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Dorothy Whipple

(95 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

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 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 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:

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: - 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)

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