellow Book: A Selection comes, unsurprisingly, from The Yellow Book – I wrote about this quite a bit in my Special Topic thesis on Victorian Short Stories. It was around in the 1890s and published fin-de-siecle stories, poetry and art in a beautiful yellow, good quality format. The 1949 anthology followed these pointers, and this book is a delight to both behold and hold. What’s more, the contents are great – although set up with the amusing purposes of a)avoiding advertising in periodicals and b)avoiding Oscar Wilde altogether, The Yellow Book witnessed some of that very early Modernism, alongside some very late Victorianism. Writers include Henry James, Arthur Symons, George Gissing, Kenneth Grahame, Yeats, Edmund Gosse, George Moore, Max Beerbohm, Richard Garnett. I know rather less about the art of the period (or, indeed, any period) but recognised Walter Sickert’s name and, of course, Aubrey Beardsley.
Lots of copies from abebooks.co.uk cheaper than I paid (The Bodley Head edition) and definitely a work of art as well as literature – a great coffee table book too, it must be admitted. Especially if your walls are yellow.