Coming to you a bit late, my report on the Possibly Persephone? event – and when I say ‘report’, you will soon see that it descends (or perhaps ascends) into a long list of books.
Claire (Paperback Reader) and I met outside her work at 5.30pm and headed along to the Persephone Books shop on Lamb’s Conduit Street. I had wondered quite how we’d fit everyone into a fairly smallish shop – the answer being that we’d simply crowd in and be friendly! Nicola Beauman greeted us at the door, and we set about drinking madeira (“have some madeira, m’dear” was mentioned) which was delicious, and settling down for a fun evening. By the time everyone arrived there were probably about 15 of us, lovely folk one and all, and exactly the sort of bookish people with whom it is a delight to spend an evening.
Nicola kicked off proceedings by telling us briefly how often people recommend books, and how Persephone set about finding, reading, and thinking about these suggestions. She even unveiled a very tantalising folder filled with print outs and letters, containing suggestions – so many authors unknown to me, and so many potential gems.
And then we went round in the circle, giving our suggested titles and defending them. I was madly scribbling down everything I heard, although I can’t remember plots etc. for that many of them. You already know about Mr. Pim Passes By – Nicola pointed out that Vintage and Capuchin have both brought out Milne titles recently, which would make AAM difficult to market as one of Persephone’s authors, but we will wait and see… After the suggestions was some general chat, with many of us saying novels we love which are out of print, until Nicola must have felt under an avalanche. The first of these below were the suggestions; after Ann Valery’s book it’s a list of (some of) those which were mentioned at all.
If you want to know more about any of these books, and can’t find anything by Googling etc., then I’ll do my best to remember something! Or if you know something about them, do yell.
–Miss Penny & Miss Plum – Dorothy Evelyn Smith
–Summer in the Greenhouse – Elizabeth Maver
–The Blue Castle – L.M. Montgomery
–Earth and Water – Sheelagh Kinelli
–The Woman’s Book – ed. Philippa Preston
–Memories of a Militant – Annie Kenney
–Peter Abelard – Helen Waddell
–The Wedding – Denis Mackail
–At the Top of the Muletrack – Carola Matthews
–Kirsteen – Margaret Oliphant
–Westwood – Stella Gibbons
–Miss Linsey and Pa – Stella Gibbons
–Baron von Kodak, Shirley Temple, and Me – Ann Valery
–The Wheel Spins – Ethel Lina White
–Diminishing Circles – Barbara Rees
–Harriet Dark: Branwell Brontes lost novel – Barbara Rees
–A Step Out of Time – Betty Askwith
–Guard Your Daughters – Diana Tutton
–Camera! – Joan Morgan
–Faster! Faster! – E.M. Delafield
–Cometh up like a Flower – Rhoda Broughton
–Laughing Mountains – Kay Lynn
–Harriet – Elizabeth Jenkins
–Miss Tiverton Goes Out – A.M. Champneys