‘The trouble was that in my grandparents’ house it was a distinction and a mournful pleasure to be ill. This was partly because my grandfather was always ill, and his children adored him and were inclined to imitate him; and partly because it was so delightful to be pitied and nursed by my grandmother. She was a most remarkable woman, to outsiders appearing rather stern and alarming, and with great independence of mind. But she was also extremely tender-hearted, and I have sometimes thought that she must have been rather too sorry for her family when they were unwell. A little neglect or astringency might have done some of them a world of good.’
From Chapter VII: ‘Aunt Etty’
Gwen Raverat, Period Piece
‘I have defined Ladies as people who did not do things themselves. Aunt Etty was most emphatically such a person.’ So begins Chapter VII of Gwen Raverat’s memoir, Period Piece. We know all too well how many wonderful Ladies there are in the world who, unlike Aunt Etty, do many things for themselves and, indeed, for others, often thanklessly. We know these women; they may have raised us, taught us, cared for us, influenced us, or inspired us, from up close or from afar.
As Mothering Sunday approaches in the UK and Ireland (those of you in the rest of the world have a little more time!), we thought some of you may appreciate a few bookish gift ideas for the ‘most remarkable’ women in your lives, be they mother or grandmother figures – or any fellow booklover or, indeed, yourself!
All items can be wrapped in handsome brown paper, tied up with our cream ribbon and sent directly to recipient, or to you to hand over in person. If you’re worried about delivery times, or if you’re cutting it a little fine when placing your order, you can choose to have an instant gift card sent to you by email or directly to the recipient.
For a short time you can have your bookish wares gift-wrapped by us for free. Enter the promotional code GIFTWRAP at the final stage of our online checkout or quote this code to us over the phone should you call the office.
Please do read on for a selection of present suggestions for Mothering Sunday and other occasions. You can also read more about the women who influenced Gwen Raverat in an extract from Chapter VII of Period Piece on our website.
With best wishes, as ever, from the SF office staff
Hattie, Jess & Jemima