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‘This book is for The House’ | Gavin Maxwell, The House of Elrig

‘This book is for The House’ | Gavin Maxwell, The House of Elrig

The writer and naturalist Gavin Maxwell is best known for Ring of Bright Water, his moving account of raising otters on the remote west coast of Scotland. In his childhood memoir The House of Elrig he describes, with the same lyrical power that made that earlier book a classic, how it all began. In loving detail he evokes the wild moors around his Scottish home and the creatures that inhabited them. As was then the custom, he was ripped away from this paradise to go to a series of brutalizing schools. But always in his imagination he was at Elrig. It was his refuge and his escape, and the power of his longing and the ecstasy of each return fuel this haunting book.
16th May 2022

‘It is a beautiful place to be transported to’

‘Flora is “Laura” in the retelling and with a keen eye for observing nature and beauty, Flora Thompson renders an exacting yet not too sentimental picture of what life was like for the rural poor. Struggling to make ends meet, yet happy in enjoying the simple pleasures of life, Lark Rise is an intimate and detailed social history of life in those times . . . It is a beautiful place to be transported to and though the last page of the book brought tears to my eyes, I will leave it to you, to find out why.’ 
- Bag Full of Books
From readers
Comrade-in-Suds | From the Slightly Foxed archives

Comrade-in-Suds | From the Slightly Foxed archives

Warm wishes from SF HQ, where we’re clattering through the archive and plunging into the world of the plongeur with Christopher Robbins and George Orwell. Many of you may know the wonderful writing and colourful life of Christopher Robbins from his comic masterpiece, The Empress of Ireland (Slightly Foxed Edition No. 51). However, before he befriended the outrageous Irish film-maker Brian Desmond Hurst, as documented in that delicious memoir, he lived in Copenhagen, took a job as a scullion and found a copy of Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London. The book ‘seemed to be written by a soul mate, a letter from one unpublished writer and dishwasher to another.’ 
The House of Elrig | Chapter I: The House

The House of Elrig | Chapter I: The House

You can see the house from a long way off, a gaunt, grey stone building on a hillside of heather and bracken. The road, very narrow, has climbed two or three hundred feet from the sea; slanting at first from the grey boulder beach up near-cliffs of coarse grass, bracken and thorn scrub, the few trees stunted and deformed by incessant westerly winds, so that their limbs and their heads seem to be forever bowed and straining towards the land; on and up, winding through poor agricultural land, where the fields with their rough dry stone walls alternate with patches of scrubland, thorn bushes and briar thickets with the bare rock showing between them; through the tiny village of Elrig, with a smithy and a ruined mill but no shop; then, a mile on at the corner of a ragged fir wood sheltering a loch, is the turning to the house.
A Romantic Escape | Summer Reading from Slightly Foxed

A Romantic Escape | Summer Reading from Slightly Foxed

Greetings from Hoxton Square, where you find us scaling the shelves (via library steps) to bring you books of romantic escape this summer. Eric Newby’s spine-tingling story set in Italy’s Apennines is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our compulsively readable series of classic memoirs. Please read on for a selection of Slightly Foxed Editions, Plain Foxed Editions and pocket paperbacks, all beautifully produced and just the right size to hold in the hand. More important still, they’re wonderful reads – hitherto forgotten memoirs that bring alive a particular moment, that allow you into someone else’s world and make you feel you have actually known the writer. You’ll also find links to tempting bundles and offers to ensure your reading pile is at its peak.
Written on the Hoof | Hermione Ranfurly, To War with Whitaker

Written on the Hoof | Hermione Ranfurly, To War with Whitaker

Greetings from Slightly Foxed, where we’ve been browsing our bookshelves and roaming far and wide – from London to Cairo, Jerusalem, Baghdad and many more places besides – through the pages of To War with Whitaker, the remarkable wartime diaries of Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly. We’re down to our final binders’ parcels of this popular Slightly Foxed Edition, so if you’re tempted to add this book to your collection, now’s the moment.
Not So Bad, Really | From the Slightly Foxed archives

Not So Bad, Really | From the Slightly Foxed archives

‘Barbara Pym’s novels are easily dismissed as interesting but marginal. But, as I came to realize, they are full of wit, balance, sly observation and a cheering sense of the ridiculous.’ Frances Donnelly, Slightly Foxed Issue 11 Greetings from Hoxton Square, where doses of wit and cheer are always welcome, especially when prescribed through the pages of good books. Many of you may have already listened to the latest episode of the Slightly Foxed podcast, all about Barbara Pym and other excellent women writers under or above the radar. If you have yet to tune in, we recommend carving out an hour for some lively bookish conversation and suggestions for your reading list. For another perspective on Pym, we’re sharing Frances Donnelly’s piece from SF Issue 11, in which a reluctant reader discovers social commentary, a keen eye for the ridiculous and enjoyable bad behaviour at the church jumble sale on revisiting Excellent Women. We do hope you’ll enjoy  it.
9 January 1942 | To War with Whitaker

9 January 1942 | To War with Whitaker

This morning I went with Michael and Esther Wright to Mena where we met Freya Stark, Sir Walter Monckton and some more. We mounted donkeys and set off with a picnic lunch for Sakara. My donkey was called Telephone and trotted along well, but some of the others were less amiable and progressed by fits and starts. Freya Stark, dressed in a hideous sporting jacket, spun on her own mills in Italy, and snake gaiters topped by a large double-brimmed felt hat, was a sight for the gods, and her running com­mentary to her donkey made Walter Monckton laugh so much he nearly fell off his mount. This evening I went to the Scottish Hospital to visit the wound­ed. It was tragically full. I found it difficult not to flinch at some of the sights and had to struggle to appear cheerful and smiling. I heard tonight we have taken Sollum. Japan has declared war on the Dutch East Indies.
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning | Laurie Lee

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning | Laurie Lee

When Laurie Lee set out on foot from his home in the Gloucestershire village of Slad one midsummer morning in 1935 he was 19 and off to see the world with only his violin for company. So began a year of wandering that eventually took him from the north to the south of Spain, a country in which life had barely changed since the Middle Ages but which was now on the brink of a bitter civil war. The adventure that began as a romantic dream ended somewhat ignominiously, but it inspired Lee to produce this brilliant and darkly haunting account of a vanished Spain.
Celebrating Dervla Murphy | From the Slightly Foxed archives

Celebrating Dervla Murphy | From the Slightly Foxed archives

Greetings from a red-hot Hoxton Square, where we’ve been celebrating and remembering the adventurous spirit and prolific travel writing of Dervla Murphy, the author and explorer who famously journeyed alone from her native Ireland to India on a bicycle, armed with little more than a pistol, a notebook and a compass. Dervla died peacefully, aged 90, at her home in Lismore on 22 May 2022. Her good friend Hilary Bradt, of Bradt Travel Guides, said: ‘Dervla was a traveller who wrote, rather than a writer who travelled.’ Yet what a writer Dervla was. Her first book, Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle, was published in 1965, and more than twenty other titles have followed. Not to mention several articles for Slightly Foxed. It was a pleasure to work with her, and a greater pleasure still to have been informed and entertained by her insights on people and places, bicycling and beer.
Over to Candleford & Candleford Green | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Over to Candleford & Candleford Green | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

In Over to Candleford, the sequel to Lark Rise (SFE No. 58), life begins to open out for Flora – or Laura as she calls her lightly fictionalized childhood self – when she goes to visit her father’s relations in the local market town. She makes particular friends with her uncle Tom, a liberal thinker and respected craftsman, who shares with her his love of books and his talent for attracting interesting and often eccentric people. Back at home and now in her teens, Laura is restless and undecided about her future, until news comes of a vacancy for an assistant at the Post Office in a nearby village. Candleford Green is an enchanting picture of Laura’s new life in this colourful community and of Dorcas Lane, her redoubtable – and unforgettable – employer. Over to Candleford and Candleford Green are published together as a single Slightly Foxed Edition and we do hope you enjoy reading them.
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning | Into Spain

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning | Into Spain

It was early and still almost dark when our ship reached the harbour, and when out of the unconscious rocking of sea and sleep I was simultaneously woken and hooked to the coast of Spain by the rattling anchor going over the side. Lying safe in the old ship’s blowsy care, I didn’t want to move at first. I’d enjoyed the two slow days coming down the English Channel and across the Bay of Biscay, smelling the soft Gulf winds blowing in from the Atlantic and feeling the deep easy roll of the ship. But this was Vigo, the name on my ticket, and as far as its protection would take me. So I lay for a while in the anchored silence and listened to the first faint sounds of Spain . . .
‘Each page is an utter delight’ | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

‘Each page is an utter delight’ | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Greetings from Slightly Foxed. With Father’s Day on the horizon we thought some of you may appreciate a few gift ideas for the father figures in your lives. All items can be sent off to the recipient, or to you to hand over in person, in good time for Sunday 19 June. And if you’re worried about delivery times, you can also choose to have an instant gift card sent to you to print out at home or sent straight to the recipient by email. We’re offering free gift wrap for all orders of £10 or more when you quote the promotional code GIFTWRAP at the checkout or over the phone. SF HQ is, as ever, well-stocked with handsome gift cards, reams of brown paper and our understated cream ribbon in anticipation.
‘Perfect literary hedonism’ | New this Summer from Slightly Foxed

‘Perfect literary hedonism’ | New this Summer from Slightly Foxed

‘Every single word is a delight. I am gluttonous when it comes to this magazine. It is perfect literary hedonism.’ Notis, via Goodreads Greetings, dear readers. We’re delighted to report that the new Summer issue of Slightly Foxed (No. 74) has now left the printing press at Smith Settle and will start to drop through letterboxes in the UK very soon and elsewhere over the next few weeks. It ranges far and wide in the usual eclectic manner: Olivia Potts masters the art of French cooking with Julia Child • Justin Marozzi heads for the Hindu Kush • Sue Gee goes boating with Mole and Ratty • Rachel Cooke enjoys Alison Lurie’s academic affairs • William Palmer follows Norman Lewis to Spain • Alexandra Harris picks up a Pevsner, and much more besides . . . With it, as usual, you’ll find a copy of our latest Readers’ Catalogue, listing new books, our backlist, recommended seasonal reading and a selection of offers and bundles. We hope it will provide plenty of recommendations for reading off the beaten track this summer.

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