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‘Cross every conceivable reader off your Christmas present list’

‘Cross every conceivable reader off your Christmas present list’

Warm wishes from Hoxton Square where we’re a hive of festive activity, packing up great piles of the quarterly magazine, books and goods and sending them out to readers old and new for Christmas (and many other occasions besides). A subscription to Slightly Foxed magazine opens up a whole world of good reading. Companionable, entertaining and elegantly produced, it’s more like a well-read friend than a literary review. So whether you’re in search of stimulation, consolation or diversion, a treat for yourself or a present for a bookish loved one, we recommend taking out a subscription to Slightly Foxed – or giving a single issue or one of our books a try.
Delectable Collectable Children’s Books | Slightly Foxed Cubs

Delectable Collectable Children’s Books | Slightly Foxed Cubs

Slightly Foxed Cubs is our series of beautifully produced collectable children’s books. They strike a nostalgic chord with many older readers and introduce a younger generation to writers whose marvellous books have, unaccountably, been allowed to slip out of print. Bound in coloured cloth, with printed endpapers and original illustrations, the Cubs make ideal presents for the young and young at heart. Whether you wish to venture back to Roman Britain with Rosemary Sutcliff, join up the dots of history with Ronald Welch, escape into the wild with BB or build a library for a bookworm by picking a few titles by each author (or collecting the full sets at once) we have books, bundles and offers to satisfy all readers and occasions. And if you continue to scroll, you’ll find recommendations for books beyond the Cubs series too.
A Feast of Literary Treats | Slightly Foxed Readers’ Catalogue

A Feast of Literary Treats | Slightly Foxed Readers’ Catalogue

Warm wishes from SF HQ, where festive spirit is mounting, ribbon is unspooling and post bags are fit to bursting. Parcels are making their way to readers at a great rate and, whether they are literary gifts for a fellow bibliophile or seasonal treats that have caught your eye, we do hope they bring much cheer. Gift ideas for booklovers are bountiful here at Slightly Foxed, and we hope that our Winter Readers’ Catalogue (which includes our pick of books from other publishers’ bookshelves) provides some interesting and unusual present solutions. Or perhaps you may be tempted to stock up on some good reading for yourself. There’s still time to order subscriptions, books and goods to arrive for Christmas.
Seasonal Reading | New this Winter from Slightly Foxed

Seasonal Reading | New this Winter from Slightly Foxed

With Christmas coming and the long dark evenings inviting good reads, Slightly Foxed provides a feast of literary treats . . . Greetings, dear readers. We’re delighted to announce that the new winter issue of Slightly Foxed is being sent out to subscribers this week and should soon begin to land on doormats around the world. We do hope it brings much reading pleasure. There’s certainly still time to order subscriptions, books and goods for Christmas. (Due to one or two planned Royal Mail postal strikes here in the UK, we do recommend you place your order sooner rather than later.) We ship our wares all around the world and we will send out all of your delicious – and most welcome – gift orders over the coming weeks. Everything listed on our website can be sent to you, or directly to a recipient, in good time for a date or occasion of your choice. Slightly Foxed subscribers can use their usual discount on all items, whether they are to be sent to you or to someone else. And the office is well-stocked with smart gift cards bearing wood engravings, reams of brown paper and signature cream foxed ribbon in anticipation.
The Prince, the Showgirl and Me | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

The Prince, the Showgirl and Me | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Introducing the latest addition to the Slightly Foxed Editions list, No. 61: The Prince, the Showgirl and Me It is 1956, and through a combination of chutzpah and some useful contacts (he is after all the son of Lord Clark of Civilisation), the young Colin Clark has got himself a job. He’s now a ‘gofer’ or general dogsbody on the Pinewood Studios set of The Prince and the Showgirl, a light comedy starring Sir Laurence Olivier (abbreviated in the diary Colin is beadily keeping to SLO) and Marilyn Monroe (MM) as the two leads. This unlikely combination proves to be a disaster. Marilyn fails to turn up on time and can barely remember her lines, while Sir Laurence is completely out of his depth with both her and her entourage. Marilyn is a troubling enigma – impossible to deal with, yet possessed of some indefinable magic that made her irresistible on screen when the ‘rushes’ come through, often upstaging Sir Laurence. The film does eventually get made and sinks without trace, but fortunately Colin Clark is there to record the agonies of its making in this sharp and hilarious diary.
Ronald Blythe | From the Slightly Foxed archives

Ronald Blythe | From the Slightly Foxed archives

Greetings from Hoxton Square, where we’re raising a glass to the nature writer and Slightly Foxed contributor Ronald Blythe as he turns 100. He lives at the end of an overgrown farm track deep in the rolling countryside of the Stour Valley, on the border between Suffolk and Essex. His home is Bottengoms Farm, a yeoman’s house once owned by John Nash, and from here he has spent many decades observing, in a series of lyrical diaries, the slow turn of the agricultural cycle, the church year, and rural change and continuity. A new selection of these writings, Next to Nature: A Lifetime in the English Countryside, has just been published to celebrate his 100th birthday. Please join us as we return with pleasure to Maggie Fergusson’s article from Slightly Foxed Issue 11, written in praise of Akenfield, Blythe’s famous portrait of an English Village.
The Young Ardizzone | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

The Young Ardizzone | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

There can be few author-illustrators whose books are remembered – and still read – with such affection as those of Edward Ardizzone. And affection is the keynote of this charming memoir, The Young Ardizzone, which brings alive in words and pictures the comfortable Edwardian world in which Ardizzone grew up. The creator of the ever-popular Little Tim and Lucy books begins his story in 1905 when he was 5 and his mother brought him and his two sisters home to England from Haiphong where his father was a telegraph engineer. Left in Suffolk in the care of their grandmother, the three grew up with a full complement of young bachelor uncles, great-aunts and eccentric family friends – all beautifully and often poignantly captured in Ardizzone’s deceptively simple prose and delicately humorous drawings. This classic memoir is a must for fans of Ardizzone, young and old, and a perfect introduction for those who haven’t yet discovered him. We’re delighted to announce that it will be available to readers once more, published in a Plain Foxed Edition.
1st December 2022

Slightly Foxed Issue 76: From the Editors

This issue of Slightly Foxed comes with our very best wishes to you all from all of us here for Christmas and the coming year. However there’s no escaping the fact that these are anxious times, and we were touched by a reader in Australia who wrote to us recently: ‘I can only say, to all the Slightly Foxed team, that you are a saviour. Slightly Foxed has kept me in touch, kept me sane, made me relish the humour, the warmth, the quirky charm of the English way of doing things.’ Wherever you are in the world, we hope you feel the same.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
‘String is my foible’

‘String is my foible’

A tarnished silver teapot. A tin of buttons, their parent garments long decayed. A bundle of yellowing letters, in my mother’s hand. Look: here she is, smiling in her nurse’s uniform in the photograph that used to sit upon the mantelpiece. But now she’s propped against moving boxes, still not unpacked. These are a few of the reasons why I cannot sit in my own front room, although there are more. It’s no use turning to Marie Kondo in this sort of situation; what I recommend is Elizabeth Gaskell. The narrator of Cranford (1851–3) knows all about hoarding. ‘String is my foible. My pockets get full of little hanks of it, picked up and twisted together, ready for uses that never come.’ And elastic bands – or, as Cranford puts it, India-rubber rings. Oh, don’t talk about India-rubber rings! ‘I have one which is not new,’ our narrator tells us, ‘one that I picked up off the floor, nearly six years ago. I have really tried to use it: but my heart failed me, and I could not commit the extravagance.’
SF magazine subscribers only
Shall I Be Me?

Shall I Be Me?

In the summer of 1953, briefly in London during the Coronation celebrations, I took myself to the Phoenix theatre (Upper Circle, 6s.) to see The Sleeping Prince, with the two glittering stars of the time, Laurence Olivier and his wife Vivien Leigh. Olivier had commis­sioned the piece especially for the season from the playwright Terence Rattigan, and the paper-thin plot had the Regent of Carpathia, in town for the 1911 Coronation, reluctantly mesmerized by a chorus girl. No play embellished by Olivier and Leigh could fail to captivate a popular audience, and this one had a good run – but for those with a more robust appetite it was really nothing more than a moderately tasty meringue.

Surprised by Joy

In the obituaries that appeared in 2021 for the Polish writer Adam Zagajewski, his prose, I was saddened to see, hardly got a mention. I suppose this is common with poets: their poetry is seen as the real work, and everything else is a sideline, left-handed writing. This is, to be fair, often the case. But Zagajewski was genuinely ambidextrous, writing just as many books of prose as poetry, and just as seriously. It was essentially the same work, only in a different form.
SF magazine subscribers only
A Northern Survivor

A Northern Survivor

Nestled in the heart of Orkney’s second largest town, on a main street uncoiling, as the Orcadian poet and writer George Mackay Brown described it, ‘like a sailor’s rope’, Stromness Books & Prints has sev­eral claims to fame. It’s the UK’s most northerly independent bookshop, and it’s ‘Scotland’s only drive-in bookshop’, as claimed by Tam MacPhail, who ran the business for many years. (This claim is based on the fact that the main street is narrow enough for drivers to stop outside the shop, open the window, shout a request through the door and be served without leaving the car.)
SF magazine subscribers only

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