Not long after we launched the Slightly Foxed Editions, we came across a little gem of a book, first published in 1948 and long out of print, which we decided we must reissue. My Grandfather by Denis Constanduros is a portrait of the author’s maternal grandfather, who, though surviving sturdily into the reign of George V, was to his grandson a character from the ‘warm, gas-lit, stable-smelling past’ of the Victorian age. With delicate and affectionate humour it brings to life not only its central character, but also the world in which he lived, and which he surveyed with genial content from the windows of his spacious home in Kensington Gore.
The book was so delightful, so pitch-perfect in every way, it made us curious to know more about its author, and at this point we made an exciting discovery. There was, we learned, an unpublished companion volume, Father, Dear Father, which, like My Grandfather, had once been read to much acclaim on Radio 4. We decided to publish both together for the first time, and to include some of the author’s previously unpublished drawings. Father, Dear Father fills in, in an equally diverting way, the story of Denis’s childhood in the shadow of the other important male figure in his life – his father.
For readers in search of something bookish to give to a father this coming 21 June, we can highly recommend our beautifully bound Slightly Foxed Edition of My Grandfather & Father, Dear Father. All Father’s Day presents will be wrapped in brown paper, tied up with foxed ribbon, and sent with a hand-written card bearing a handsome wood engraving and a message of your choice. Please read on for an extract from Father, Dear Father and a selection of other present ideas.