Saturday, March 12, 2011

More treats to look forward to.

I posted last month about the forthcoming release of more long out of print books by Nancy Mitford & since then, in every blog, website, newspaper or magazine I've read, I've discovered more treats to look forward to. D E Stevenson is having quite a revival at the moment. I've been listening to lots of her books on audio, released by Soundings Audio Books (borrowed from my library). Persephone are reprinting Miss Buncle Married next month, after the success of Miss Buncle's Book which they published a couple of years ago. Greyladies have discovered two previously unpublished books by D E Stevenson, The Fair Miss Fortune & Emily Dennistoun & they'll be published in May (you can preorder them from April 1st).

Reading a recent issue of The Bookseller, I discovered that Virago are publishing a volume of previously unpublished stories by Daphne Du Maurier. The stories were originally published in magazines & Anne Willmore, owner of the Bookends bookshop in Fowey, tracked them down. Only one of the stories has ever been published in book form before. And His Letters Grew Colder was published in Virago's Daphne Du Maurier Companion a few years ago. I read a volume of Du Maurier's stories last year & I'm looking forward to reading these early stories very much.

Penguin are about to begin reprinting all of Evelyn Waugh's books in lovely hardcover editions. I think these look very elegant & although his fiction has always been in print, Waugh also wrote travel books & biographies, like this book on Dante Gabriel Rossetti, that are less well-known.

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons is one of my favourite books so I'm very excited that Vintage are reprinting more of her books this year, including the sequels to Cold Comfort Farm, Conference at Cold Comfort Farm & Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm. Two other titles, Westwood & Starlight, will be published in August & more will be available as Print on Demand. Vintage followed the same program a few years ago when they reprinted Nevil Shute. Four of his titles were printed as conventional paperbacks with the usual gorgeous Vintage covers & the rest of his backlist as POD with plain red covers. I bought them all for my library as I was so excited to have him back in print & available. Nevil Shute is a very popular author here in Australia. He lived here for many years, many of his books are set here & some of them like A Town Like Alice, On The Beach & Requiem for a Wren, are classics.

Mary Stewart is another favourite author getting a new look this year. Although she has rarely been out of print, her entire backlist is getting a new look from Hodder & Stoughton. I think these new covers are gorgeous & I've ordered 8 of them so I can indulge in a bit of a reread. I read all Mary Stewart's books when I was a teenager but, until I reread My Brother Michael last year, I hadn't revisited her in years. I'll post some pictures of my Mary Stewarts when they arrive.

Well, that's enough to be going on with, I think. I'm looking forward to a long winter of Sunday afternoons with a pile of books & endless cups of tea. Bliss!


  1. I love Mary Stewart, but haven't read anything by her for years. I must look out some of my old editions. I have to say that I'm rather wary about Stella Gibbons. Anything I've read other than 'Cold Comfort Farm' has been at best a disappointment and at worst a very depressing experience. I'll be interested to see what you think.

  2. Annie, I must admit that Nightingale Wood was a bit of a disappointment but that's the only Stella Gibbons I've read apart from CCF so I'm willing to give a couple of her other novels a go. I'm curious about the sequels to CCF as well. At the worst, they'll send me back to CCF for a reread.

  3. I'm thrilled to bits about the "new" D E Stevenson books, having thought for years that I'd read all her novels, to have some brand new stories to read is wonderful.

    Have posted a link to your blog to the D E Stevenson email group, as I'm sure many of them would also like to read this post.

  4. Love the image of publishers finding lost works of writing...what a treat indeed! I don't know how I got so lucky as to fall in love with this era of writing at a time when it's getting so much well-deserved attention.

  5. Thank you for this post! I had no idea about CCF sequels and that D. E. Stevenson's other novels were being republished. Good to know that these will be available by the time I want to explore them.
    I also read Mary Stewart when a teenager! My best friend and I loved her and Daphne du Maurier. I saw new Stewart paperbacks a couple of years ago that I liked and bought 'Touch Not the Cat' but I have yet to read it. I hope that I will enjoy it as much as I did years ago.
    I love the painting you included - so elegant!

  6. Lots of books to look out for. I am looking forward to the Daphne du Maurier book.

    I love the cover of Cold Comfort Farm, I think I need to read it again!

  7. Geraldine, I've only started reading DES in the last couple of years & I've enjoyed her books, especially the Scottish ones, very much. Thank you for posting a link to my blog, I hope other Dessies enjoy it. Darlene, it's certainly a golden age for lovers of the middlebrow, isn't it? Where are we going to find the time to read all these wonderful books? Cristina, Touch Not The Cat is a later Stewart, I think. I remember enjoying it very much. The original hardback had a very striking cover, I remember it from my local library. Jo, it's always the right time to reread CCF, I think! If I had a spare reading moment, I'd join you.

  8. Second attempt at a comment! I'm looking forward to the stella gibbons re prints, I loved nightingale wood so have high hopes for these. I hadn't heard about the Waugh reprints and have added a couple to my wish list, and Mary Stewart is altogether new to me, I've had a good trawl through amazon and have earmarked a couple I'd like to read so all very exciting. Thank you Lyn.

  9. Thanks for commenting Hayley. I figure if I'm maxing out the credit card I should encourage others to keep me company!