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Look Back With Love | From The Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Look Back With Love | From The Slightly Foxed bookshelves

‘I think I’m an oddity really, but I do my very, very best to write well’ We’re very pleased to announce that Look Back with Love by Dodie Smith is now available in a cloth-bound hardback Plain Foxed Edition. These sturdy little books, bound in duck-egg blue cloth, come in the same neat pocket format as the original SF Editions. In her preface to this edition, Dodie Smith’s biographer Valerie Grove describes Look Back with Love as ‘one of the happiest and funniest accounts of an Edwardian upbringing’. And indeed it is.
Slightly Foxed for Father’s Day

Slightly Foxed for Father’s Day

‘Variety, the unexpected, a bit of vulgarity and the ridiculous mixed in with the elevated . . .’ This has been Roger Hudson’s recipe in compiling a commonplace book from material he’s gathered over the past 40 years. Surprise, recognition, amusement, An Englishman’s Commonplace Book calls forth a variety of reactions. Ranging over the centuries, it contains a rich mix of often arresting facts, vivid descriptions, absurd observations and wise words, all organized under subject headings to help find that appropriate quote. Altogether a book for the times and a perfect present. With Father’s Day approaching we thought some of you may appreciate a few gift ideas for the father figures in your lives. All items can be wrapped in handsome brown paper, tied up with our smart and understated cream ribbon and sent off to the recipient, or to you to hand over in person, in good time for Sunday 20 June.
‘The thrill of a new issue has not dimmed’ | New this Summer from Slightly Foxed

‘The thrill of a new issue has not dimmed’ | New this Summer from Slightly Foxed

We’re delighted to report that the new Summer issue of Slightly Foxed (No. 70) has now left the printing press at Smith Settle and will start to arrive with readers in the UK very soon and elsewhere over the next few weeks. With it, as usual, you’ll find a copy of our latest Readers’ Catalogue, detailing new books, our backlist, selected seasonal reading and other offers and bundles. We hope it will provide plenty of recommendations for reading off the beaten track this summer. As ever, we look forward to the flurry of emails, letters, postcards and telephone calls that the turn of the new quarter brings – it’s a joy to correspond with our readers. We do hope you’ll enjoy the new issue of the magazine, wherever in the world you are.
Still Life | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Still Life | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Introducing the latest addition to the Slightly Foxed Editions list, No. 55: Still Life. The historian Richard Cobb, famous for his brilliant books on France and the French Revolution, his inspirational teaching and his unconventional behaviour, grew up in the 1920s and ’30s in the quiet and deeply conventional town of Tunbridge Wells. In this unusual memoir he recreates his childhood in entrancing detail. The book is indeed a ‘still life’, a snapshot of a miniature world caught at a particular moment in time. Yet every page contains some wonderfully recaptured human or geographical detail which stays in the mind and brings the town and its people colourfully alive again. ‘Strange and wonderful,’ wrote Hilary Spurling in the Observer when the book was first published. And indeed it is.
1st September 2021

Slightly Foxed Issue 71: From the Editors

For many of us, the summer of 2021 will be remembered through the words of a song from forty years ago. ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ was the theme of days in which we packed and unpacked our bags, anxiously scanning the headlines. Whether in the end you decided on a staycation or ventured further afield, we hope you were refreshed by a change of scene. As for us, we’re finally back in the office and delighted to be able to see one another again. And we’re looking forward to a very busy autumn!
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
Tigers at the Double Lion

Tigers at the Double Lion

While staying recently in Chiswick, I went on a literary pilgrimage to Glebe Street, where Anthony Burgess and his wife Lynn lived in the 1960s. I wasn’t sure what I would do when I got to No. 24. Genuflect at the garden gate? Halfway down the street, a triangulation took place. The postman came out of a front gate, a woman arrived from the opposite direction and stopped him, and I stepped aside to circumvent them. As I did so, I heard the woman say, ‘Have you got anything for No. 24?’
SF magazine subscribers only

‘Delighted’ of Tunbridge Wells

Richard Cobb’s first book in English was A Second Identity (1969), a title he chose to show how a middle-class Englishman became not just a historian of France but a historian who effectively became French, a man who had learned to say and even feel different things on opposite sides of the Channel. He had spent many years in Paris, living in arrondissements on both banks of the Seine, carrying out a prodigious amount of research in the Archives Nationales, and writing almost always in French. He was chuffed when Frenchmen mistook his nationality. ‘Vous êtes Belge?’ they might ask, or better still, ‘Vous êtes du Nord?’ for he loved to be thought a native of the textile towns of Lille or Roubaix.

When in Rome . . .

The two books take the form of the intimate memoirs of Claudius himself, telling of his unlikely ascent to the imperial throne, and his surprisingly successful thirteen-year reign. Previously he had been known around Rome as Claudius the Idiot, or Clau-Clau-Claudius the Stammerer, and regarded as being in general an axe short of the full fasces. After his death the younger Seneca wrote a satire on Claudius’s death, The Pumpkinification of Claudius, in which the Emperor dies giving a noisy fart and saying, ‘Oh, good heavens, I believe I’ve made a mess of myself.’ ‘Whether this is actually so I can’t say,’ writes Seneca, ‘but all agree that he always made a mess of things.’
SF magazine subscribers only
All’s Well That Ends Well

All’s Well That Ends Well

Children, as any parent will tell you, are innocent beings whose sensibilities it is the first duty of every parent to protect. They are sensitive, impressionable marshmallows, easily swayed, all too often led astray. St Ignatius of Loyola warns us that if he is given the child he will mould the man; Lenin likewise cautions, ‘Give us the child for eight years [or, according to some sources, four] and it will be a Bolshevik forever.’ As thunder tails lightning, it follows that the greatest care must be taken when giving children anything to read.
SF magazine subscribers only
England, Their England

England, Their England

At the time of writing, the town of Tewkesbury, in the north-west corner of Gloucestershire, has been cut off by the flooding of its four rivers: the Severn and Avon, at whose confluence it stands, and smaller streams named Swilgate and Carrant. Only the great Norman abbey, with its necklace of Gothic chapels, rises above the turbid brown tides that surge across the meadows. England is more richly watered than elsewhere in northern Europe, but now this very same element seems thoroughly hostile to the humans who planted the woods, ploughed the fields and staked the hedges enclosing them.
SF magazine subscribers only

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K. Nichols, Washington, USA

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