Designing everyday life
Thursday, 10 December 2015
Girls in writing: Persephone books
Just in time for gift season - a seductive endpaper, well hidden in a one - shade grey covered book that has just been republished, is waiting for you to discover it along with some incredible stories .....well I know I would looooooove something like that!
Persephone publications are something I am familiar with for quite some time but never had the chance to talk to you about it. I think the timing is perfect because, as I mentioned , posts these days are about female creativity and those who try to unveil it. And Nicola Beauman, the founder of Persephone Books, had exactly that in mind at 1999 when she started her fascinating tour in the world of publications. She had found out, as she was writing her own book, that lots of great works by mid - twentieth century lady writers were no longer in print. And decided to do something about it!
Thus, Persephone Books was born!
Neglected fiction and non - fiction is being reprinted under the name Persephone. Persephone - as we are all familiar with here in Greece - is a greek mythology goddess, the personification of spring and fertility. So she represents gracefully female creativity and new beginnings!
Since 1999 a lot have been accomplished from the Persephone books, whose publications are provided through the web for all of us away from London. But if I happen to visit the city, I will certainly stop by the stylishly bookstore for my cravings and a cup of tea!! Maybe I'll bump into my favorite Sherlock of all times - yes, Benedict Cumberbatch is a customer.
Ohh there are a lot of titles I would love put my hands on : do the names Elizabeth Jenkins, Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf ring a bell??? I am sure they do!! But it's the sense of discovery that intrigues me the most. Ladies like Mollie Panter - Downes whom I 've never heard of. Her book 'London War Notes' is the latest publication of the house, perfect for its introduction in the U.S., as she was a writer for The New Yorker for 50 years.
And a small but important detail that will make all of us textile lovers jump for joy : every book has a bookmark and its endpapers decorated with a pattern of a textile which refers to the year the book was first published. Here is the 1940s scarfinspired pattern for 'London War Notes' :
And some other patterns as well:
I guess those writers would be more than thrilled to see how their work is appreciated and treated nowadays....don't you think?