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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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1st December 2007

Slightly Foxed Issue 16: From the Editors

With mist obscuring the dome of St Paul’s and winter closing in, it seems a long time since we were driving through lush, sunlit Devon lanes to the launch of the Autumn issue at the (tiny) Big Red Sofa bookshop in Chagford, right on the edge of Dartmoor. As always it was a convivial get-together, with subscribers coming from as far away as Exmouth, and keen interest taken from the bookshop regulars in Slightly Foxed. This beautiful area, where moor and countryside meet, is home territory to Gail. Her family have long connections with it, and our visit to Devon was combined with a splendid housewarming for the eco-friendly house that she and her husband have dreamed about for years and which is now finally finished, down to the last slab of granite and foot of grass roof. However, don’t panic. Gail, like the rest of us, is still based in London, and SF continues exactly as before.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st September 2007

Slightly Foxed Issue 15: From the Editors

Time and tide, as they say, wait for no man, and the past few months have seen some significant changes in the office of Slightly Foxed. Our marketing manager Kathleen, who did wonderful work in getting copies of SF into bookshops when we were starting out, has just moved, with her two small children and her designer husband James (who draws the foxes which often appear on our covers), to become Events Manager at Robert Topping’s new bookshop in Bath. We miss her greatly, but we keep in close touch (anyone who’s ever been part of Slightly Foxed still continues, somehow, to be ‘on the strength’) and we’ll be launching our Winter issue at the Bath bookshop.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st March 2007

Slightly Foxed Issue 13: From the Editors

Emerging from the miasma of winter colds and flu that hung over the office – even Pugwash was under the weather – we were immensely cheered by the splendid selection of Christmas cards you sent us, many of them fox-related. We enjoy all your letters and postcards too. Thank you so much. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: our contact with you, our subscribers, is one of the great pleasures of life at Slightly Foxed.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st September 2006

Slightly Foxed Issue 11: From the Editors

It’s one of those pleasant moments when nothing very particular is happening in the office. Pugwash the cocker spaniel is snoring in the late summer sunshine by the terrace window, a splendid helper is stuffing envelopes on the kitchen table, and from time to time the phone rings with a request for a slipcase or a subscription. Or it may be one of you just ringing in for a chat, which is always delightful. It’s a golden, meditative time, when the summer’s nearly over and the madness of the Christmas season hasn’t begun.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st June 2006

Slightly Foxed Issue 10: From the Editors

At the end of February we travelled north through sleet and snow to see the spring issue of Slightly Foxed coming off the press. As many of you will know, Slightly Foxed is printed by the friendly firm of Smith Settle in Otley, and we and twenty or so of our Yorkshire subscribers spent a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon seeing round the works – a tour which was followed by a convivial get-together over cake and a glass of Madeira.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st March 2006

Slightly Foxed Issue 9: From the Editors

When we mentioned last year that we were moving to a new office, with spectacular views over St Paul’s, we’re not sure what image this will have conjured up. One of those atmospheric, old-fashioned magazine offices perhaps, heaped with books and unread submissions, where coffee was made with a kettle rather than a machine and the switchboard was manned by a chirpy character who’d been there for decades, recognized callers’ voices and always knew where everyone was.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st December 2005

Slightly Foxed Issue 8: From the Editors

It’s Christmas again – our second, which seems cause for celebration in itself, especially as subscriptions are holding steady and even (dare we say it) creeping up. We raise a celebratory glass both to those of you who have stuck with us, as the publisher Anthony Blond once said, through thin and thin, and to those of you who have come on board more recently. Thank you for all your letters of appreciation and encouragement. Slightly Foxed subscribers do seem a most convivial group of people – humorous, enthusiastic, impatient of pomposity, and with a telling, even poetic, turn of phrase (‘Ten minutes ago, out of the Atlantic wind, came the postman carrying Slightly Foxed ’ begins a recent e-mail from a subscriber in Donegal).
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st September 2005

Slightly Foxed Issue 7: From the Editors

Sadly, just as we were celebrating the arrival of the summer issue, we lost a member of our team. On 15 June, Jennings the cocker spaniel died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 13. We miss him greatly. He was in on the earliest beginnings of Slightly Foxed, always beside us at meetings to remind us with a yawn or a discreet whine that things had gone on too long, always good-humoured and enthusiastic. He bore his increasing deafness and loss of sight without irritability, but it became obvious this year that he was failing. His brother Pugwash, by contrast, is in rude health and, after a decent period of mourning, is now enjoying his position as top and only dog. But he lacks Jennings’s subtlety.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st June 2005

Slightly Foxed Issue 6: From the Editors

It’s a hopeful time of year. The stalwart London plane trees have unfurled their leaves, and the sun is rising higher behind the City domes, towers and spires that we can see from our now not-so-new office windows. City-dwellers are beginning, as Hardy said, to ‘dream of the south and west’, and we hope that the travellers among you, armchair and otherwise, will enjoy Barnaby Rogerson’s piece on travel writing on p.11.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st March 2005

Slightly Foxed Issue 5: From the Editors

Slightly Foxed celebrates its first birthday this month, and we send special thanks and good wishes to our original subscribers who so sportingly took us on trust a year ago. We’re absolutely delighted that so many of you have decided to re-subscribe – a good number for two years. If you know of anyone who just hasn’t got round to it yet, it’s still not too late, and our offer of a reduction on a two-year subscription still stands (if you’re feeling generous, of course, you could always give them a gift subscription). And for anyone who missed the early issues and would like to complete the set, a limited number of back issues are still available.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
1st December 2004

Slightly Foxed Issue 4: From the Editors

Slightly Foxed has now settled comfortably into Clerkenwell. The only drawback of the new office is the spectacular view – we spend far too much time watching the clouds, which at this time of year race over the dome of St Paul’s at a sometimes alarming rate. (If you’d like to come and visit – and don’t mind aged dogs – you’d be most welcome.) We haven’t spotted any Christmas lights going up yet, but it can’t be long.
- Gail Pirkis & Hazel Wood
From the editors
Episode 18: The Ordeal of Evelyn Waugh

Episode 18: The Ordeal of Evelyn Waugh

The great prose stylist of the 20th century, monster, performer? Biographer and literary journalist Selina Hastings and writer and critic Alexander Waugh reveal the many reputations of Evelyn Waugh with the Slightly Foxed editors. From a pathological fear of boredom, hallucinations provoked by doses of bromide and cheques bouncing at the Ritz to his relationships conducted through letters, his genius for sharp satire and love of gossip, the conversation brings to light the darkness and humour of Waugh’s works. And we visit The Loved One’s Whispering Glades in this month’s reading from the magazine’s archives.
45 minutes
Hilary Mantel | Giving up the Ghost

Hilary Mantel | Giving up the Ghost

Hilary Mantel has said that this powerful and haunting book came about by accident. She never intended to write a memoir, but the sale of a much-loved cottage in Norfolk prompted her to write about the death of her stepfather, and from there ‘the whole story of my life began to unravel’. It is a story of ‘wraiths and phantoms’, a story not easy to forget. Giving up the Ghost is a compulsively readable and ultimately optimistic account of what made Hilary Mantel the writer she is, full of courage, insight and wry humour.
‘Jonathan Phillips is a significant talent . . .’

‘Jonathan Phillips is a significant talent . . .’

‘There could be no grander narrative than the story of Sultan Saladin and his counter-Crusade. Jonathan Phillips’s thoroughly absorbing biography takes on a period and an individual of daunting complexity and strangeness, weaving a tale worthy of a leader who proved inspirational to both East and West. The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin is grippingly written, wonderfully researched, and most of all, very relevant to today . . . Jonathan Phillips is a significant talent.’

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