A Little Book Shop In England

This is a lovely litte British book shop I never would have known about had not Nan, and Becca, posted about it in their blogs.

Its name is Persephone Books, and it has an online service in case you’re not headed to England any time soon.

Each little book costs 10 pounds, with a special deal of 3 for 27. Plus, a few extra pounds in shipping charges. Of course, I had to go with the special deal, thinking to myself, “Self, what’s twenty pounds?”

About $75.00 all told, but certainly worth every cent.

I just finished reading The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (pictured right).

At first, I thought I was reading about my grandmother who even bore the same name as Fisher’s heroine: Eva. It seems that these women were absolutely compelled, to the point of driving themselves and their family nuts, to maintain an immaculate household.

In the story, when Eva’s husband loses her job, he lets himself fall from an icy roof and thus becomes paralyzed. Now he must be the home-maker, and she must go to work.

In a fantastic paradox, written in 1924, we discover what it means to truly make a home, let alone meet our own needs. What a marvelous book.

I hope you have a chance to stop by their site; you won’t be disappointed, I’m sure.

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33 thoughts on “A Little Book Shop In England”

  1. Books just seem that much better when they come from England, don't they? lol…I just placed an order from England too, and while I might have paid $50 for 2 books, I'm very excited about them!

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  2. Oooh, Chris, what did you buy, and from where? Plus, I'm finally mailing your prize package today; we've been absolutely buried in snow, and I'm sorry I didn't get it sent earlier.

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  3. I clicked on your link; how lucky you were to actually be there! The last time I was in London was for New Year's Eve 1985, and I certainly didn't see this nifty book store. I ordered The Home-Maker, Fidelity, and Miss Pettigrew…For A Day. (I forget the exact title, but supposedly, it's soon to be made into a film.) I was absolutely charmed with the prints they used, the bookmarks, and of course, their catalogue. Thanks for sharing your review!

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  4. I actually can't go there, because I am wide away and well no finances of mine can allow an order, but the book shop seems like a small paradise. One day I want to open a book shop or something, which will be all in green and gothic and everything I want. I think I have too high of standards, when it comes to interior, but I will manage it.

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  5. I just got my books from AmazonUK…The first was the new Neil Gaiman book that's only being released in England for World Book Day called "Odd and the Frost Giants" It only costs 1 pound in England, but somehow it ends up being almost $15 after shipping and everything, but I'll pay that for a new Neil Book…and the other is a book that Quixotic reviewed on her blog called The Lost Boy by Duncan Staff that isn't available in the states that cost me another $35. It's about the Moor Murders and it sounds fascinating…her review did at least. So…what did you get ;)?

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  6. I buy books off Amazon UK a few times a year. Currently, I'm waiting on the last Ian Rankin: Exit Music (Inspector Rebus novels) that is not out in this country yet, having been released in the UK in October. Of course, you remember my excitement about my Harry Potter editions. I haven't bought anything from Persephone, but I admire their philosophy/belief in publishing obscure women writers. I read Hillestrum's Interrupted Life and Viorst's poetry for grad classes.

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  7. I tried to get a catalog from Persephone *twice*. Maybe the stars were against me. I got a lovely note saying a catalog would be placed in the mail, immediately, the first time. It never arrived. My second request went unanswered.Then again, it could just be God trying to tell me it's not like I don't have plenty of books, already. 🙂

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  8. Chris, much as I love murder mysteries, and I do!, I bought three books from Persephone which are of women writers who no longer seem to be published. They are: The Home-Maker, Fidelity, and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (which should be a film soon, about an agency which sends a governess to the wrong house).Les, I think you and I should go…in reality! Can't you see us in a corner with our beakers of tea?Ms. George, thanks to you I went to Amazon.CA when Harry Potter the 7th was being released. Now I wish I had all of them in the British editions. I remember long ago reading my mother's copy of "It's Hard to be Hip Over Thirty"; ironically enough, I bought her Judith's poetry about turning SEVENTY a few years ago.Bookfool, if I ever run into a catalogue from them I'm sending it to you. I'm sorry you didn't get the promised magazine. :(Booklogged, I've now forgotten what Persephone means. I'll have to look up my Greek mythology and double check. (I assume it's Greek mythology, right?:) I always love it when I come across an unusual name for a living person, just as you say.

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  9. Or, we could just skip London entirely…:)! Except, I can't read Italian, so book shops would not be quite as much fun. I suspect that any where with you would be a riot.

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  10. I'm ok with skipping London. I've been there before (for 2 weeks), but have never been to Italy. So, what exactly are you implying when you say anywhere with me would be a riot?! ;)Seriously, in 4 years I hope to go to Italy to celebrate my 50th birthday. I would like nothing better than to go with my closest girl friends, especially since my darling husband has absolutely no desire to cross the Atlantic. I'll be in touch… 🙂

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  11. Maybe we could get a senior discount! DO keep in touch because it would be wonderful. Of course, in 4 years, I'll be 51…it's possible the Italian men will not be all over us.

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  12. Oh, I think we need to wait at least 20 more years before we qualify for a Senior Discount! 🙂 I can't imagine feeling like a "senior" in four short years. Eeek!

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  13. I am most definitely staying away from this place. That's all I'd need…And btw, you've been tagged for a non-fiction meme. I'm really curious so I do hope you'll give it go.cjh

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  14. I love the quote at the bottom of the page… I've found it special ever since college.When we visit England, my favorite thing to do is to spend a lot of time in the bookstores. (well, here too I guess). But the one in Oxford was really wonderful.

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  15. cj, I'm reading the most horrendous nonfiction piece right now (The Travels of A T-Shirt in A Global Economy aka Watching Paint Dry Is Better Than Reading One Page) for one of my book clubs. I'll try your meme, but be forewarned: this piece of nonfiction has put a bad taste in my mouth.Karen, did you just love the Persephone shop?! How did you get there? It's funny that we all have Eva grandmothers.Motherpie, do you mean the think-of-good-things quote? It's a healthy reminder for me! Which store did you see in Oxford? When I was last in London, I saw little else than Hyde Park and St. Paul's church (or was it St. Peter?) where Diana was married.

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  16. I believe Persephone was the daughter of Dememter. She became the bride of Hades for 6 months out of the year but then could return to her mother for the other half. Please correct me if I've mixed up my Greek and Roman mythologies. I don't know if Persephone or Proserpine had any other symbolic meaning but boy do I love Hymn to Proserpine by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (perfume oil creators extraordinaire). Sorry for the long and mostly unrelated to books reply.

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  17. I know she's the daughter of Zeus' sister, but not much beyond that. Boy, it is time to brush up on my mythology! And, thanks for adding to my perfume knowledge…I adore perfume, andn I'm not familiar with that fragrance. Off to basenotes.com to look it up. You'll notice I'm looking up that before Greek heroines. 🙂

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  18. For the commenters who buy from amazonuk, have you tried the book depository? They offer free shipping. Altogether too tempting!Bellezza, have you seen the blog on my sidebar about Dorothy Canfield Fisher??

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  19. Ooh, I have to look specifically for that blog! She's a new author to me, and I loved The Home-Maker. (Also, I just can't wait to delve into Miss Pettigrew For a Day, another Persephone book, especially since I saw the previews for the film when I went to Atonement this weekend.)

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  20. Les, wasn't it true to the novel? I thought it was very, very good, although I hated Briony more in the book than the film. I still will never believe that she was "just" naive. I feel that she had a manipulative, if not malicious, nature that had nothing to do with youth. Our film experience was a little dampened, though, because I went with my sister-in-law whose husband had just lost in job. I think she would've preferred a comedy, unfortunately.

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  21. Yah, it really was quite true to the book. I'd read it so long ago that it wasn't too fresh in my mind. I think that's why I enjoyed it as well as I did. And, funny thing. I didn't mind Briony too much when I read the book, but boy, the movie really made me realize how cruel her intentions really were. Yes, she was a child, but a 13-year-old (that was her age, right?) knows right from wrong.Sorry to hear about your SIL's husband's job loss!

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  22. But I didn't feel that way when I read the book! Only when I saw the film. Maybe I was too caught up in McEwan's prose to really see the really Briony!

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  23. It's interesting how that aspect of Briony didn't strike you in the book because for me, it's the overwhelming impression I had of the whole novel: Briony's selfishness. It's so amazing the reader picks up certain things from a novel at one read, and they go practically unnoticed at another.I also read his novel Saturday, which was an engaging book to me but not nearly so much as Atonement. Saturday is one day in the life of a doctor, and his family, who suffer a terrible break in to their home.

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