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Holding a Mirror

Holding a Mirror

Early in 1925 there arrived at the Hogarth Press in London’s Tavistock Square a parcel, sent from Zululand, containing the manuscript of Turbott Wolfe, the first novel of an unknown writer named William Plomer. Leonard Woolf wrote back promptly, saying it looked ‘very interesting’ and that once Virginia, who was ill, had read it, he would write again. Plomer, living at a trading store in Entumeni, outside the forested hilltop town of Eshowe (named onomatopoeically in Zulu after the sound of wind in trees), was overjoyed. Two months later, Leonard wrote again, making an offer of publication, and weeks afterwards followed up with the news that Harcourt Brace & Co. in New York wanted to publish it too.
SF magazine subscribers only
Prayers before Plenty

Prayers before Plenty

In 1953 the writer E. M. Forster, then aged 74, was sorting through old family papers and thinking about the past. He had recently moved back to King’s College, Cambridge, and the high-ceilinged spacious room where he sat was filled with treasured objects from his previous homes: shelves overflowing with books, framed family portraits on the walls and blue china plates neatly arranged on the mantelpiece. Letters gathered in a drift around his shabby William Morris armchair as he pored over his great-aunt Marianne Thornton’s diaries and recollections.
SF magazine subscribers only

‘I feel like I’m at the kitchen table . . .’

‘Why haven’t I tuned in to the Slightly Foxed podcast until this afternoon?! I feel like I’m at the kitchen table, drinking tea. Love the conversation and the dogs! Sending love from Jaipur, India.’
17th June 2019

‘I just finished reading the summer issue. . .’

‘I just finished reading the summer issue of Slightly Foxed, which I thoroughly enjoyed curled up on the sofa with my dog while a summer storm raged outside here in Texas. Thanks for making such a lovely publication that gives this reader new books to add to my list!’
- A. Stockstill, Texas, United States
From readers

‘I listened to the podcast last night . . .’

‘I listened to the podcast last night on my evening stroll and enjoyed it enormously. As ever, it gave me plenty of inspiration for further reading too: I've been a fan of Norman Lewis for a long time, but hadn't come across A Dragon Apparent, which I'll now add to the list of books to look out for! The podcast really is a delight; I hope it is as much fun to record as it sounds!’

‘I just love your podcasts . . .’

‘I just love your podcasts and all the lovely information about books. I always feel as if I am sitting round the table with you all and the dogs and even the background noises, builders and sometimes other things. So glad you sent photos of the dogs. Now I can put faces to the sounds. I’ve been a subscriber to Slightly Foxed for several years now and read it avidly when it comes. You are so generous with all your newsletters etc. I only wish I could manage to find time to read more! You are all very much appreciated. Thank you.’
15th June 2019

‘Chuffed. . .’

‘Chuffed. I believe that’s the word. Entirely, wall-to-wall chuffed. The books arrived yesterday, and they are lovely. Thanks very much for this. I’m off to read.’
- P. Cohen, Paris
From readers
Episode 8: Leaving that Place called Home

Episode 8: Leaving that Place called Home

Hazel, Jennie and host Philippa explore the art of travel writing with the acclaimed author and biographer Sara Wheeler and Barnaby Rogerson of the well-loved independent publisher Eland Books. Buckle-up and join us on an audio adventure that takes in a coach trip around England, an Arctic sojourn, a hairy incident involving a Victorian lady and her trusty tweed skirt and a journey across Russia in the footprints of its literary greats, with nods to Bruce Chatwin, Isabella Bird, Norman Lewis, Martha Gellhorn and Patrick Leigh Fermor along the way. And to bring us back down to earth, there’s the usual round-up of news from back home in Hoxton Square and plenty of recommendations for reading off the beaten track.  
39 minutes

‘I’m a bit behind on the podcasts . . .’

‘I’m a bit behind on the podcasts, which I love, and have just listened to No 5. The years rolled back for me when the topic turned to Virago books. I well remember hearing a radio discussion in the 1970s, (maybe on Woman’s Hour?) about this new publishing company and thinking to myself that it sounded new and exciting. I still have my first Virago purchase, Precious Bane by Mary Webb. I don’t understand how Virago can be more than forty years old when I'm sure I'm scarcely older now than I was then!’
8th June 2019

‘My books arrived safely and well-packed as usual. . .’

‘My books arrived safely and well-packed as usual. I love both of them. I always have collected your Slightly Foxed editions. The BB series are excellent, I had the originals to read to my little brother when we were small, so they are great favourites. Thank you for providing such riches and for your magazine, which, in my opinion, is the best literary magazine on the market.’
- C. Shepherd, Devon
From readers
5th June 2019

‘Well Issue 62 is another triumph. . .’

‘Well Issue 62 is another triumph. I’m always rather surprised at how well the editors and contributors know what I’m currently enjoying, or about to read, or how much they remind me of old classics. Especially the piece on Jonathan Meades – he’s a slightly unlikely hero of mine, and Andrew Nixon has captured his writing perfectly. I occasionally disagree with Meades, on television or on the page, but I always enjoy being provoked by him. This might be something to do with the unusual fact that his mother taught me for a year at primary school. She was fearsome and impressive and always wore a pair of furry boots, as if she had recently murdered a womble and then skinned it. She would refer to Jonathan on occasion – he was yet to make his name. I therefore also really loved An Encyclopaedia of Myself, and especially the way he conjured the part of Salisbury we lived in.’
- J. Woolcott, Dorset
From readers
4th June 2019

‘I’ve been a subscriber for a few years. . .’

‘I've been a subscriber for a few years and enjoy each edition of the quarterly: many articles remind me of my past reading, while others encourage me to search out something I may have missed when it first appeared. I also love the whole physical feel and appearance of the journal; it is a pleasure to read.’
- J. Moore, Southampton
From readers
Heroes and Haberdashers || Present ideas for Father’s Day and other occasions

Heroes and Haberdashers || Present ideas for Father’s Day and other occasions

With Father’s Day approaching we thought some of you may appreciate a few present ideas for the father figures in your lives. All presents can be wrapped in handsome brown paper and tied up with a suave and understated cream ribbon and sent off to the recipient, or to you to hand over in person, in good time for Sunday 16 June. Gifts may be sent all over the world and should arrive at far-flung destinations in good time but if you’re worried about delivery times, you can always request an e-mailable or printable gift card during the checkout process to tide you over.

‘I have so enjoyed your podcast . . .’

‘I have so enjoyed your podcast, it is like being in the room with you, and it is a very nice room - and good company to be in.’
4th June 2019

‘I love your magazine. . .’

‘I love your magazine and settle down for a good read when it arrives. The June edition was full of interesting and amusing essays which my friends and I love. Sorry I forgot the time difference between Brisbane Australia and London, so I sent off my subscription while our morning sun is shining into my sitting room on a cold and windy day. Hope you are all fast asleep and have a very good day when you wake up. All the very best and you are keeping up a wonderful standard of writing for us to read.’
- B. Wintringham, Brisbane, Australia
From readers

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