30 April 2014

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Sunday was a great day to take my car out for a nice drive in the country.  It wasn't a pokey drive along stretches of quiet tree-lined lanes but rather a direct route with an 80 mph limit.  Just the thing for blowing the cobwebs out of the engine due to my puttering around calming zones, school crossings and a ridiculously short commute to work.

It was opening weekend for the Aberfoyle Flea Market.  The air had a cool bite, all the better for eating french fries smothered in gravy (I'm eating healthier but never proclaimed to be a saint!).

We met a man standing in the corner of a large stall, sharing the space, guarding a single bookcase.  There was a common thread running through the collection that seemed to speak of the reading tastes of one person.  My guess was an aged mother or aunt...and she liked Viragoes.  The seller's asking price was 50 cents each.

I'm not too sure about The Daisy Chain by Charlotte M. Yonge but for the price I can afford to be wrong.  The Virago Book of Ghost Stories features stories by E. M. Delafield, Winifred Holtby, Elizabeth Bowen, Rose Macaulay, Elizabeth Jenkins, Enid Bagnold...Stella Gibbons...need I go on?  As for The Duchess of Jermyn Street the back cover says it's 'the real life model that was the inspiration for BBC Television's Duchess of Duke Street.  Last, but not least, is Elizabeth von Arnim's Vera which I know nothing about but the first page has roped me in.  Apparently it's quite autobiographical and according to von Arnim, her best work.  Let's hope it fixes a bit of a reading slump (otherwise known as 'reading ADHD') I've been experiencing these past couple of weeks.

The two little Wade figures now decorate my bookcase.  They used to come in boxes of Red Rose tea...ooh, it must be over forty years ago.  Just about every house had several of these lining a shelf when I was in elementary school.  My mother had a shadow box hanging above the telephone table that held sixteen little creatures.  Oh, the things that were tossed over the years that we now spend money on to get back.



11 comments:

  1. I loved The Daisy Chain but, of course, have yet to read the sequel! Vera is very good, reminiscent of Rebecca but written before it. I wonder if Du Maurier had read Vera? The ghost stories are terrific. Is yours the combined 19th & 20th century anthologies? They were originally published in two vols, lots of favourite authors in there.

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    1. Just the 20th century in my collection, Lyn, which brought a huge smile to my face but both centuries in one book...wow! wouldn't that be nice!
      I'm thrilled to hear that you enjoyed The Daisy Chain...but there's a sequel? Sheesh, you would think that given the book is over 600 pages she would have been able to wrap things up!

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    2. Charlotte Yonge was a Victorian so couldn't make her stories short & snappy, you know! There are a lot of children in this book (they're the daisy chain) & not all of their futures are wrapped up at the end of the book.

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  2. Those all sound marvelous! An acquaintance of mine teaches English here at Duke, and her very favorite author is Charlotte Yonge - perhaps an encouraging sign that you've picked up a great book!

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    1. That is a good sign! I'm feeling very good about not leaving this book behind now. Book shoppers regret is such a sad thing...

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  3. I wish I'd been at that sale! Some great finds, and I love to adopt several books that are clearly from one former owner. I've never read Charlotte Yonge, but she always makes me think of Hazel Holt's mysteries, in which Mrs. Malory often mentions her. By the way, Red Rose still puts figurines in their tea, at least in the U.S., though I would guess the quality and collectibility has deteriorated a bit? I have a couple on top of my computer monitor!

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    1. Oh Scott, you should have seen me make a beeline when my husband said 'look, there's some books'. If you lived near me we would be back there next weekend for a good scrounge because the seller pointed under the skirt covering a table and said there are lots more to come out.

      The odd box of Red Rose has come my way and there is definitely no figurines in them so you are lucky, my friend!

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  4. I have a very musty smelling copy of The Heir of Redclyffe, bought for pennnies but it's been languishing on a pile unread for heaven knows how long. I'll be interested to hear what you think.

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    1. Just had a whip over to amazon and the reviews for that book sound encouraging. Someone had the same initial thought that I had in that her writing was a bit 'high and mighty' but apparently...it works! If you're ever thinking of giving the book a go, whip it into a bag with a scented dryer sheet for several days. It might come out smelling like a musty field of flowers but better than before.

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  5. Lovely finds. I remember loving Vera - it was years ago so I can't remember much more than that - and the Virago ghost story anthologies are wonderful.

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    1. Oh Jane, I've just had a good block of reading time and can't wait to see if Wymess is one of the good guys or a manipulative so-and-so! He's creeping me out more than just a little bit with his fawning over Lucy, I don't mind telling you.

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