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I have been devoted to your podcast for over a year; it could be improved only by being more frequent. Every book I have ordered from you has been a delight; nothing disappoints. I receive your emails with pleasure, and that’s saying a lot. Slightly Foxed is a source of content . . . ’
K. Nichols, Washington, USA

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A Stroll down Sinister Street

A Stroll down Sinister Street

A while ago on my bookshelves I came across an old copy of Sinister Street by Compton Mackenzie. Its cloth binding had faded and the yellowing pages were so fine that I sometimes had to blow on them to open them as I read. Edmund Gosse believed Sinister Street was on a par with Swann’s Way by Proust, published the same year, 1913. I might well have agreed with him had I ever read any Proust. However, I do know that Swann’s Way was rejected by many French publishers and Proust was obliged to publish it at his own expense. The reviews were bad. By contrast, Sinister Street was greeted with acclaim. One work became a world classic. The other is barely remembered.
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The Tiger under the Bed

The Tiger under the Bed

There are now nearly a million people suffering from dementia in the UK, and I feel as if most of my contemporaries have had some involvement in the affliction either through parents or friends. With my father, it came on very gradually, beginning with odd lapses of memory, repetitions in speech, loss of bearings, groundless anxieties. It was exhausting for my mother, so one afternoon we suggested we take her out for a break and arranged for one of the grandchildren to stay with my father for the few hours she was away. When we told him of this plan, my father was furious: he did not need watching over; he could perfectly well look after himself. Anger is common in the early stages of dementia, and it is fuelled by fear: a mental unravelling has begun, and from now on it will only gain momentum.
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Wilderness Years

Wilderness Years

Somewhere in the badlands of Utah is a canyon called Davis Gulch. Centuries ago, the Ancestral Pueblo carved a dwelling in its rock, now inscribed with the words ‘NEMO 1934’. This is the last known signature of the vagabond Everett Ruess. The epithet ‘vagabond’ was his own, and rarely has the term been so richly deserved. An aspiring artist and writer from a bohemian home in Los Angeles, Ruess set out at the age of 16 on an uncompromising quest to seek out beauty and solitude in the rugged wilderness of the American south-west. Over the next four years he travelled the mountains, deserts and canyon-lands of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, alone but for the company of his burro and occasionally a dog. At the age of 20 he disappeared. ‘NEMO’ might have been a reference to Captain Nemo from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – another notable seeker of solitude – or else the Greek for ‘No Man’, as employed by Odysseus.
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In Love with the League

In Love with the League

I once had what I thought was a pretty good idea for a spy novel set in the 1920s. The hero would be a shell-shocked war veteran who winds up in a clinic in Switzerland being psychoanalysed by someone vaguely like Carl Jung. A fellow patient is an attractive woman working for the brand-new League of Nations in Geneva and, as they start an affair, he discovers she – and the League – possess a secret on which the future of world peace hinges . . . I was vague on the details.
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See also Tortoise

See also Tortoise

‘It’s like Pokémon,’ said my husband Andy, standing in the cool of a church in San Gimignano on our very hot honeymoon. And yes, I suppose saint-spotting is a bit like Pokémon, the creature-collecting game invented by Nintendo in the Nineties. Slogan: ‘Gotta catch ’em all.’ We weren’t hunting for Pikachus or Bulbasaurs, but for St Catherines and St Antony Abbots in fresco cycles and altarpiece panels. Catherine you’ll know by her wheel, instrument of her martyrdom, St Antony by his bell and his pig. A friend speaks fondly of childhood holidays with his church-crawling parents. He and his twin sister would be sent off to play saintly bingo. Could they find a St John the Baptist (lamb and sheepskin gilet), a Mary Magdalene (jar of unguent), an Apollonia (tooth and pincers)? Off they would go round cloisters, into side-chapels, standing on tiptoe for a better look at stained-glass windows. As with Pokémon, they knew their saints by their markers. Gotta catch ’em all.
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Hooked on Fish

Hooked on Fish

Because they live on an island laced with rivers, ponds and streams, the British are obsessive anglers. Fishermen – and most of them are men – make up a large but secretive society cut off from the rest of us by strange language, obscure controversies and complex motives. Most books about angling are written for specialists: coarse fishers, fly-fishers, sea-fishers. But in Blood Knots (2010) Luke Jennings has broken with convention and employed his great gift for words to explain to baffled outsiders what angling is really about. This is a memoir written for everyone.
A Familiar Country

A Familiar Country

In a cardboard box I put the essential objects we would need in our rented cottage, until we got the keys to our new house in Norfolk: my infant daughter’s stuffed monkey, some paperwork, Cash’s name tapes for the boys’ new schools and the books we were reading at bedtime – Five on a Treasure Island for the boys, and for me my mother’s tatty copy of The Go-Between, a still of Julie Christie from the film on the cover, which would date it to around 1971.
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4th September 2023

Join the Slightly Foxed team | Work Experience, Internships & Vacancies

Slightly Foxed Ltd is looking for an experienced and enthusiastic Operations and Subscriptions Manager to join their London office. The Operations and Subscriptions Manager will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the office and management of junior staff. They will oversee the office and other operational aspects of the magazine including the management and dispatch of subscriptions and books and merchandise and be responsible for the subscriptions renewal and marketing inserts programmes, among other things. Other key elements of this role will include data analysis, seeking and implementing opportunities for partnerships and other initiatives to increase subscriptions and assisting with the planning and development of direct marketing projects.
From the editors
‘She was a most remarkable woman . . .’ | Slightly Foxed gift ideas

‘She was a most remarkable woman . . .’ | Slightly Foxed gift ideas

As Mothering Sunday approaches in the UK and Ireland (those of you in the rest of the world have a little more time!), we thought some of you may appreciate a few bookish gift ideas for the ‘most remarkable’ women in your lives, be they mother or grandmother figures – or any fellow booklover or, indeed, yourself! All items can be wrapped in handsome brown paper, tied up with our cream ribbon and sent directly to recipient, or to you to hand over in person. If you’re worried about delivery times, or if you’re cutting it a little fine when placing your order, you can choose to have an instant gift card sent to you by email or directly to the recipient.

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