Monday, May 17, 2010

News from Persephone Books...

Just received The Persephone Biannually. What a cover! Titled Napping on the Best at Monte Carlo (1934), it brings me a picture of restfulness and also reminds me just how much the world has changed. Why do we love these kind of images? Imagine seeing women so clad on the beach today? They look like tourists who have delved into their steamer trunks for just the right outfits. Darling green and white sandals to match the shirt, the trim on the short sleeved cardigan, and the tidy scarf tied about her--nails painted bright red. But wait...we might not see this outfit seaside, but we certainly might in the pages of a catalog like Anthropologie and thus on a lass walking briskly about on her lunch break from her computer-driven job. Just how much do things change?

You may recall, we visited Persephone Books in my Journal back in March. At that time, I just had to purchase several of their vintage titles and my reward is this charming publication. Do go on their web site and check out their news and the recent Spring/Summer 2010 offering. I note that one of their shops, the one in Kensington, is closing. "Trying to compete against Amazon" is one of the reasons. Alas, online shopping is a wonderful service, and it keeps books circling the globe, but the loss of bookstores is a change that many of us lament. But just loving bookstores will not keep them in business, as the notice in The Biannually suggests. Their shop in London on Lamb's Conduit Street is still active, thank goodness.

One of the upcoming events is something we might choose to celebrate, too--a virtual celebration. On Monday, October 18, there will be a lunch and lecture at the Persephone store celebrating the publication, a hundred years ago on that day, of E. M. Forster's Howards End. For those of you in book clubs--what a great inspiration for an event. For shop owners of all kinds, you can plan something like this.

So here at the Journal, we'll be having a Howards End lunch and/or tea--more later as plans progress for menus, etc. You just might set your own table that day, read the book or revisit the film, which is one of my favorites.

Something to look forward to as spring drifts into summer and then fall is once again upon us. The seasons change, as times do, but there are things that never do--like good books, good taste, a restful day at the beach, and the best of friends, first or forevers.


  1. A delightful post, Nancy, and a great idea! Howard's End was so beautiful, a tea or luncheon in the style would be divine. Lidy

  2. Thank you for this post...Food for thought, isn't it? I received my Persephone newsletter a few weeks ago and I've read it cover to cover twice. The cover is so nostalgic. No body piercings or tatoos either. Sorry, my age (or is it my sensibility) is showing.


  3. As a person who can literally spend hours in a bookstore, online browsing will never compare.

    October is a ways off, but a very fitting month for "Howards End". Thank you for something lovely to look forward to.

  4. Hmmmmmmmmmm....London in October, eh? Now THAT'S a dream vacation for this booklover! I got my Persephone catalog, too, and just love it. You've hit on something really important here, Nancy, and that is supporting our local and global bookstores. What booklover didn't cringe at the ending of Charing Cross when our NYC heroine prowls thru the sad ruins of the bookstore? We should support, as much as we can, these bastions of culture, education, beauty, and history with our entertainment dollars. If we can spend $10 to see a movie, why not spend $20 to help keep places like Persephone alive? Thanks for this reminder!
    Love, Karen Marline

  5. The vintage image does definitely take me to a different place in my mind. I think that is why I am so attracted to photographing Adirondack chairs by the sea. I will check out the website. The Howard's End would be a fun theme for a tea.

  6. I had wrote in from your suggestion on here, Nancy -& just yesterday I recieved their Catolog!--I must say, Persephone books offers very fast shipping and service.-and ...- I am anxious to watch the Movie-"Howards End". I honestly don't recall ever seeing it.-Thanks for all of your wonderful suggestions.xo-Valery

  7. When I ordered your book from Amazon, I also ordered two Persephone titles from them. I didn't think about ordering directly from Persephone. I will have to request a catalog so that they will get all the benefit next time I order from them.