M C Bolitho, A Victorian Lady in the Himalayas, edited by Jean Burnett Jean Burnett is part of Writers Unchained, a collective of writers from Bristol, and has published novels with Little, Brown about the adventures of Lydia Bennett. She has edited the diary of Maria Bolitho, a Victorian Englishwoman who travelled across the Himalayas … Continue reading Enjoyed, with caveats
I love Colette's writing, though I've not yet managed to read her most scandalous novels about Claudine. Nor have I yet seen the Keira Knightley biopic; undoubtedly I'll get around to them. My Colette collection consists of her two Chéri novels, Julie de Carneilhan, Chance Acquaintances, The Other Woman, The Vagabond, Gigi and The Cat: all short works … Continue reading Colette, My Mother’s House
I found this book of travel writing about the south-west of mid-1950s USA in The Second Shelf, a new antiquarian bookshop in London specialising in works by women. This was only the second book (partly) by a man I've seen there (the other was a lesbian pulp novel apparently written by a man with a … Continue reading J B Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes, Journey Down a Rainbow
Bryher is a pen name. It's taken from one of the Scilly Isles, where the novelist Annie Ellerman once went on holiday and loved it. She was a shipping heiress, and lived in Switzerland with her husband Kenneth Macpherson and her lover Hilda Doolittle (the writer H D). She was a novelist and a patron … Continue reading Bryher, Gate to the Sea
I found this pleasingly hefty but slim volume in The Beaufort Bookshop in Bath, two days after we'd moved (always check out your new city's second-hand bookshops). I do like old editions of nature books, and have a particular keenness for the post-Second World War period, when rationing could be bypassed by going to the … Continue reading The Countryside Companion
I thought this would be a brief lunch-break read, a gentle skim through some nice illustrations and something to explain squinches. How wrong I was. This deceptively small, cunningly designed handbook has taken me two weeks of bedtime reading to get through, but my word it was worth it. The book - by the American … Continue reading How to Read Churches: A crash course in Christian architecture
I must be one of the last people among the middlebrow fanciers to have read Beverley Nichols. He is perfect bedtime reading: light, frivolous, witty, of an earlier period so there won't be anything nasty in the woodshed, and unexpectedly moving. I first noticed his existence in a delightfully poisonous parody in Leonard Russell's immortal … Continue reading The shrine of Beverley Nichols: should one worship?