Our popular Slightly Foxed Paperbacks are perfect for slotting into a coat pocket or bag, and make charming presents. Delightful to look at, pocket-sized and elegantly produced on good cream paper, they give you a chance to acquire some of the original hardbacks you may have missed.
Now is your chance to catch up with a set of all six of our available paperbacks. The set includes:
Edward Ardizzone, The Young Ardizzone
The creator of the ever-popular Little Tim and Lucy books begins his story in 1905 when he was 5 and his mother brought him and his two sisters home to England from Haiphong where his father was a telegraph engineer. Left in Suffolk in the care of their grandmother, the three grew up with a full complement of young bachelor uncles, great-aunts and eccentric family friends – a comfortable Edwardian world which is beautifully captured in Ardizzone’s deceptively simple prose and delicately humorous drawings.
Michael Jenkins, A House in Flanders
In 1951, a shy and solitary 14-year-old boy was sent by his parents to spend the summer with ‘the aunts in Flanders’. His account of those months in the dignified old French country house on the edge of the Flanders Plain has an idyllic, dream-like quality. Yet all was not as idyllic as at first it seemed. Gradually he teases out the history of the family and of the surrounding area and finally uncovers the secret of why he has been sent there.
Priscilla Napier, A Late Beginner
Priscilla Napier grew up in Egypt during the last golden years of the Edwardian Age. Here she brings to life that far-off world – the house and its devoted Egyptian servants, the desert picnics with Nanny, the visits to Cairo Zoo, the afternoons playing in the grounds of the Gezira Sporting Club – and the long summers in England among their mother’s family, as the First World War began to take its tragic toll of uncles and cousins. It is a wonderful evocation of a place, a time and a climate of mind – a book that, as Penelope Lively writes in her preface, ‘ranks quite simply with the greatest accounts of how it is to be a child’.
V. S. Pritchett, A Cab at the Door
The writer V. S. Pritchett’s mother was an irrepressible cockney, his father a reckless, over-optimistic peacock of a man, always embarking on new business ventures which inevitably crashed – hence the ‘cab at the door’ waiting to bear the family quietly away from yet another set of creditors. In this vigorous and original memoir Pritchett captures unforgettably the smells, sounds and voices of London in the first decades of the 20th century, and the cast of Dickensian characters among whom he grew up.
Dodie Smith, Look Back with Love
The author of I Capture the Castle grew up in Manchester among her mother’s doting family, since her father had died when she was a baby. It was the jolliest environment imaginable – the Furbers adored seaside trips, motor-car outings, fairgrounds, circuses, jokes, charades and musical soirées, all of which had their influence on Dodie. Her memoir gives a wonderful picture of this large Edwardian family, of life in the ‘basking Sunday afternoon charm’ of Manchester’s Victorian suburbs, and of the little girl who said, ‘I think I’m an oddity really. But I do my very, very best to write well.’
Frances Wood, Hand-grenade Practice in Peking
China in 1975 was a strange, undiscovered country, still half-mad from Mao’s Cultural Revolution, when young Frances Wood boarded a plane in London to study for a year in Peking. Virtually closed to outsiders for the preceding decade, China was just beginning to make tentative moves towards the outside world when Frances and her fellow students were driven through the dark silent countryside to their new quarters at the Foreign Languages Institute. Throughout the following year in an extraordinary Alice-in-Wonderland world where ‘education’ consisted of shovelling rubble, hand-grenade practice and cripplingly tedious ideological lectures, Frances never lost her sense of humour. Based on the letters she wrote home, Hand-grenade Practice in Peking is both affecting and hilarious.
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