Sunday, 13 April 2008

Virago Modern Classics in the Sunday Telegraph today

I've posted the link to my article (over on the left), in case anyone wants to read it. Thanks to all of you who contributed to such a lively debate last month (the comments ran to over a hundred, as you'll see if you go back to the various Virago posts in March).
I haven't yet seen the finished copies of the new VMC books that will be published next month, but the covers do look very attractive -- I particularly like the Cath Kidston rose print for "Diary of a Provincial Lady". Anyway, you'll be able to see them all in the Telegraph piece. I'll be interested to know what you think of them.

14 comments:

Rob Hardy said...

Lovely essay! Thank you. I do like the looks of the special hardcover editions. As someone said elsewhere, the design is reminiscent of Persephone Books, especially the use of textile designs, as in the Persephone endpapers. My son will be in England this July to help his friends celebrate completing their GCSEs; if only I could persuade a 16-year old boy to bring home a case full of floral-covered Viragos!

Sally said...

After having read the article I came straight back here to say exactly the same thing, rob, about the strong echo of Persephone Books' covers. They are lovely and I'd buy them all on that basis alone had I not already got copies of most of them. It's not just the textile designs that bring Persephone to mind, it's the author and title placed neatly in the box. Persephone should be highly flattered by the imitation.

Justine Picardie said...

Rob -- glad you enjoyed the essay. (And I think it's the least your son could do, after all your years of devoted parenting, to bring you the books back from England! But as the mother of teenage sons, I know the unlikelihood of this outcome...)
And Sally, like you and Rob, I can definitely see the parallels with Persephone.

Bront√ęBlog Adm. said...

It's a lovely article. I'm only just reading my first Elizabeth Taylor (Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont) and enjoying it tremendously. Looks like I'll have to read more by her and the other writers mentioned in the article and in your VMC post.

The new covers are gorgeous - I particularly like Elizabeth Taylor's A game of Hide and Seek.

Cristina.

Justine Picardie said...

Cristina -- I'm so glad you're enjoying Elizabeth Taylor. She's a wonderful writer.

Maylin said...

Great article Justine and thanks for quoting me - that was such a lovely surprise. Hope my British relatives are reading! I too love the new hardcover covers. Darn it all, though, I wish they were available to Virago fans across the pond.

Justine Picardie said...

Glad you saw the article Maylin! I think Virago should send you the new editions asap.

Karen said...

I do like these special covers and, as with the old green spines, they are distinctive; the current covers are not.
Super article!

Juxtabook said...

Great article, and I do like the patterned covers. Like everyone else I thought 'Persphone'. Shame they are only available in Waterstones which is hard on us rural types.

Justine Picardie said...

Karen -- thanks for reading the piece and commenting. I'll suggest to Donna Coonan, the current editor of VMC, that she reads everyone's comments here, and then responds to you all.

Justine Picardie said...

Yes, you're right, it is a shame they're only in Waterstones. But I wonder if they will do mail order?

brooksideelaine said...

Read it and loved it. So much publicity about Virago and its 30th at the moment and thoroughly enjoying reading all the reams of praise and sit here feeling very smug that I have been saying all this for years!

I hauled out my Green Viragos the other day and appear to have about 54 all in the OLD covers, I will not buy the new ones (just call me stick in the mood, I don't care) and have been taking pics of them with my new digital camera and, as my own personal celebration, am going to post them on my blog with my own little comments underneath. I have already posted and printed Diary of a Provincial Lady which has received lots of comments. Next up, will be Elizabeth von Arnim who is one of my Virago discoveries and who I love. She still has loads out of print which would pay republishing. Hint hint

http://randomjottings.typepad.com

if anyone wants to take a look.
PS I am halfway through Daphne and feel my ever present Bronte obsession coming to the fore again

Justine Picardie said...

54 -- that's impressive. I'm hopping over to your blog right now!
PS Donna Coonan from Virago has read everyone's comments on this post, so you never know, hints may well be taken! My own hint being heavily dropped is that she should send you all some free copies.
Thanks so much to everyone for commenting.
Watch this space!

Virago said...

I fell deeply in love with these covers but resigned myself to never owning them. Then 4 different people got me the set for my 21st birthday! I know I should start giving them away as Birthday presents but they are so very beautiful... I've really been enjoying your blog and have linked it in my own (very new) blog http://eatinglipstickanddrinkingchampagne.blogspot.com/