Header overlay

Popular categories

Explore our library

5th May 2020

Slightly Foxed Editors’ Diary • 5 May 2020

A highly sensitive translator friend of ours once told us, quite seriously, that he couldn’t read in a room where there were other books. Their presence was too distracting, too powerful. We sniggered rather unkindly at the time, but this week, wandering round the bookshelves and feeling somewhat cut-off and unreal in the dim light of a wet afternoon, I felt acutely the presence of authors I’d once been passionately attached to and hadn’t thought of for a long time, especially the diarists, nestling in the ‘biography’ section in the spare room.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
28th April 2020

Slightly Foxed Editors’ Diary • 28 April 2020

When the lockdown first began and we were instructed to leave the house only for an hour’s regular exercise we started going for an early evening walk in our local park. My husband loves Clissold Park. Over the years he’s run round it, watched birds in it, observed the trees in their various seasons, pushed our daughter on the swings, and played football with our grandchildren. He feels sentimental about it, and it is a lovely park. Like a lot of London parks it was once attached to a private house, and that has now become an upmarket café where yummy mummies sit chatting in the sun with their expensive buggies beside them, and media dads queue up for posh ice creams while speaking amusingly on the phone to other media dads.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
Episode 19: Tim Pears’s West Country

Episode 19: Tim Pears’s West Country

Tim Pears, a writer rooted in the landscape of Devon, takes Slightly Foxed to the West Country. From working at his local library and reading an author a week instead of taking his A Levels to winning the Hawthornden Prize for his first novel, by way of spells as a farm labourer, nursing assistant and night porter, Tim Pears has written eleven novels, watched blacksmiths at work, walked the routes of his characters, balanced research with imagination and chronicled the past as a realist rather than a romantic. We also travel through the magazine’s archives, along the rivers Taw and Torridge, to uncover the man behind Tarka the Otter, and there are the usual recommendations for reading off the beaten track.
41 minutes
21st April 2020

Slightly Foxed Editors’ Diary • 21 April 2020

There’s an old Victorian sofa in the bay window of our bedroom that we bought in a junk shop in Norfolk many years ago. It’s pretty battered now, the pale green loose cover is somewhat torn despite my efforts to mend it and some of the springs have gone. It really should be reupholstered but, apart from the expense, I’m unwilling. It feels like an old friend who’s seen me through various periods of my life and I don’t want to change it by giving it a facelift. The ends let down so you can put your feet up, and there’s a nice comfortable depression in the seat where your bottom goes. That’s where I’ve been reading in the afternoons for the past few weeks.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
10th April 2020

Slightly Foxed Editors’ Diary • 10 April 2020

The room where I work – to call it ‘my study’ sounds too grand somehow and ‘my office’ feels too businesslike – is almost at the top of the house and faces on to the garden. Sitting at my desk I look out into the branches of a giant sycamore where grey squirrels race up and down, but if I stand up I can look down into our own small garden, and the others in the terrace stretching away in a sort of wedge shape, getting longer as they go. In some of them the flowering cherry trees are out (‘loveliest of trees’ as Housman called the woodland cherries), and the big hawthorn at the bottom of our garden, which hides the worst of the red-brick care home over the wall, is just coming into bud. Through the arch in the entrance to the care home I can usually see cars moving along Highbury New Park, but there are almost none today. The schools are open only to the children of front-line workers now, and I can hear the little girls next door calling to one another in the garden.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
3rd April 2020

Slightly Foxed Editors’ Diary • 3 April 2020

It’s no secret that neither Gail nor I are entirely comfortable in the digital world, but stuck at home as we are I’m having to try to get to grips with all the untapped possibilities of my smartphone. I’m finding this something of a challenge as my communications are usually limited to calls of the ‘I’m on the bus now and should be back about 6.30’ variety. This week our kind neighbour joined me up to the street’s WhatsApp group and shortly after I found I was broadcasting the conversation I’d had with my husband at breakfast to the entire street and didn’t know how to stop it. This has unnerved me, but I’m told the world is full of puzzled children looking at pictures of disembodied knees and hands as grandparents attempt to have a conversation with them on FaceTime or Skype. 
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
27th March 2020

Slightly Foxed Editors’ Diary • 27 March 2020

We thought it might be cheering for all of us in these unusual and unpredictable times if we kept in touch with you via a weekly diary. It won’t be a work of literature, and it won’t be simply, or even mostly, about books, but just a way of sharing with you, wherever you are in the world, how the two of us are living our day-to-day lives in very different parts of England. We feel we’ve come to know so many of you as friends from your letters, emails and phone calls, and if there was ever a time for friends to keep in touch, it’s surely now. So here goes. Gail is writing from her West Country house on the edge of Dartmoor while Hazel is holed up at home in Highbury, North London.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st March 2020

Slightly Foxed Issue 65: From the Editors

It’s spring again, and a bit of news that feels cheering in today’s disordered world reaches us via an unsolicited email from ‘the world’s leading market intelligence agency’. It seems that the number of Brits who bought a print book was up last year from 51 per cent in 2018 to 56 per cent. The main reason people gave was that they prefer physical books to reading on devices. E-books certainly have their uses, but there are very particular experiences attached to the reading of a physical book, particularly a second-hand one – its look, its feel, its smell, its history as evidenced by the clues left on it and in it by previous owners. Every physical book, like a person, tells a story of its own in a way no digital book can, however convenient.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st June 2019

Slightly Foxed Issue 62: From the Editors

Here in the office, summer is when we try to relax a little, draw breath and catch up with the things for which there isn’t normally time. This year Jennie and Anna are further improving the website and putting on to the index our entire archive of contributions to past issues, so if you are a subscriber, any piece we’ve ever published will soon be available for you to read. Meantime we two will be settling down to some quiet reading in our search for unusual and outstanding memoirs to add to the list of Slightly Foxed Editions. We always welcome your suggestions, so if you have a favourite memoir that is now largely unavailable, do get in touch. There are plenty of forgotten memoirs out there we find, but few have that indefinable voice that makes them unique, and it’s a real joy when we come across one.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
28th February 2019

Slightly Foxed Issue 61: From the Editors

As many of you will already have gathered, if only from the discreet note on the contents page of the winter issue, this spring we’ve embarked on a new project, the Slightly Foxed podcast. Your reaction to this may possibly have been the same as ours when the idea was first put to us: ‘What exactly is a podcast?’ But now that, with some very knowledgeable assistance, we’ve got the hang of it, we realize what an enjoyable way it is of sharing with you more of our life behind the scenes at SF and introducing you to some of the interesting people who help to make the magazine what it is.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors

Sign up to our e-newsletter

Sign up for dispatches about new issues, books and podcast episodes, highlights from the archive, events, special offers and giveaways.

By signing up for our free email newsletter or our free printed catalogues, you will not automatically be subscribed to the quarterly magazine. To become a subscriber to Slightly Foxed: The Real Reader’s Quarterly Magazine, please visit our subscriptions page.

Slightly Foxed undertakes to keep your personal information confidential. You can read more about this in our Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from our list at any point by changing your preferences, or contacting us directly. Alternatively, if you have an account you can manage your preferences in your account settings.

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

Sign up to our e-newsletter

Sign up for dispatches about new issues, books and podcast episodes, highlights from the archive, events, special offers and giveaways.