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Adrian Bell | A Countryman’s Winter Notebook

Adrian Bell | A Countryman’s Winter Notebook

We’re delighted to bring you news of a Slightly Foxed special release: Adrian Bell, A Countryman’s Winter Notebook. ‘Bell writes always of the ordinary things, of the seasons, of memories, of rain and laughter. Gentleness fits him naturally, just as the purity of his words opens our eyes to a life all around us which we might otherwise never have seen.’ So wrote the journalist Clement Court of his contemporary, the farmer-cum-writer Adrian Bell, best known for his rural trilogy, Corduroy, Silver Ley and The Cherry Tree, which vividly describe a time before machinery took over much of the work of men and beasts, altering the landscape and the face of farming forever. In addition to the books that followed his famous trilogy, from 1950 to 1980 Bell wrote a weekly column called ‘A Countryman’s Notebook’ for Suffolk and Norfolk’s long-serving local paper, the Eastern Daily Press. His columns were, as his son Martin Bell says in his preface, ‘not really journalism but prose poems about the natural life around him’, and these essays share that which is common to all his writing – a deep appreciation of the small moments of each passing day. Now a selection of these beautifully crafted essays has been gathered together and introduced by Richard Hawking to form the first, we hope, of a quartet of Bell’s writings on the seasons.
A Celebration of Slightly Foxed Readers

A Celebration of Slightly Foxed Readers

‘I have been a subscriber from the off, and I read every issue with pleasure. But I have to tell you that No. 71 is the best ever. The writing it contains is superb.’ Greetings from Hoxton Square, where we’re in very good spirits and wish to share some cheering news with our readers. This quarter we’re celebrating a new high: a first print-run of 10,000 issues of the new issue of Slightly Foxed magazine. As most of you will know, we regularly reprint our back issues so, over time, each issue has sold thousands of copies. But now, for the first time, we’re up to 10,000 for the first run of an issue, which feels momentous to a small publisher like us and it’s all thanks to you, our readers.
A Cab at the Door | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

A Cab at the Door | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

For those of you who have yet to add V. S. Pritchett’s classic memoir to your Slightly Foxed collection, we’re pleased to bring news of our featured autumn read. The writer V. S. Pritchett’s mother was an irrepressible cockney, his father a reckless, over-optimistic peacock of a man, always embarking on new business ventures which inevitably crashed – hence the ‘cab at the door’ waiting to bear the family quietly away from yet another set of creditors. In this vigorous and original memoir Pritchett captures the smells, sounds and voices of London in the first decades of the 20th century, and the cast of Dickensian characters among whom he grew up.
U is for Uhlman, Fred | From the Slightly Foxed archives

U is for Uhlman, Fred | From the Slightly Foxed archives

‘Hooked, I read straight through to the end, with its startling twist. (Warning: resist the urge to take a premature peek.)’ Martin Sorrell, SF Issue 69 Greetings from Slightly Foxed, where we’ve made great strides through the A-Z of the magazine’s archives and selected another article for everyone to read for free. Many of you were prompted to add Reunion by Fred Uhlman to your reading list following Martin Sorrell’s heartfelt recommendation in Issue 69 of the magazine. Such was the spike of interest in this novella, the publisher’s stocks were entirely depleted. However, we’re pleased to report that it’s available to order again. Perhaps you’ll be tempted to make a slim space on your bookshelves for this edition after reading Martin’s review.
Sword of Bone | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Sword of Bone | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Our series of Slightly Foxed Editions are all absorbing reads – hitherto forgotten memoirs that bring alive a particular moment, that allow you into someone else’s world and make you feel you have actually known the writer. Often these books light up a period in a way no history book can. And that is what Anthony Rhodes has done in Sword of Bone, his wry account of the events leading up to the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force in May 1940 – a ‘strategic withdrawal according to plan’ as the chaos was officially described. He manages to capture the absurdity as well as the tragedy of what took place in Dunkirk. For all its humour, Sword of Bone is a penetrating comment on the cruelty of war.
‘Slightly Foxed is my little piece of heaven every quarter’ | New this autumn

‘Slightly Foxed is my little piece of heaven every quarter’ | New this autumn

The new Autumn issue of Slightly Foxed (No. 71) 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. It ranges far and wide in the usual eclectic manner:  Margaret Drabble admires Doris Lessing • Andrew Joynes receives divine inspiration from William Golding • Olivia Potts has plenty to say about Mary Wesley • John Smart dreams of cheese • Clarissa Burden falls for Josephine Tey’s Inspector Grant • Frances Donnelly visits Hotel du Lac with Anita Brookner • Ken Haigh make his case for The Hobbit, and much more besides . . . 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 autumn.
Rosemary Sutcliff | Sword Song & The Shield Ring

Rosemary Sutcliff | Sword Song & The Shield Ring

‘Sutcliff was a superb writer with a classicist’s grasp of the era, a poet’s eye for nature and a devilish sense of plot. Fiction this evergreen cannot fail to uplift.’ David Mitchell We’re pleased to report that the final two titles in our Slightly Foxed Cubs series of Rosemary Sutcliff novels, Sword Song and The Shield Ring, are both published on 1 September. We know that many of you have already placed orders for these books, either as part of a limited-edition set of all seven novels or as single titles. As thanks for your enthusiasm and support, we’ve dispatched your copies in advance of publication and they will be with you very soon, if not already, so please do look out for them in the post. The series of Roman and post-Roman novels that began with The Eagle of the Ninth in the Sussex downland has, by the last two books, moved to the north-west coast of England and the Hebridean islands, where the Vikings are expanding their empire . . .
Last Waltz in Vienna | From the Slightly Foxed Bookshelves

Last Waltz in Vienna | From the Slightly Foxed Bookshelves

Introducing the latest addition to the Slightly Foxed Editions list, No. 56: George Clare, Last Waltz in Vienna. Published 1 September. In February 1938, the grand Konzerthaus in Vienna was in full, glorious swing; bands were playing, there was dancing and singing and plenty of beer. It was the first ball ever attended by the 17-year-old Georg Klaar, and he stayed until the very last waltz. But on 11 March, lorries began thundering into the streets, filled with uniformed men waving swastikas and shouting ‘Death to Jews’. Austria was now betrayed and had been annexed by the German Third Reich. Barely four years later, Georg Klaar had become George Clare and was serving in the British army, and his parents had been rounded up and taken to Auschwitz. Only with hindsight can George discern the complex reasons for his family’s destruction, and for the whole appalling waste of war. This is a profoundly moving, honest and compassionate memoir, remarkably devoid of self-pity, though not of anger.
Hilary Mantel | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Hilary Mantel | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

‘I was so glad to hear An Experiment in Love by Hilary Mantel praised . . . Hilary Mantel’s early novels get overlooked now and it is one of the joys of Slightly Foxed that it highlights areas like this.’ As you know, dear readers, Slightly Foxed is the literary magazine for people who don’t want to read only what the big publishers are hyping and the newspapers are reviewing. We hope to introduce, or reintroduce, you to all those wonderful books that languish on publishers’ backlists. Hilary Mantel is now best known for her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, but we’d like to put the spotlight on a selection of other riches from her writing life. We published her powerful and haunting memoir, Giving up the Ghost, in our series of SF Editions and, in Episode 31 of the Slightly Foxed podcast, we recommended her darkly inventive novel, An Experiment in Love. Please read on for details of The Hilary Mantel Bundle, together with links to single titles by this author. You’ll also find news of our forthcoming weekend wayzgoose – and amended office hours – as well as a special Summer Holiday offer for all readers to enjoy.
Travel the world with Slightly Foxed

Travel the world with Slightly Foxed

‘The two weeks in Washington seemed to last an age, for travel makes time stand still, like a dream which takes one through a long series of adventures while actually lasting only a few moments.’ Jessica Mitford, SF Edition No. 52: Hons and Rebels Greetings from Hoxton Square, where we offer a series of adventures across the globe through our Slightly Foxed Editions. Guided by intrepid and entertaining travel companions, we traverse the United States with Jessica Mitford, Italian mountain ranges with Eric Newby, East Africa with Roald Dahl and blistering Spain with Laurie Lee. These are just a few of the far-flung destinations we visit in our series of classic memoirs – each edition brings alive a particular place and invites you into someone else’s world.
‘Ring of Bright Water caught me off guard’ | Jim Crumley on Gavin Maxwell

‘Ring of Bright Water caught me off guard’ | Jim Crumley on Gavin Maxwell

Greetings from Hoxton Square where, this summer, we’re travelling to far-flung destinations through the pages of Slightly Foxed. The latest issue of the magazine takes us far and wide, from language-hunting in the Karakorum and climbing Mount Kenya to Anthony Burgess’s Malaya and Robert Graves’s Ancient Rome . . . However, today we’re heading to the West Highlands of Scotland with Gavin Maxwell’s Ring of Bright Water, with the Scottish nature writer Jim Crumley as our guide.
S is for Sagan, Françoise | From the Slightly Foxed archives

S is for Sagan, Françoise | From the Slightly Foxed archives

‘My love of pleasure seems to be the only consistent side of my character. Is it because I have not read enough?’ Françoise Sagan, Bonjour Tristesse Greetings from Hoxton Square, where we’re once again travelling through the magazine’s archives to provide some welcome weekend reading. Charlie Lee-Potter’s piece on Françoise Sagan’s Bonjour Tristesse appeared in Slightly Foxed Issue 14 and transports us to a summer spent on the French Riviera.
Escape from France | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Escape from France | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

‘Revisiting the Carey novels today, I am struck by how fresh and magnetizing they have remained, and by how much there is in these books – as there is in all good children’s literature – that can be enjoyed by adults. It is common for readers of Welch to credit him with sparking a love of history . . .’ We thought it timely to travel back to June 1791 through the pages of Escape from France, a Carey adventure set in the midst of the French Revolution.
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.

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