23 July 2013

The Queen's Book of the Red Cross



 With the temperatures last week in the low 40C region once the humidex was factored in a bunch of us here could have used first-aid to help with our lethargy.  But this Red Cross book isn't a manual - it features writings by a list of authors, some of which appear in your Persephone catalogue.  I found it in a lovely second-hand shop during a visit to the sleepy town of Fergus last weekend.


It was Dorothy Whipple's name in the list of authors that made me sit up and take notice.  As my finger trailed down the page along the list of authors my excitement grew.  Knowing that the Queen Mum counted Lady Rose and Mrs Memmary as one of her favourite stories I had a feeling a chapter would be included, at the very least, and so it was.


This illustration by Dame Laura Knight called 'Hop Pickers' was the cherry on top.  The National Portrait Gallery in London is exhibiting some of her work until mid-October for those lucky enough to be close by.  As I've been completely absorbed this past week in The Love-charm of Bombs by Lara Feigel (which is fantastic!) this compilation in aid of the war effort during World War II is making me very happy indeed.                                  


6 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, what a find! I just looked at the Wikipedia entry on this book, which includes a list of the authors who contributed pieces and spotted a number of my favourites: A.A. Milne, Denis Mackail, Georgette Heyer, and O. Douglas. Lucky you to have stumbled across this!

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  2. I am very nearly lost for words, but what a gem. I'm so glad that it's fallen into the hands of someone who will really appreciate it.

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  3. You lucky thing! I have this too - it's wonderful, isn't it? What I find most interesting about it is that it shows who was popular at the time. Some of the authors are now totally forgotten and there are so many Persephone favourites, which goes to show how much they used to be the 'housewife's choice'. It does beg the question - where ARE all those old copies of those authors' novels? Dorothy Whipple especially...I never find her books in second hand book shops! Never!

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  4. What an interesting book and a great find! I am wondering if you have read "South Riding" by Winifred Holtby. It is now airing on Masterpiece Theatre here and I am really enjoying it. The book sounds as if it might have been a Persephone book.

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  5. That looks wonderful - what a find! I loved Lady Rose & Mrs Memmary, so what a thrill to find there's a bit more.

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  6. That book certainly knew how to find an appreciative owner, didn't it? What a fantastic list of authors, I'm very jealous!

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