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What excellent company you are!

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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Bookshop of the Quarter: Spring 2023

Bookshop of the Quarter: Spring 2023

Chris Saunders is the managing director of Henry Sotheran Ltd, the country’s oldest antiquarian bookseller. He is also a freelance writer who has written two small books on Edward Thomas, numerous articles and a couple of poems. He runs the literary blog Speaks Volumes. You can hear him discussing the world of antiquarian and second-hand bookselling in our podcast, Episode 12, ‘Slightly Foxed – But Still Desirable’.  Here he gives us a personal tour of Sotheran’s and shares his recommended reads, dream bookshop party guests and favourite Slightly Foxed publication.
True to Both My Selves | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

True to Both My Selves | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Introducing the latest addition to the Slightly Foxed Editions list, No. 62: True to Both My Selves By the time she was 14 Katrin FitzHerbert had lived in nearly thirty different places and attended fourteen schools – an unusual childhood, and the more so because it gave her two separate identities, one formed in the Germany of the Third Reich, the other in England after the Second World War. In True to Both My Selves, winner of the 1998 J. R. Ackerley Prize for autobiography, Katrin FitzHerbert tells the gripping story of her family, beginning with the marriage of her German expatriate grandfather and English grandmother, in London in 1905. Their fate was decided by an ugly and little-known chapter in British history, the ill-treatment of the quiet, law-abiding German minority in Britain during the First World War. Expelled by the British Government in 1919 and with their 8-year-old daughter Elfreda in tow, the couple finally and thankfully left to make a new life in a small German town near Berlin. By 1931 Elfreda had fallen in love and married the German man who in 1936 would become the author’s father, a committed member of the Nazi Party employed in the Hitler Youth administration, whom Katrin idolized. In True to Both My Selves she gives a fascinating inside account of what it was like to grow up in a National Socialist state . . .
Giovanni’s Room | From the Slightly Foxed archives

Giovanni’s Room | From the Slightly Foxed archives

Greetings from Hoxton Square, where the office is much tidier than it has been in many months in preparation for the arrival of our new spring publications. As we’ve spent so much time of late looking forward, we thought it apt to delve back into the vast Slightly Foxed archive and landed in Issue 6, published in June 2005. There we meet Mary Flanagan reflecting on the summer of her second year of university and learn of her particular attachment to James Baldwin’s extraordinary novel, Giovanni’s Room.
‘Slightly Foxed is a perfect readers’ periodical . . .’ | Spring Sale

‘Slightly Foxed is a perfect readers’ periodical . . .’ | Spring Sale

Greetings from Hoxton Square, where we’re rolling up our sleeves to spring clean the office in readiness for the arrival of an abundance of spring publications in a few weeks’ time. As delightful as it is to receive each quarter’s delivery, it often means that we have to get rather creative in order to make space for our new additions while they wait to be shipped off to readers around the world. If you’d like to help us clear a few shelves and take the opportunity to fill any gaps in your Slightly Foxed collection, now is the time.
Adrian Bell | A Countryman’s Spring Notebook

Adrian Bell | A Countryman’s Spring Notebook

We’re delighted to bring you news of a Slightly Foxed special release: Adrian Bell, A Countryman’s Spring Notebook Another treat for lovers of Adrian Bell to put alongside A Countryman’s Winter Notebook, which we published in 2021. A Countryman’s Spring Notebook is our second seasonal selection from the weekly column Bell wrote from 1950 to 1980 for the Eastern Daily Press and catches beautifully the arrival of Spring in the East Anglian landscape he loved and knew so well. Each essay is a little masterpiece, a fleeting moment captured with a painterly eye and the down-to-earth observation of the farmer Bell became after he left his fashionable life in Chelsea shortly after the First World War – an experience which produced his much-loved farming trilogy, Corduroy, Silver Ley and The Cherry Tree.
My Years as a Pony

My Years as a Pony

Between the ages of 8 and 11 I thought I was a pony. I was not alone: my friends were in the grip of a similar delusion. We created fantasy mounts called Daybreak or Nutmeg, then became them. We never ran when we could gallop, at all times slapping our sides for greater verisimilitude. Jumps were constructed and then scrambled over or refused with much rearing and neighing. Fortunately our brothers were still pretending to be Spitfires, so our behaviour, on the whole, passed unremarked.
SF magazine subscribers only
Power and the Prince

Power and the Prince

Recently, the lack of anything worth watching on TV sent me, once again, to the DVD of Visconti’s lush 1963 film of Giuseppe Lampedusa’s The Leopard (1958). If one loves a book, the idea that a film version might be in a different way as satisfactory as the original seems a sort of betrayal. But at the very least I find it impossible to reread the book without Burt Lancaster’s Prince Fabrizio, Claudia Cardinale’s ravishing Angelica and Alain Delon’s handsome, selfregarding Tancredi illustrating the narrative as a most remarkable set of lithographs might.
SF magazine subscribers only
Not Your Typical Courtier

Not Your Typical Courtier

In 1974, following the publication that year of his ‘self-portrait’, Another Part of the Wood, I did a feature on Kenneth Clark for the BBC World Service. This involved interviewing him at his ‘set’ in Albany, off Piccadilly, the austerity of which was mitigated by what I took to be a small fortune in paintings and miniatures on the walls. In the book Lord Clark, as he became, described his life (1903–83) as ‘one long, harmless confidence trick’, a reference to what he called his freak aptitude, apparent from the age of 9 or 10, for responding authoritatively to works of art.
SF magazine subscribers only

Out of the Shadows

Take two sisters, Alice and Flora Mayor, identical twins born into a comfortable upper-middle-class family in Surrey in 1872. Their clergyman father was also a professor of classical literature at King’s College, London, and their mother Jessie a talented musician and linguist. As members of a Victorian clerical family, the girls had certain duties (‘Church as depressing as usual. 2 and a half people there,’ young Flora wrote in her diary), but mostly they and their two older brothers had tremendous fun: performing amateur theatricals, skating and playing tennis, singing, writing stories, going to the theatre, and always, always reading: Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters and Mrs Gaskell.
SF magazine subscribers only
Oh Sir John!

Oh Sir John!

In 1976, a year remembered in the UK for its blazing summer, publication of a scabrous novel so inflamed a group of academics that they burned copies in the library at Reading University. Less delicate souls embraced the book. It won that year’s Hawthornden Prize for Literature and the Guardian Fiction Prize, garnering encomiums from reviewers who struggled to match its exuberant prose. The New York Times called it a ‘fresco of groinwork’; Time Magazine welcomed a ‘swollen, rumbustical bladder of a book . . . unstoppable as a rush of sack to the kidneys’; Anthony Burgess praised its ‘wordy divagations of a more monkish (Rabelaisian) tradition’ and included it among his 99 best modern novels.
SF magazine subscribers only

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