I had a lovely time in the Lake District and Edinburgh – absolutely falling in love with that city, after spending more or less three whole days tramping its streets. I met Karen from Cornflower, which was an absolute joy. We *had* met previously, when I’d only been blogging for only a fortnight… now that we e-know each other quite well, we were able to have a really nice, bookish chat, and delicious lunch. And I was nosey and asked to look at her bookshelves… lots to approve of, and talk about, and generally all very nice!
We popped into a nearby bookshop, where Karen bought one book on my recommendation/insistence (Provincial Daughter by RM Dashwood, a sequel to EM Delafield’s Provincial Lady books, and by EMD’s daughter, ‘Vicky’ herself). I bought, um, five… and in the five days I was away, bought seventeen books. Cough. Well, you KNEW this about me when we became friends, you can’t judge me now…
Here they are!
1. Everyday Quotations from Shakespeare
Goes through the plays one by one, showing where ‘quotations from Shakespeare in everyday use’ originated. Amusing to see which quotations were apparently in everyday use in the 1920s.
2. Elizabeth and Her German Garden – Elizabeth von Arnim
I already have the Virago copy, but this lovely little edition from 1905ish was too nice to leave, at a £1
3. The Gate of Angels – Penelope Fitzgerald
Bought on the encouragement of Karen (Cornflower blog). I loved The Bookshop by PF last year.
4. The Moving Toyshop – Edmund Crispin
Again, at least five people have told me to read this. And it came looking like one of the old-fashioned green Penguin Crimes, so I was smitten.
5. To the Is-land – Janet Frame
Volume One of her autobiography. More on Frame below…
6. Nightingale Wood – Stella Gibbons
General view is that this is sub-Cold Comfort Farm, but it was in a charity shop, so I thought why not…
7. The Other Side of the Bridge – Mary Lawson
I was very impressed by Crow Lake (wrote about here) and still get a fair few people coming to S-i-a-b through Google searches for it.
8. Manservant and Maidservant – Ivy Compton-Burnett
I’ve got my copy!
9. Robert and Helen – Elizabeth Jenkins
Since I was enjoying The Tortoise and the Hare…
10. Faces in the Water – Janet Frame
Been meaning to read this New Zealand author for ages, and I love novels about madness. I think I first saw her name on dovegreyreader’s blog?
11. Singled Out – Virginia Nicholson
Why don’t I already own this? Already been talked about lots across the blogosphere, I wanted a book by which to remember the great little independent shop in Grasmere – chose this one. The shop, Sam Read’s, had only one copy of each book, but they’d been wisely and lovingly chosen. And included Miss Hargreaves…
12. Three Fantasies – John C. Powys
Looks like it might be useful for my research… apparently he uses everyday situations to explore the fantastic.
13. Adeline Mowbray – Amelia Opie
1804 novel based on the life of Mary Wollstonecraft. Need to read more from this period, and having appreciated Janet Todd’s non-fiction Death and the Maidens about the Shelley/Wollstonecraft circle, this could be a winner.
14. Drawn From Life – EH Shepard
The second volume of Shepard’s illustrated autobiography – I remember the first being charming, the writing as well as EHS’s superlative drawings.
15. The Jasmine Farm – Elizabeth von Arnim
Another nice old edition of an E von A..
16. The Egg and I – Betty Macdonald
Heard good things about this, and it had a lovely cover…
17. The Rebecca Notebooks – Daphne du Maurier
I’ve had my eye on this for ages… every step I take with DdM seems to go downhill after Rebecca, so hopefully this will redress the balance.