With travel in the air, summer’s a time when we think particularly of all those subscribers who read their copies of Slightly Foxed in farflung places. We have subscribers in 60 countries now, and in this tenth anniversary year we’d like to say thank you once again to all of you, at home and abroad, for supporting us, and particularly to those of you who have stuck with us through – as the late publisher Antony Blond once memorably put it – thin and thin. We had an excellent anniversary party – at the Art Workers’ Guild in Bloomsbury, already familiar to some of you from Readers’ Day. Speeches were made, glasses were raised, and Slightly Famous People’s Foxes, the little book we’re publishing in aid of the Children’s Hospital School at Great Ormond Street, was successfully launched.
The Art Workers’ Guild has become a kind of home from home for Slightly Foxed. We like its elegant yet intimate atmosphere and the sense of a tradition that goes back to the time of William Morris. We’ll be holding our annual Readers’ Day there again on Friday, 7 November, and speakers this year will include the distinguished biographer (and autobiographer) Michael Holroyd; Lucy Lethbridge, whose recent book Servants: A Downstairs View of Twentieth-century Britain has been hugely popular; the traveller and historian Justin Marozzi, author of the recently published Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood; and Daisy Hay, whose book on the unusual courtship of Mr and Mrs Disraeli is due out next spring. It looks set to be the usual entertaining and convivial occasion, so if you’d like to join us, do get in touch. Seating is limited to 95 and tickets do go very quickly.
Since a number of you may be travelling this summer, perhaps it’s the moment to remind you that digital subscriptions to Slightly Foxed are now available for an extra £10 a year when you renew your print subscription. As well as your four printed issues, this will give you access to the current issue and all back issues via your computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone or Android device. So enough good reading to cover any number of flights and stays in foreign parts, and no need to carry your precious print copy of SF with you. If you have any questions, please do phone or email Jennie.
We’d also like to draw your attention to our website. Jennie has been doing a huge amount to improve it, expand it and make it easy to use for those of you who – like us – are not perhaps entirely at ease in the digital world. On it you will now find extracts from all Slightly Foxed Editions and Slightly Foxed Cubs and all back issues of Slightly Foxed, and of course the invaluable index to all the contributors, books and authors we’ve featured. We’re in the process of expanding the noticeboard section to give news of literary society talks and events, there’ll be podcasts of Readers’ Days and other happenings, and much more bookish information besides.
Our own latest book, Slightly Foxed Edition No. 26, is John Moore’s Portrait of Elmbury (see p.13), the first volume in a trilogy based on the author’s home of Tewkesbury – an enchanting portrait of a small English country town between the wars. Born in 1907, John Moore grew up in the town, left school at 17 and went to work for his uncle, the local auctioneer. It was an ideal vantage point for people-watching and from it, as his friend Eric Linklater observed, Moore ‘received an education more liberal than that offered by most universities’. The book is a sturdy defence of the virtues of small-town life and a wonderful evocation of an England which was even then fading into the shadows. Perfect summer reading we think. We hope you’ll enjoy it, wherever you are.