Thursday, 27 March 2008

Comment from the Virago oracle

Just in case you haven't seen it as a response to my earlier post, here is Alexandra Pringle's comment on all your thoughts and ideas about VMC. She worked at Virago in the early days.

"I am Justine's editor and I worked for about ten years on the Virago Modern Classics series with Carmen Callil, who created it. The covers began as olive and transmuted into that more bottle shade. I can't for the life of me remember why. Perhaps we just got a bit sick of olive.
We ransacked the reserve collections of provincial art galleries and museums for covers and scoured the Sotheby's catalogues. I also used to spend hours in the Witt Library at the Courtault Institute of Art.
It is wonderful reading all your comments on the series. It was so exciting working on those books and lovely to think they are still cherished. A particular hidden favourite of mine is The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins, and The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy. There was also another great book with Woolworths in the title: Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns. My mother said the novel reminded her of her post-war art-school days.
One of the joys of working on Justine's book was that it took me back to those years of the VMCs."

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