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Episode 22: Independent Spirit

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Small but discerning, choosing passion over fashion, Little Toller Books shares an independent spirit with Slightly Foxed. Jon Woolcott joins us from this publishing house based in a converted old dairy in Dorset, and charts the rise from cottage industry origins to a wide, prized backlist. With roots in rural writing, Little Toller has branched out to seek unusual voices, resurrecting the life of the wood engraver Clifford Webb, turning landfill into prose, uncovering Edward Thomas’s hidden photographs and finding a bestseller in the diary of a young naturalist along the way. We turn to the magazine’s archives for John Seymour’s advice on cheddaring, sparging and gaffing, and there’s the usual round-up of recommended reading from off the beaten track.


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Show Notes

Please find links to books, articles, and further reading listed below. The digits in brackets following each listing refer to the minute and second they are mentioned. (Episode duration: 37 minutes; 45 seconds)

Books Mentioned

Four Hedges, Clare Leighton (2:44)

Men and the Fields, Adrian Bell (2:48)

The Unofficial Countryside, Richard Mabey (4:30)

In Pursuit of Spring, Edward Thomas (4:56)

Diary of a Young Naturalist, Dara McAnulty (7:27)

The Life and Art of Clifford Webb, Simon Brett (12:52)

The Fat of the Land and The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency, John Seymour (15:23)

Landfill, Tim Dee (17:51)

Mr Tibbits’s Catholic School, Ysenda Maxtone Graham (19:35)

Stand by Me, Wendell Berry (30:35)

Here We Are, Graham Swift (33:13)

Anton Chekhov’s short stories (35:00)

Related Slightly Foxed Articles

These Fragments, Jon Woolcott on John Harris, No Voice from the Hall in Issue 66 (6:34)

Cheddaring, Sparging and Gaffing, Rowena Macdonald on John Seymour, The Fat of the Land and Self-Sufficiency in Issue 26 (22:50)

Other Links

Little Toller Books

Blue Moose Books (10:05)

Opening music: Preludio from Violin Partita No.3 in E Major by Bach
The Slightly Foxed Podcast is hosted by Philippa Lamb and produced by Podcastable

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