After the Sunday Papers #8: Persephones and Jane Austen

I had a nice surprise this week when I discovered part of my review of Good Evening, Mrs Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes had been quoted in the Readers’ Comments section of the Persephone Biannually Autumn and Winter 2010 magazine.

I’ve enjoyed all four of the Persephones I’ve read so far, and would appreciate any recommendations for which ones I should read next.

The Persephones I’ve already read are:

The Victorian Chaise-longue by Marghanita Laski
Good Evening, Mrs Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes
Miss Ranskill Comes Home by Barbara Euphan Todd
Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day by Winifred Watson

Have you read any Persephone books? Which books or authors would you recommend?

Jane Austen

I came across this article yesterday about Jane Austen. Apparently Austen’s manuscripts show that she made spelling mistakes, had trouble with the ‘i before e’ rule and wrote in a regional accent. Although I’m not a big Jane Austen fan or an expert on her background, I think the article is a bit harsh considering the standard of education that was available to girls in those days and also the fact that written English didn’t necessarily follow the same rules then as it does today. What do you think?

Currently reading

I’m still working my way through the stories in The Haunted Hotel & Other Stories by Wilkie Collins which as you might expect, is proving to be a perfect Halloween read! This will be my seventh book for the RIP challenge, which means the only book on my original challenge list that I haven’t read yet is Frankenstein. I don’t think I’ll have time to fit that one in before the end of the month, so I’ll have to either read it after Halloween or leave it until next year.

I’m also reading a book that I requested from Netgalley, called The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. It’s the true story of a woman living in Taliban-era Afghanistan who started her own business to support herself and her younger sisters, and is one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever read.

What are you reading this week?

After the Sunday Papers #6

On Thursday I posted my sign-up post for the RIP V Challenge. Now I’m signing up for another one: The Really Old Classics Challenge.

The idea of this challenge is to read at least one work that was written before 1600 AD. If you’re very ambitious you can become a ‘Classicist’ by reading four! You can also read a retelling of a really old classic.

The challenge runs until December 31 2010. See the challenge blog to sign up.

At the moment I have no idea what I’m going to read for the challenge. I’m completely new to ‘really old classics’, so any recommendations would be very welcome!

Recently acquired books…

Bought on a visit to my favourite bookshop:
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
The Rose of Sebastopol by Katherine McMahon
The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marghanita Laski

Won from LibraryThing Member Giveaways:
Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

I was particularly excited to find a copy of The Victorian Chaise-longue, as it’s the first dove-grey Persephone I own (I do also have a copy of Laski’s Little Boy Lost, but it’s one of the Persephone Classics editions). I’m hoping to read The Victorian Chaise-longue soon for the RIP challenge.

Currently reading

I’m still reading Bleak House for the readalong. I’m also reading Vathek by William Beckford, which is a Gothic novel from 1786.

Whatever you’re reading this week, I hope you enjoy it!

It’s 2010!

Myspace Graphics
New Year Graphics at

Well, it’s 2010! I woke up today to the heaviest snow we’ve had here for years, so I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere this morning which is fine because it gives me time to organize my 2010 challenges and to do some reading.

The first book I’m reading this year is The White Queen by Philippa Gregory which will count towards a few different challenges including both the historical fiction ones. What about you – what’s your first book of 2010?