The independent-minded quarterly magazine that combines good looks, good writing and a personal approach. Slightly Foxed introduces its readers to books that are no longer new and fashionable but have lasting appeal. Good-humoured, unpretentious and a bit eccentric, it’s more like having a well-read friend than a literary review subscription.
Each issue of Slightly Foxed magazine offers 96 pages of lively personal recommendations for books of lasting interest – books, including fiction and non-fiction, that have stood the test of time and have left their mark on the people who write about them. It’s an eclectic mix, and our contributors are an eclectic bunch too – some well-known, others not so, but all passionate about sharing their enthusiasm for a book or author. In recent and forthcoming issues:
Adam Sisman goes back to Middlemarch • Mick Herron seeks the sweet spot with Steinbeck • Olivia Potts cooks with Laurie Colwin • William Palmer shares an ordeal with Evelyn Waugh • Kate Young gets a taste of Laurie Lee’s village life • Jim Crumley goes to ground with Gavin Maxwell • Selina Hastings meets Jessica Mitford • Henry Jeffreys props up the bar with Kingsley Amis • Laura Freeman balances Barbara Hepworth’s life and work • Sam Leith is unsettled by Ray Bradbury • Margaret Drabble spends time with Doris Lessing, and much more besides . . .
Slightly Foxed brings back forgotten voices through its Slightly Foxed Editions, a series of beautifully produced little hand-numbered pocket hardback reissues of classic memoirs, all of them absorbing and irresistibly collectable. The series includes memoirs by Edward Ardizzone, Roald Dahl, Gerald Durrell, Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Graham Greene, Helene Hanff, Diana Holman-Hunt, Michael Holroyd, James Lees-Milne, Hilary Mantel, Gavin Maxwell, V. S. Pritchett, Dodie Smith and Rosemary Sutcliff, among others. Once the initial run of 2,000 copies of each title has sold out, the most popular of the SF Editions are then reissued as unnumbered (but still collectable) Plain Foxed Editions bound in a handsome duck-egg blue cloth.
For younger bookworms – and nostalgic older ones too – there’s the Slightly Foxed Cubs series, in which we’ve so far reissued Ronald Welch’s outstanding – and long unavailable – historical novels, BB’s classic nature adventure stories for children and Rosemary Sutcliff’s well-loved Roman and post-Roman novels, in a handsome format with the original illustrations.
Slightly Foxed Editions is a series of beautifully produced little pocket hardback reissues of classic memoirs, all of them highly absorbing and irresistibly collectable.
The series includes memoirs by Edward Ardizzone, Roald Dahl, Gerald Durrell, Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Graham Greene, Helene Hanff, Diana Holman-Hunt, Michael Holroyd, James Lees-Milne, Hilary Mantel, Gavin Maxwell, V. S. Pritchett, Dodie Smith and Rosemary Sutcliff, among others.
For younger bookworms – and nostalgic older ones too – there’s the Slightly Foxed Cubs series, in which we’ve reissued Rosemary Sutcliff’s Roman novels, favourite titles by BB and a number of Ronald Welch’s outstanding series of historical novels, in a handsome format with the original illustrations.
Many of the most popular titles in our limited Slightly Foxed Editions series of classic memoirs have sold out, but we are now making a number of them available in a plainer, unnumbered hardback edition. These sturdy little books, bound in duck-egg blue cloth, come in the same neat pocket format as the original SFEs and will happily fill any gaps on your shelves, as well as forming a delightful uniform edition on their own.
In addition to listing all the books we publish here at Slightly Foxed, the quarterly printed Readers’ Catalogue (which goes out to subscribers with each new issue of the quarterly) contains our pick of the best newly-published or recently-reissued titles from other publishers.
In addition to our range of memoirs, biographies and children’s books we have produced a few other seasonal books and other special releases over the years.
Whether you’re in search of a present for a bookish friend or relative, or a treat for yourself, Slightly Foxed offers a carefully chosen range of book-related merchandise, including notebooks, sturdy and good-looking book bags, cards, and bookplates.
Welcome to our virtual kitchen table. Here you can read articles and extracts from the quarterly magazine and our books, catch up with newsletters, find out more about our writers and artists, use the online index to hunt down articles published in back issues and seek out books featured in the magazine, listen to episodes of our podcast, and much more besides.
Come behind the scenes with the staff of Slightly Foxed to learn what makes this unusual literary magazine tick, meet some of its varied friends and contributors, and hear their personal recommendations for favourite and often forgotten books that have helped, haunted, informed or entertained them.
Paula Byrne, author of The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym, and Lucy Scholes, critic, Paris Review columnist and editor at McNally Editions, join the Slightly Foxed team to plumb the depths and scale the peaks of Barbara Pym’s writing, life and loves. From Nazi Germany to the African Institute; from London’s bedsit land to parish halls; from unrequited love affairs with unsuitable men to an epistolary friendship with Philip Larkin; and from rejection by Jonathan Cape to overnight success via the TLS, we trace Pym’s life through her novels, visiting the Bodleian and Boots lending libraries along the way. There’s joy in Some Tame Gazelle, loneliness in Quartet in Autumn, and humour and all human experience in between, with excellent women consistently her theme.
The farmer-cum-writer Adrian Bell is best-known for his rural trilogy of Suffolk farming life, Corduroy, Silver Ley and The Cherry Tree. To explore Bell’s life and writing the Slightly Foxed editors are joined by Richard Hawking, chairman of the Adrian Bell Society, author of At the Field’s Edge: Adrian Bell and the English Countryside and editor of A Countryman’s Winter Notebook, a selection of Bell’s newspaper columns. From the pride of the wagon maker, the repeal of the corn act in the 1920s and the heartbreak of farmers going bankrupt to his bohemian mother making butter, his friend John Nash illustrating Men and the Fields and Second World War soldiers packing Corduroy in their kit bags, we learn that Bell is the perfect writer to reconnect people with the land, one whose work still feels relevant today.
And in our usual round-up of recommended reading we enter Walter de la Mare’s dreams, explore Shackleton’s Antarctica and visit Catherine Fox’s fictional Lindchester, the setting for her glorious twenty-first-century Trollopian tales.
In the spirit of Plato’s Symposium, the Slightly Foxed team enter into lively dialogue with Tom Hodgkinson of the Idler and Harry Mount of the Oldie, and learn lessons from notable loafers in literature. We begin with Doctor Johnson, an icon of indolence who wrote an essay called ‘The Idler’ and liked time to ponder; this lazy lexicographer claimed his dictionary would take three years to write when in fact it would take nine . . .
We enjoy a leisurely spell with loungers in fiction, visiting Lady Bertram and her pug in Mansfield Park, taking to Lady Diana Cooper’s bed in A Handful of Dust, retreating to Aunt Ada Doom’s room in Cold Comfort Farm, settling into the quiet comfort of Mycroft Holmes’s Diogenes Club and meeting Thomas Love Peacock’s Honourable Mr Listless along the way. And, to finish, there are the usual wide-ranging reading recommendations for when you have an idle moment.
Booze as muse or a sure road to ruin? In this month’s episode, William Palmer – author of In Love with Hell: Drink in the Lives and Work of Eleven Writers – and Henry Jeffreys – author of Empire of Booze and The Cocktail Dictionary – join the Slightly Foxed team to mull over why alcohol is such an enduring feature in literature.
From the omnipresence of cocktails in John Cheever’s short stories and ritual aperitifs in Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels to Mr Picksniff falling into Mrs Todger’s fireplace in Martin Chuzzlewit and P. G. Wodehouse’s hangover remedies for booze-soaked Bertie Wooster, drinks are social signifiers in fiction. Charles Dickens was fond of sherry cobblers and Jean Rhys knocked back Pernod in Paris, while Malcolm Lowry was a dipsomaniac and Flann O’Brien dreamed up alcoholic ink for the Irish Times, rendering readers drunk from fumes. We ask why gin denotes despair and port is always jovial, and question whether hitting the bottle helps or hinders the creative process in writers.
‘Slightly Foxed have stepped aside from the ebook stampede to publish beautifully bound hardbacks that recall a bygone age — and sell like hot cakes. Watch Smith Settle bookbinders near Leeds bring one of their hardback books to life. Mesmerising.’
Film shot by Glen Milner for The Telegraph.
We’re hard at work on upcoming issues which will be full of the usual entertaining writing and excellent recommendations for good reading. We do hope you’ll consider renewing and joining the SF club for another year – or two, or three! You can do so online by clicking the button below or by telephoning the office on +44 (0)20 7033 0258
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