London War Notes: now a Persephone!

Back in 2013, when I listed the best books I’d read that year, I had not a moment’s doubt in putting London War Notes by Mollie Panter-Downes at the top of the list. I wrote:

It changed the way I think about the day-by-day events of the second world war, and (like Guard Your Daughters at the top of 2012’s list) I think it is scandalous that it’s out of print. Well, Guard Your Daughters is coming back into print in 2014, so fingers crossed for London War Notes following suit…
Well, sadly Guard Your Daughters never made it into print, but the crossed fingers for London War Notes worked a treat. Now you can get your own copy – in a beautiful Persephone edition, no less! More info from their site, here.

If this doesn’t quite match my excitement when Miss Hargreaves came back into print, it’s not a million miles away – London War Notes is such a valuable resource and a wonderful book that I do urge you to rush out and get a copy. Or, let’s face it, order it online from the comfort of your own bed.

And do pop back and let me know what you think of it! If you’ve reviewed it, put a link in the comments, as I’d love to read people’s responses.

17 thoughts on “London War Notes: now a Persephone!

  • April 23, 2015 at 10:51 pm
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    This makes me so happy!! I was lucky enough to read it because of our incredible local library system. Then, after my brother fell in love with it, I was stoked to find an edition for under $50 as a gift for him. So happy to think of having my own copy!!

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    • April 24, 2015 at 10:29 pm
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      I was also lucky enough to snare an affordable copy, after reading it from the library – but now so delighted that I can encourage others to get copies, and maybe pass on to others!

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    • April 24, 2015 at 10:30 pm
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      I remember we both had stellar years in 2013! SO pleased this came back into print – yay Persephone!

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  • April 24, 2015 at 2:59 am
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    Yay. Any time I saw it mentioned on a blog I suggested in the comments that we all ask Persephone to reprint it. Can it have worked?

    There is one single copy in the Toronto Public Library system, so it probably got around a bit.

    Now to go buy my own copy!

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    • April 24, 2015 at 10:30 pm
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      I think it definitely helped, Susan, thanks so much for your enthusiasm about the book and the part that played in bringing it back! Hurrah!

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  • April 24, 2015 at 12:27 pm
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    I'm so happy about this because I was desperate to read it after your review. It will definitely be coming to me soon… As for Guard Your Daughters, I wish I knew what happened there. Hesperus were all set up to republish but then it all fell through – maybe there was a rights issue? Shame, whatever the cause.

    kaggsysbookishramblings

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    • April 24, 2015 at 10:31 pm
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      It is a real shame – fingers crossed it makes it back at some point.

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  • April 24, 2015 at 10:45 pm
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    I haven't read this yet but I did read One Fine Day last month and really loved it. Just perfection.

    So how do we get a campaign for Persephone to re-print Guard Your Daughters? I luckily have a copy that a friend in Scotland procured for me, but it really is a perfect fit for Persephone and I think it would sell well. (and I read the Bloombury reprint of Miss Hargreaves and I found the quality of the paperback to be…lacking. Nothing like compared to the beauty of a Persephone) I have already recommended it to a few people as “If you liked I Captured the Castle” you might like this… Speaking of which, I have also heard that about Monica Dickens’ Mariana (which IS published by Persephone). Have you read Mariana…and if yes, do you agree with the comparison?

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    • April 24, 2015 at 10:48 pm
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      I actually haven't read Mariana, despite loving the Monica Dickens books I HAVE read – so I must get on that! Somebody yesterday told me that A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is supposed to be like an American I Capture the Castle, which intrigued me – especially as A Tree is on my shelf already…

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    • April 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm
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      I don't think I'd compare I Capture The Castle and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. They're both coming-of-age stories about girls who write, but ATGiB is much grittier, and it doesn't have the humor of ICtC. However, they are both wonderful.

      Another largely ignored book is Winter Wheat by Margaret Walker, a WWII-era coming-of-age story in the midwest. It's still in print by a small university press. It's excellent, but it might be tough to find in the UK.

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  • April 25, 2015 at 12:07 pm
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    Oddly, the Hesperus edition of "Guard your daughters" can be preordered on the German Amazon website (amazon.de) for 11.50 euros with a publication date of 16 July 2015. Not sure if amazon.de knows something that amazon.co.uk doesn't or if they're making it up out of thin air, but the precise date and that they're guaranteeing the price would indicate that they're under the impression it's all happening.

    http://www.amazon.de/Guard-Your-Daughters-Hesperus-Classics/dp/1843914921/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429963576&sr=8-1&keywords=guard+your+daughters

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    • April 25, 2015 at 7:30 pm
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      Interesting – but I'm not sure if that actually means anything because the US site have it down as coming out in January 2020 – go figure…..

      kaggsysbookishramblings

      Reply
  • April 26, 2015 at 5:33 am
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    So happy! It was blighting my life that all the secondhand copies were $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and the library kept wanting their copy back.

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  • April 28, 2015 at 2:40 am
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    Very excited about this! I loved One Fine Day and the stories I read last fall by Panter-Downes and have been patiently waiting for the Persephone reprint of the London War Notes. I’ll be ordering it pronto!

    Reply
  • April 29, 2015 at 3:26 pm
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    Exciting! I am definitely going to pick this up next time I visit The Shop!

    Reply

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