The Sunday Salon: My First Persephone or, A Slippery Slope

About a week ago, my friend Maggie was looking for a new home for her used copy of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.  I’ve read many positive reviews, and listened to several other friends waxing poetically about this book.  So I thought, “sure, I could give it a home, why not?”

And then Maggie mentioned the book was a Persephone Classic.  I pounced.

When it arrived in my mailbox on Wednesday, I found myself explaining the Persephone phenomenon to my husband.  Quoting their website, I told him that Persephone Books publishes reprints of “neglected classics by 20th century (mostly women) writers. Each one in our collection … is intelligent, thought-provoking and beautifully written.”  And I showed him the pretty cover.

Then he got that “deer in the headlights” look.  He’s seen my Virago bookshelf; in fact, he’s used his woodworking talents to help me expand it.  He’s seen me scouring used bookshops for those green-spined beauties.  This Persephone thing?  Eerily similar, in his view.

Thinking on my feet, I said, “Don’t worry, I’m not planning to collect these like I do Viragos!”  I detected a noticeable change in his demeanor.  Crisis averted.

But I may have had my fingers crossed behind my back 🙂

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Read more from The Sunday Salon here.

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24 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: My First Persephone or, A Slippery Slope

    • I’m surprised as well Jackie, although they are a little more difficult to find over here. Nevertheless I welcome the new experience!

  1. Why must we hide our book obsessions from others? Why is it perceived to be such a dark thing? Do other people realize that the average American watches three hours of tv every day?

    I must stop ranting. Your crisis is averted. For today. That is what is important.

    Today I take a second look at Maira Kalman’s wonderful The Principles of Uncertainty in my Sunday Salon post.

  2. Oh I love Miss Pettigrew! I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down! Lucky you!

    I didn’t know about Persephone books–I’ll have to check out their other titles! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Recently I commented (it might have been on a Sunday Salon post) about King Penguin books. Yup, I am going to collect all 76 of that series. Then yesterday, I read of another set of penguin books and will probably do the same.

    My name is Julie & I am a book addict!

  4. Ooh, that’s very exciting indeed. and yes, you will end up wanting to collect them all I think!! Hope you read it soon 🙂

    • Verity, you’re making me very nervous about the potential impact on my pocketbook! But I have an idea … see my next comment in reply to Katie.

  5. Miss Pettigrew was my first Persephone too! I’m sorry to inform you that it is the perfect gateway drug; soon you’ll find yourself with an inescapable urge to read (or at least acquire) them all. I hope you enjoy it.

    • Katie, I worry about this “gateway drug” thing, especially since I already collect Viragos! But I’ve just had a brainwave which is to become a bit of a “pusher,” and collect Persephones for my daughter, who is an aspiring writer currently studying at university. Somehow I can justify it if I’m helping her build her own women’s literature library! 😀

  6. I always say that to read one Persephone is to make room on a shelf for more. And there will be more….it is most definitely a slippery slope.

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