Spring, and it’s precisely thirteen years since the first issue of Slightly Foxed appeared. Then of course we had no idea of what SF would become – more of a friendly worldwide fellowship of readers than simply a magazine. Many of you have been with us from that first issue, and our subscription renewal rate is unusually and cheeringly high. As we frequently tell you, it’s your loyalty and enthusiasm that keep us going, and this year we’ve decided to express our appreciation to you in a more concrete way.
If you are a subscriber you will find enclosed with this issue a personal Slightly Foxed membership card along with details of the benefits that go with it. These range from discounts on all things Slightly Foxed to reductions on membership of a number of organizations we feel are likely to appeal to readers of SF, such as the London Library and the Royal Society of Literature. It’s a varied but carefully chosen list, and though we’ll be adding to it as time goes on, we promise we’ll keep it that way. If your subscription expires with this issue, you will receive a membership card as soon as you renew.
Inevitably in thirteen years the index of authors and contributors who have featured in Slightly Foxed has grown to epic proportions. Some of you will have received the printed updates we’ve provided over the years, but they’re expensive to produce and inevitably go quickly out of date, whereas the interactive index on our website, www. foxedquarterly.com, is updated with every issue and is available as a download. So we’ve decided to give up on the printed version: do phone us on 020 7033 0258 if you have problems with downloading, and we will be happy to help or do it for you.
Many of you have been collecting our handsome reissues of Ronald Welch’s Carey novels for children in the Slightly Foxed Cubs series. All twelve are now available and this Spring we’re adding an interesting postscript – a thirteenth novel which is not technically part of the series but which just as well might be for it has all the same ingredients – a young protagonist with a Welsh background, a believable cast of characters, and a fast-paced plot brought alive by Welch’s customarily vivid historical detail.
Sun of York is set during the later stages of the Wars of the Roses, the fearful struggle between the houses of York and Lancaster that saw the last gasp of the Middle Ages. Impoverished young aristocrat Owen Lloyd goes to war on the Yorkist side determined to fight his way to wealth and power and to take revenge on the Turberville family who have seized the Lloyds’ estate. His exceptional courage and ability bring him to the notice of influential people at Court and give him an inside view of the ruthless cynicism of those struggling for power – and an unexpected view too of the character of the future king Richard III. Though disillusioned, Owen returns to Wales a wiser and more mature young man. A fascinating picture of fifteenth-century warfare and politics which fills a gap in the original series, Sun of York is available to order from us now at £19 (subscribers £17).
This Spring’s new Slightly Foxed Edition, Hilary Mantel’s Giving up the Ghost (see p. 13), is one of the most powerful memoirs we’ve reissued, uncompromisingly honest and written with all the brilliance we’ve come to expect from this extraordinary novelist. Here she is dealing with both the inner and outer truths of her own life and growing up – laying the painfully persistent ghosts that eventually drove her to forge her own remarkable path. It’s a truly haunting book which we can’t recommend highly enough.
And finally, many congratulations to the winner of our 8th crossword competition, Mrs E. Blackman, who receives a free annual subscription. For those still chewing their pens, the answers appear on p.95.