Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Life Does Not Get Much Better, It Would Be Churlish To Complain.

What a brilliant homecoming! As I opened the front door, I felt the delightful squidge of packages. The Iceland ash cloud must have affected the post as everything is late, but has all come at once.

First of all, Bright Star, the Jane Campion film about the love affair between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. I like films that are visually exciting and innovative and would take lush cinematography over pithy dialogue any day of the week. (Although both together is obviously preferable.) Everyone I know who has seen it describes it as 'a beautiful film' and I can't wait to watch it.

I also received series two of Homicide: Life on the Streets, one of the greatest American tv shows of the 90s. Pacy, funny, scary and visually inventive, it never disappoints.

The remaining packages were possibly the most exciting of all. I first heard about Persephone books a few years ago and was thrilled by their remit of re-publishing over looked books, written mainly by women; coupled with a commitment to good design. Each smooth, grey tome carries coloured inlay pages inspired by fabrics relevant to the content of the book.

I have perused their website countless times, read many articles and blog posts extolling their virtues and bought catalogues and tokens for their shop as Christmas and birthday presents. Yet I have never bought one for myself. Partly this was due to price, a £10 book seems a stretch when you are paying off loans and buying ridiculously priced driving lessons for what seems like YOUR ENTIRE LIFE (whoops, breathe) and partly due to the impossibility of choosing where to start.

Every time I read the catalogue (a great read in itself), I was torn. The Persephone reading week hosted by Paperback Reader and The B Files moved my hand, however.Finally I have chosen The Runaway and The Home-maker. I am particularly excited by the Runaway which contains exquisite wood-cut illustrations which dance in and out of the text, sometimes framing it, instead of just being restricted to staid, full pages.

I knew that the books were lovely to behold but did not realise how lovely until now. The grey covers have DUST COVERS and the books come with matching book marks. My squeal of joy when I realised this was similar to the noise I made when a chocolate bar fell out of our coal merchant's Christmas bill. (Thanks guys!)

I have a pile of lovely books and dvds, there is tea in the pot, soup bubbling on the hob, it's snowing outside and there's a fire to be lit. Bliss. It seems to be snowing and sunny at the same time too. AMAZING...


  1. I recognised the woodcut from The Runaway immediately! I loved your descriptions of opening the books and your squeal of delight abut how pretty they are (we rave about their aesthetic for a reason!) I am so pleased that you are set up now for Persephone Reading Week and hope that we both love reading The Home-maker.

  2. Thanks for popping in and also for inspiring me to buy the first of which will probably be many Persephones!

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts on The Home-Maker.

  3. I recognized the woodcut from Persephone, too, but the title escaped me at first!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog! I do hope you enjoy Bright Star as much as I did. See you on Persephone Week!