Sunday 27 February 2011

Coveting Persephones

I had hoped to finish reading Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winnifred Watson but alas, it was not to be.  I will carry on reading it and might just be able to review it before the dwindling hours of Persephone Weekend disappear.  In the meantime, I wanted to share with you the Persphone books I am presently coveting. 

Last year I ordered a Persephone catalogue and spent a lovely couple of hours ticking off the books I most wanted to read. Here are the five most coveted ones I hope to own soon.

1) The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett

My need for this book does have a lot to do with my love of her children's book The Secret Garden, which I adored as a child. This book is described as a very entertaining novel written in 1901 following the melodrama after a governess marries a Marquis.  The Persephone website states that this book is in two parts. The first part has a similarity to the story of Cinderella,whilst the second part shows the reality of a Victorian marriage.

2) Mrs Buncle's Books by DE Stevenson

This book has appealed to me since I first heard about it. I wonder if it is because of my aspirations to be a future published author that makes it so appealing. Mrs Buncle is eager to supplement her meagre income and begins to write novels based on the lives of her neighbours. Every thing becomes a little complicated when the books begin to sell and the village are desperate to find out who wrote the books. A lighthearted easy read that appeals to my humorous nature.

3) The Fortnight in September by RC Sherriff

This book first came to my attention when I received the catalogue and a book mark detailing the book. The first paragraph was printed upon it and it instantly had me reminiscing holidays of my childhood. It also reminded me of The Enchanted April by Elzabeth Von Armin, which is such a beautiful book to be read whilst on holiday.  This book is about a a family's holiday in Bognor Regis, which is an area I know very well.  It gives a day to day account of their holiday from the night before when they pack, to the last moments of their holiday.

4) Making Conversation by Christine Longford

This book has supposedly been created in a similar vein to Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, who is an author I have grown to love over the last year, thanks to Ana.   This follows the trials and tribulations of a young girl called Martha during her years at school and then her journey through Oxford University.

5) Minnie's Room: The Peacetime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes - 1947 to 1965.

This is the second volume of short stories by this author reprinted by Persephone. They were all published in The New Yorker during the author's lifetime, but were unknown to the UK. I read  Good Evening Mrs Craven, the first volume of short stories by this author in September last year and thoroughly enjoyed them. They were all set during World War 2 and gave you a real insight as to how war affected every day life in England. You can read my review here.

So there are the five Persephone books I am coveting the most. Have you read any of these?  Which ones would you love to own from the Persephone list?


  1. The thing about the Persephone Reading events are that they always have me coveting more Persephones.

    Of the ones that tempted you from the catalogue, I have only read The MAking of a Marchioness so far although I own two more. Sakura/Chasing Bawa's post on Minnie's Room definitely had me coveting that particular Persephone and Kiss a Cloud Claire's post on A Fortnight in September had me lusting after it.

  2. Is this the Persephone Books website. I have just found it. Looks interesting :D

  3. I printed the online catalog and am just in love with these books. I only own (2) so far, but hope to change that...LOL

    I loved Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day --enjoy

  4. I have yet to read any Persephone books. You've peaked my interest though.

  5. Not a collection of books I have ever looked at though I really should given how highly recommended they come by both yourself and several other of my blogger buddies.

  6. That is a fabulous list - I think I want to read all of them. My Persephone wish list has increased ten-fold! Do Read Miss Buncle - lovely!

  7. Of the five on your list my favorites were Miss Buncle's Book (and the sequel, soon to be published by Persephone!) and The Making of a Marchioness. I didn't care for Making Conversation as much but maybe I just didn't get the humor.

    If I could buy five from the Persephone catalog this minute I'd get Tea With Mr. Rochester; Miss Ranskill Comes Home; The Far Cry; The Fortnight in September; and one of the children's books, probably The Children Who Lived in a Barn. Of course if you asked me again in a week I'd probably give you a different answer!

  8. That catalogue has provided me with hours of fun. It's as good as a toy catalogue for kids at Christmas!

    I have come to believe that all of the Persephone titles are wonderful, it just depends on which one fits your mood on a given day. You have some lovely choices there...I loved The Making of a Marchioness!

  9. Ooh anything that is reminiscent of the Enchanted April is a must read! I love looking through the Persephone catalogue. I want them all.

    How are you enjoying Miss Pettigrew? That is one of my favorite Persephones. Not that I've read many but still :)

    I won't be finishing my book either but it's so wonderful so far.

  10. Buncle is one of my very very favourites!

  11. I recently signed up for the biannual catalogue and when I received my package I just flipped through the pages in awe--but was also a little overwhelmed! Where to start!? I'm glad you gave us the little synopses of these books--will have to compare notes with my the catalogue I received. Never read a Persephone book but I'd love to! Bummed I missed out on the giveaway opportunities this past weekend!!


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