Dorothy Whipple

(91 Posts)
DuchessofMalfi Sat 23-Mar-13 14:26:23

I picked up a copy of her short stories - The Closed Door And Other Stories, from the library and started reading it yesterday. It's excellent.

I'm really enjoying literature from or set in the early part of the 20th century at the moment and this fits the bill completely.

Has anyone else read her work? Ridiculously delighted to find another author I love smile

MrsBartlet Sat 23-Mar-13 15:23:42

What a coincidence - I just finished reading my first Dorothy Whipple book last night (Someone at a Distance) and I loved it! It is one of those long books that you don't want to end as you don't want to leave the characters.

Today, I have been making a wishlist of her other books that I would like to read. I think "Greenbanks" is top of my list. I am feeling ill today with a horrible cold and have been lounging on the sofa perusing the Persephone catalogue and longing to order lots of them. They publish quite a few Dorothy Whipple but lots of other authors who would satisfy your need for early twentieth century fiction.

I too have been feeling very excited to discover another author that I love!

Lomaamina Sat 23-Mar-13 15:36:11

I've read Greenbanks, which is wonderful, and all the other Whipples published by Persephone Books. I'm slowly working my way through their catalogue, although ordering from my library at 0.60 per reservation, rather than paying the (perfectly fair, but too much with my reading habit) PB prices.

I'm not a great fan of short stories, but I'm going to see if I can get hold of that collection, so thanks OP.

MrsBartlet Sat 23-Mar-13 15:41:44

That does sound like a cheaper way of doing it Lomaamina but I really want to own them! They are quite pricey though aren't they? I am being dithery as I want to order a couple but there are so many more than that that I would like. I work in a bookshop though so I do get a discount!

Like you I am not a huge fan of short stories but I have just read "Good Evening Mrs Craven, The Wartime stories of Mollie Panter-Downes" that Persephone publish and I really enjoyed that.

Lomaamina Sat 23-Mar-13 16:21:51

I own just a few: I bought one as a treat when I visited the shop last Christmas and in other cases I've bought via the secondhand marketplace - although it's really striking to see how they hold their value; I've bought Virago editions in a few instances. But overall, the rate at which I read would make it prohibitive. I've also found that inevitably some books aren't to my taste. Those I've bought I've normally tried out first grin.

Can I also recommend Lettice Cooper and Winifred Holtby?

DuchessofMalfi Sat 23-Mar-13 18:40:02

I'm going to be working my way through Dorothy Whipple's books, and then look at the Persephone books catalogue to see what else I want to read.

I quite fancy They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple next, and see where that takes me.

Can't wait for the DC to go to bed so I can read some more smile

gailforce1 Sat 23-Mar-13 19:45:16

I have read Greenbanks and agree that it is a wonderful read. I am looking forward to getting my hands on some more of her books and also to perusing a Persephone catalogue so that I can add even more to my "To Read" list!

SkaterGrrrrl Sat 23-Mar-13 22:12:21

Love DW. Found out about her through Persephone books. She is superb.

SkaterGrrrrl Sat 23-Mar-13 22:13:28

Meant to say my favourite is They Were Sisters.

lainiekazan Mon 01-Apr-13 13:02:12

I stroke the Persephone Books catalogues. And those lovely end pieces of the books...

I enjoyed Someone at a Distance but - weren't all the characters obnoxious? The Smug Wife, the Spoilt Daughter, the Weak Husband... I couldn't help feeling rather pleased that their life was upset. I don't think that a typical man would mope and pine for the rest of his life, though. He'd find some comfort elsewhere!

lainiekazan Mon 01-Apr-13 13:07:17

I visited the PB shop last year but was hugely intimidated by the staff. They were extremely bluestockingy and haughty.

May I recommend A Fortnight in September by RC Sherriff? An unusual book and very touching.

Lomaamina Mon 01-Apr-13 14:13:06

lainiekazan I must admit I was also intimidated by the staff when I visited last year. They seemed more interested in rushing around dealing with mail orders than with serving customers. I also enquired with them more recently about a book that had had lots of publicity to ask for the publication date. I thought they'd respond to say they'd let me know when it was released, but no, just a dismissive "it's being published in March, but you can ring us in February to see if it's available". I ended up buying it from my local independent shop instead of ordering directly grin. I wasn't going to go out of my way to visit the shop (15 minutes walk away from my workplace) after that experience.

p.s. Thanks for the recommendation of 'A Fortnight in September'. It looks just up my street. I love books which celebrate the mundanity of domestic life.

DuchessofMalfi Mon 01-Apr-13 17:27:35

I'm making a note of all the recommendations on here, thank you. My copy of the Persephone catalogue arrived on Saturday and I'm already trying to decide what I want! Absolutely gorgeous catalogue, isn't it?

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Mon 01-Apr-13 18:13:14

I haven't come across her work at all. Can anyone explain a bit more about her style? I love to find a new author - and don't mind an excuse to buy Persephone books smile

I don't receive the catalogue, will have to remedy that!

Lomaamina Mon 01-Apr-13 20:16:30

For me, it's all about the story-telling, in the simplest of terms. You know the sort of book that draws you in and you force yourself to slow down so that you don't savour every part of the story? That's what her books are like. Ostensibly about ordinary people in ordinary situations, but really, like a lot of Persephone Books, about the lot of women in the 20th century, when they were starting to become emancipated, but still bound by ties of hearth and home (for better and for worse).

There's a good item on Dorothy Whipple in the Independent, which states that 'JB Priestley once described her as "the Jane Austen of the 20th century"': www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/forgotten-authors-no-31-dorothy-whipple-1666062.html

... and an excellent piece on her by Nicola Beauman, founder of Persephone Books: www.cottontown.org/page.cfm?LANGUAGE=eng&pageID=4524.

Graceparkhill Mon 01-Apr-13 20:27:06

They Were Sisters is my DW favourite. I have read them all through Persephone and she is one of my favourite authors.

Had similar negative experience of the bookshop. Was down from Glasgow for a meeting and made a special pilgrimage to the shop.

I don't think they get many small Scottish women and they treated me with utter disdain.

highlandcoo Tue 02-Apr-13 08:48:59

I have Greenbanks in my bookcase waiting to be read - after all these good reports I must get on with it.

What a shame people have had a bad time visiting the shop .. my experience was the opposite. I wanted to buy some books for my sister's birthday; she's particularly interested in gardening and traditional crafts, and one of the staff gave me great advice about which of their titles might include these themes. I ended up buying three books, one of which was a book she'd read and loved forty years ago and had never been able to find again, so she was thrilled.

I must have got the only friendly member of staff in the place smile

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 02-Apr-13 08:49:51

Lomaamina thank you for the links and information. I'll read the articles later today after I've finished working.

One of our local bookshops sell a few Persephone books, I'll go in and see what they have.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 02-Apr-13 08:50:07

Argh!! sells, not sell

lainiekazan Tue 02-Apr-13 10:43:17

Perhaps there's a special Persephone Password or something that you have to use in the shop in order to be treated graciously. It wasn't just me being hyper-sensitive, because ds was with me and he remarked straightaway that they were very rude.

Also, if you look at the events in the catalogue, I've never read anything less welcoming! The very thought of turning up at something and being thoroughly cold-shouldered...

Graceparkhill Tue 02-Apr-13 12:34:23

Lainiekazan- maybe you and I could go to an event together ?

lainiekazan Tue 02-Apr-13 14:56:55

That would be nice! A small Scottish woman and a small southern woman... perhaps they just don't like small people?

Graceparkhill Tue 02-Apr-13 16:03:48

I think they thought I was too common. By Glasgow standards I am dead classy but I probably sounded a bit too Rab C Nesbit. Being small was a positive advantage. Shop tiny!

Ambridge Tue 02-Apr-13 16:18:46

Another Whipple fan here. 'They Knew Mr. Knight' is good too, as is 'High Wages'.

Btw, lovers of Mollie Panter-Downes: you must read 'One Fine Day'. It's a wonderful book.

DuchessofMalfi Tue 02-Apr-13 17:41:35

I've just been off to look that one up, Ambridge. Another one for my tbr list grin

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Tue 02-Apr-13 17:47:36

huge Whipple fan here. I bought copies of Someone at a Distance for my girlfriends this Christmas! Greenbanks is also fabulous.
Can I also recommend Monica Dickens (also from PB). Cracking stories, lots going on and utterly engrossing.

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Tue 02-Apr-13 17:50:20

oh yes and please put Miss Buncle's Book on your next reading lists. Funny, touching and absolutely sweet, can't believe the beeb haven't made a series of them yet!

nkf Tue 02-Apr-13 17:53:21

Hijacking the Whipple fan club thread to tell everyone that Rumer Godden's novels are being re-released by Virago.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 02-Apr-13 18:04:00

nkf I noticed that, too. In The Bookseller, I think. (I sometimes read it in the library to keep up to date with booky things.) I was wondering if Dorothy Whipple's books were similar to Godden's. I've read Greengage Summer, and one or two others.

The Diddakoi was one of my favourite children's books and I still have my copy.

KindleMum Tue 02-Apr-13 18:09:27

I love her books too. My favourite PB books so far are Miss Buncle's Book and Miss Pettigrew lives for a day. Don't like Monica Dickens though.

nkf Tue 02-Apr-13 18:12:53

They're not similar exactly, More that they are both early 20th century, mid market writers. And both a bit neglected and very very good.

KindleMum Tue 02-Apr-13 18:13:01

Has anyone read Miss Buncle Married?

Ambridge Tue 02-Apr-13 18:17:57

I do like Monica Dickens - but I keep going back to 'One Pair of Hands' and 'One Pair of Feet'. I love them.

Rumer Godden also fab. 'Black Narcissus'....<goes to dig copy out of bookshelf>

nkf Tue 02-Apr-13 18:19:25

As a teenager, I loved Kate and Emma. It seemed so grown up.

Ambridge Tue 02-Apr-13 18:24:37

I notice that Persephone have 'Miss Buncle Married' on their list. That's on my tbr pile.

Has anyone read any Stella Gibbons, by the way? 'Cold Comfort Farm' is the only one people remember nowadays, but she wrote a massive number of books. I got into her in a big way at one point and picked up quite a lot in second-hand shops. 'Nightingale Wood' and 'Westwood' were reprinted fairly recently; both well worth a read.

KindleMum Tue 02-Apr-13 18:55:01

Oh yes, Ambridge, I loved Nightingale Wood.

Also enjoyed The Making of a Marchioness - Frances Hodgson Burnett, another Persephone.

Does anyone else wish they published on Kindle too, as well as in their beautiful paperbacks?

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Tue 02-Apr-13 19:25:10

Oh yes to Frances Hog Burnett, lovely adult books. I thought that adaptation of The Making of a Marchioness was awful though, I was hugely disappointed.

I have Miss Buncle's Married ready, saving it for a treat, can't wait.
will look out Rumer Hidden, hadn't come across her.

Lomaamina Tue 02-Apr-13 19:57:28

I've probably read all of Monica Dickens, from One Pair of Hands and all the dozens since. 'The Listeners' is really special - a fictional account of the early days of The Samaritans. Both the PB books by her are good reads, although I found the casual anti-semitism in 'Marianne' rather shocking shock.

I've just had a peek at her entry on Fantastic Fiction www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/d/monica-dickens/ and it reminded me of her lovely 'World's End' children's series.

Regarding the attitude of PB shop staff: I think we should have a march on Lambs' Conduit Street, Mumsnet scarves aloft, demanding a warm welcome. Although, I cannot say I'm a small woman, rather the contrary, so I won't fit in with the others on this board. I think if you want to fit you should be slim, youngish, smartly dressed and with a posh accent. I don't meet any of those criteria, sadly!

Seriously, the impression I get is that they are first and foremost a mail-order company and the shop side of things is - literally - a distraction.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 02-Apr-13 20:12:24

nkf Thank you for the comment. I haven't read any Godden for ages, but will add some of hers to my list, too.

Rather worrying when the list of "books to read or re-read" starts to get long enough to be a short novel!

highlandcoo Tue 02-Apr-13 20:16:50

Loaamina can I come on your march (even though they were nice to me on that one occasion) - I haven't marched anywhere for years grin

Cannot claim to be young, smartly dressed or with anything resembling a posh accent though

Graceparkhill Tue 02-Apr-13 20:38:00

I think we need to know the secret of your success Highlandcoo. If I ever go again( unlikely ) I am going to put on my mother's best telephone voice and possibly wear my Glasgow Uni scarf circa 1976.

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Wed 03-Apr-13 07:35:06

Thanks for the hidden recommendations. Have bought three to start me off.
I love buying new books, it feels like the ultimate decadent treat, better even than clothes or food. Heaven.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 03-Apr-13 08:09:55

You've hit the nail on the head there Oranges. That's just how it feels smile

lainiekazan Wed 03-Apr-13 09:26:02

Well, I am starting to look scarily like my mother and fear I have her telephone voice to boot shock but still got the bum's rush in the shop. Does one have to have a St Hilda's scarf? Or is it St Hugh's? Trying to think of women-only Oxford colleges whose alumnae (no Latin - excuse possibly wrong ending) might snort with derision at plebs who might just be able to read one of their books with their finger going along under each line.

gailforce1 Wed 03-Apr-13 10:16:37

Oranges you are so right! Giving up Lattes for a while as I have just asked my local bookshop to put their only Persephone book - The Exiles Return by Elisabeth de Waal - to one side for me. I like to support my independent bookshop rather than order direct and can't wait to have my first Persephone book in my hands! Thank you for this thread Duchesssmile though I am not sure my bank balance will agree!

MrsBartlet Wed 03-Apr-13 10:22:23

Ooh I like the look of the Miss Buncle books! I have Miss Pettigrew on my to read pile by my bed. Tomorrow when I go into work, I will be getting Greenbanks and The Making of a Marchioness.

I also have Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love on my to read pile. I have read various books about the Mitfords but I am ashamed to say I haven't read anything by them. DH picked up a second hand copy of Love in a Cold Climate so I had an excuse to buy The Pursuit of Love so that I can read it first!

Unfortunately I am slowly wading my way through Elizabeth Jane Howard's first Cazalet book which I am not really enjoying but I am determined to finish.

mrsshackleton Wed 03-Apr-13 10:33:08

I LOVE DW have read all her books, any recs in a similar vein much appreciated. Though I didn't care for Miss Buncle much or the Making of a Marchioness. Fortnight in September is superb, also Little Boy Lost.

I've had some dealings with lady behind Perseph and found her VERY snooty and difficult, big shame as it's my favourite imprint by a million miles.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 03-Apr-13 12:15:03

I went to the bookshop this morning. They had a lovely row of Persephone books but no Dorothy Whipple. I've ordered Greenbanks, should be in tomorrow smile

Another vote for buying books over food or clothes. I have no clothes from 20 or 30 years ago (and certainly no food!) but plenty of books.

lainiekazan Wed 03-Apr-13 14:13:30

Handbags and shoes leave me cold, but a sighting of an unexplored second-hand bookshop and I'm off like a greyhound.

nkf Wed 03-Apr-13 14:35:53

Me too. Or a market stall of second hand books.

Lomaamina Wed 03-Apr-13 15:47:36

Ooh yes, second-hand book shops are my secret vice too. N.B. if you make it to PB, go up the road to the Brunswick Centre for the excellent Skoob Books www.skoob.com/ and then out to Marchmont Street, where there are some great second hand bookshops too (and some nice veggie eateries if you've any money left by this point).

Graceparkhill Thu 04-Apr-13 08:55:33

I enjoyed Saplings by Noel Streatfeild and for sheer escapism Miss Pettigrew lives for a Day by Winifred Watson.

Ambridge Thu 04-Apr-13 13:22:46

Aha, Lomaamina, we may have crossed paths - I'm often lurking in Skoob Books, and my hairdresser is in Marchmont St!

Actually Skoob is a good place for snaffling the odd second-hand Persephone. They had one (can't remember which I'm afraid) when I popped in last week.

highlandcoo Thu 04-Apr-13 17:29:08

I think we need to know the secret of your success Highlandcoo. If I ever go again( unlikely ) I am going to put on my mother's best telephone voice and possibly wear my Glasgow Uni scarf circa 1976

Graceparkhill absolutely no idea! I must have got the only pleasant person in the shop. Please can I be there (I work just round the corner on Thursdays) to hear your mum's telephone voice when you unleash it. I hope it's a Bearsden or Morningside one grin

Lomaamina thanks for the heads-up about Skoob Books. I've been in that area every week for a few years but seem to have completely missed Marchmont St. Will be making a beeline there next week.

Graceparkhill Fri 05-Apr-13 09:12:28

Yes indeedy Highlandcoo- mum is very Morningsaiiid when she needs to be.
Should be in London again in May so I will give it a whirl. Went to v nice cafe Bea's of Bloomsbury last time. Lovely staff and amazing cakes.
More to life than books you know.

Lomaamina Fri 05-Apr-13 12:29:52

Graceparkhill: "More to life than books you know": ah, but you've forgotten that books + cake= "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." grin.

MotherBluestocking Tue 09-Apr-13 19:33:14

I just had to leap in to this discussion to say that I have visited the Persephone shop several times, and attended events there, and I have always found the staff incredibly friendly and helpful. The events, too,are fascinating, and I would hate to think that anyone reading this thread was put off by the comments above.
I love Dorothy Whipple too - other novels published by Persephone which subject family life to the same kind of relentless scrutiny are The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens and Daddy's Gone A-Hunting by Penelope Mortimer.

bucylen Wed 10-Apr-13 02:39:11

My son discovered Persephone bookshop. Came home and said I have found the shop for you. So full of excitement I visited when next in London and received a lukewarm welcome. The books drew me back however and I think just ignore the haughtiness. On other occasions everyone was charming. On principle I will not be browbeaten by jumped up "shop girls".

mimbies Wed 10-Apr-13 08:25:51

I'm very surprised by some of these comments. I love the Persephone Bookshop - there's nothing like it anywhere in London - and find the staff really friendly and helpful. I get the feeling they really care about what they do.

Pliudev Wed 10-Apr-13 13:36:11

Well if it's shop girls....you really must read High Wages if you haven't already. Seriously though, Dorothy Whipple is very interesting because she's one of the disappeared (Barbara Pym, Mary Butts, even Jean Rhys etc.) the women authors who achieved quite a level of success then suddenly were gone. I'm not sure if it was marriage that did for Dorothy or just a decline in readership for her type of fiction following WW2. I suppose the mistake is to think they have to have been good because sadly (and Mary Butts fits this category in my opinion) they weren't always. I found Whipple's short stories a little to alike but HW is a favourite.

Lomaamina Wed 10-Apr-13 15:12:56

Oh yes, High Wages is very good. Speaking of 'jumped up shop girls' I was one myself once and never allowed myself to feel either superior or inferior to the clientele wink.

callya Fri 12-Apr-13 20:30:11

I also have to say that I love going to Persephone. I buy their books over the telephone, attend events and also attend one of the bookclubs. I am always welcomed very graciously. I am just so pleased to have an independent bookshop within a short walk of Charing Cross that reprints my type of book. Give them another chance.

SkaterGrrrrl Mon 15-Apr-13 23:02:07

Have always been treated well at the lamb conduit street shop. Can highly recommend Princes In The Land and Its Hard To Be Hip Over Thirty.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 30-Apr-13 21:17:24

I started reading Greenbanks a couple of days ago and am loving it. Off to bed really early tonight to read some more.

Thank you DuchessofMalfi for starting the thread and introducing me to her work.

Which one do I read next?

Lomaamina Wed 01-May-13 20:08:59

Lucky you having all those books to discover. I'd recommend 'The Priory' next. It's a great one to sink into over a few days. See overview here: www.persephonebooks.co.uk/books/the-priory/.

elkiedee Thu 02-May-13 02:13:59

Another Persephone fan here - I read Someone at a Distance a couple of weeks ago - it has a terrific nasty character and it was a great read.

Some of my other favourites are Miss Buncle's Book, To Bed With Grand Music, Mariana, Saplings, Miss Ranskill Comes Home, and I also loved some of their short story collections.

The events are quite pricy. I realised that I only visited the shop once last year recently and went to buy another 6 books. I now own about half their list (just over 50 of 102 books) and have another 6 in different editions (mostly Virago editions which I also collect, and a Puffin). I don't have any problems with the shop but quite like to be left to browse until I'm ready to buy.

Nothing wrong with using the library either - you'll still be encouraging your library to buy copies of that book and others from the publisher.

Bloodybridget Thu 02-May-13 12:33:15

Great to read this thread - I have read three or four Whipples, inc They Knew Mr Knight, recently, a surprising find in my local library, and am about to read High Wages which was lurking in a holiday house we were in last week, a first edition (we know owners and I will return it!).

Persephone do have a great list. Has anyone read Still Missing by Beth Gutcheon? You might want to wait until your children are grown up ... but I thought it was terrific.

Lomaamina Thu 02-May-13 20:16:52

I concur with using the library. Ours allows you to order online for 60p. A great bargain if you read as much as me grin.

And Bloodybridget yes, Still Missing is gripping. A fantastic read (and quite different from the typical Persepheone offering, don't you think, at the very least that it's a modern book). I simply couldn't put it down towards the end. I wish I could get a copy of the film that was made of the book, but sadly it costs a fortune on the secondhand market. That's a case in point about the library: I read a copy borrowed from the library last year and I've just ordered myself a secondhand copy via abebooks (interestingly it's an old edition, not Persephone, which seems to hold its value very close to the new price).

Bloodybridget Fri 03-May-13 09:52:31

Lomaamina I didn't know there was a film of Still Missing. Wonder if it was anywhere near as good as the book!

Lomaamina Fri 03-May-13 10:56:30

Here's the info: www.imdb.com/title/tt0086593/ - good actors, I thought - but no, it's unlikely to be as good, they never are, are they - film adaptations? I always prefer to see the film first and then read the book. But still, it intrigues me to see it as the book was very filmic in the last scenes, I thought.

Bloodybridget Mon 06-May-13 20:46:59

thanks Lomaamina. You're right, film adaptations are usually a disappointment, but I can imagine it being a good film nonetheless.

Lomaamina Mon 06-May-13 21:20:02

Oh yes, I'd still like to see it! I've searched high and low though, to no avail.

carlajean Wed 15-Jan-14 11:34:36

I've reanimated this thread to say how disappointed I was by the bookshop. I love Persephone books, and walked over from the other side of the river with mounting excitement, my only worry being that I might buy too many books. My god, it was like walking into a stranger's coffee morning. 3 young women chatting away in the corner, who obviously saw themselves above shop work, who didn't even make eye contact, let alone ask if they could help.

Lomaamina Mon 20-Jan-14 09:50:57

Oh poor you carlajean! I was wondering what had made this thread come alive and I've had Persephone on my mind again as they're having a film showing of 'Still Missing' next month, but I haven't got my act together about booking. Just not sure if I've the guts to go on my own and you've sort of confirmed my decision.

carlajean Mon 20-Jan-14 19:05:46

Try it! I'll be interested to hear how you get on (perhaps you're younger/posher/thinner than me wink)

Lomaamina Mon 20-Jan-14 20:01:54

Ha! I doubt it on all counts. Maybe taller...

Pukkapik Tue 21-Jan-14 15:13:41

I love Persephone books (esp Mollie Panter Downes and DWhipple) and went out of my way to find the shop...I was disappointed and did not find the staff friendly at all. I felt I'd walked in on a private office and interrupted them.

Lomaamina Tue 21-Jan-14 20:18:39

Sorry to hear your disappointment Pukkapik is the same as most of the others on this thread. I wonder if anyone from the shop ever monitors social networks to see conversations such as this one? If I owned the business, I'd be mortified to be reading this thread.

Funnily enough I was planning to go by the shop on Thursday just to test the water again as I'll be in the area. I may just do so and report back.

(Off to dig out suitably posh clothes)

carlajean Wed 22-Jan-14 12:54:25

Exactly pukkapik. I was so annoyed that I felt like doing a Pretty Woman on them (walking back with a whole pile of books in my arms and saying 'remember when you couldn't be bothered to serve me? BIG mistake')

Lomaamina Wed 22-Jan-14 17:47:39

carlajean that only works if you can carry off the thigh-high-black-boots look. Not quite the bluestocking image they want to convey.

Graceparkhill Wed 22-Jan-14 17:57:12

Me too Pukkapik. I felt inches high when I made the pilgrimage . The staff were very aloof and I felt like a provincial old fool. Dreams shattered. I thought we would have toasted crumpets whilst discussing our favourite Persephone books instead they couldn't even pretend to be interested in me.

MooncupGoddess Wed 22-Jan-14 18:09:07

What a shame - someone should email this thread to them.

I avoided Dorothy Whipple's novels for years after reading Carmen Callil's unkind comment that she wouldn't consider anything for Virago that was 'below the Whipple line'. Then I saw They Were Sisters in the library last week, borrowed it and stayed up till 1 am until I'd finished it blush

Anatana Wed 22-Jan-14 18:14:24

Oh I love Dorothy Whipple! My sister bought me a subscription to Persephone for my birthday one year and I discovered her then, and have since pressed copies upon numerous others. I wonder why she's never been adapted. You'd think she'd be perfect for a Sunday night mini series.

Shan't go to this shop, though. Sounds bloody awful!

MrsBartlet Wed 22-Jan-14 21:24:44

I got They Were Sisters for Christmas and I loved it - definitely my favourite Dorothy Whipple so far. It was my birthday earlier this week so I now have several Persephone books in my to read pile by my bed. including The Priory and High Wages.

DH went to the shop last week to buy presents for me and he said the person who served him was very friendly. However, he did have to ask for help. I have managed a couple of bookshops and I would indeed be mortified to see such dire feedback. It is so disappointing when people are so passionate about their books but feel so let down by the shop.

Pukkapik Thu 23-Jan-14 20:59:06

Lomaamina - Did you visit the Persephone shop today? (in blue stockings or thigh high boots?!) How did you get on?

Lomaamina Thu 23-Jan-14 21:52:18

Ha! Sorry to disappoint you, but no. Slunk into work after nasty session at the dentist and chickened out from leaving my desk, even for a Mumsnet mission.

Still, I was thinking of booking a lunch date important work meeting with a colleague who's also a friend. Perhaps we should saunter down Lamb’s Conduit way?

Pukkapik Thu 23-Jan-14 22:20:14

And why not!

MrsBartlet Sun 26-Jan-14 10:02:33

Just finished reading Richmal Crompton's "Family Roundabout" (Persphone) - would thoroughly recommend it to Dorothy Whipple fans as it is very similar in style, content etc.

Lomaamina Sun 26-Jan-14 22:01:39

Thanks for the recommendation. It's been on my list to order from the library for a while, but I wasn't sure if it was for me... Worth the 60p gamble, either way!

MrsBartlet Mon 27-Jan-14 08:00:12

Definitely worth it! If you like Dorothy Whipple you will love it. I wish they would print more of Richmal Crompton's adult books. She wrote loads and most of them are out of print, sadly.

penguinpaperback Fri 14-Feb-14 01:42:03

I love Dorothy Whipple, have all the Persephone editions. Also discovered Mollie P-Downes via the Persephone catalogue and my absolute favourite, Tea with Mr Rochester, short stories by Frances Towers. A bit disappointed with the forthcoming Spring titles, would think most Persephone readers have read The Diary of a Provincial Lady. I'm hoping they have some gems in the pipeline. I would love to visit the shop one day but I'm not so sure now. smile

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