We have recently replenished ‘the fifty books we wish we had published’ in the shop’ and have added the very funny Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe, the new edition of Reunion by Fred Uhlman (always a good seller, how we wish it could be a Persephone title) and one copy of Book 2 of the OCR GCSE English Language: Assessment Preparation for Component 01 and Component 02. Why this last? It’s because Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is used on pages 110-115: Identifying explicit and implicit information. Of course we are very proud to be in the book and pleased to have the fee (£250 for those who like to know these things, shared with the copyright holder) but it’s a shame that in a GCSE English book there are typos – eg Mrs Pettigrew – and actually the marking system is incomprehensible; it makes us have even more respect (if that is possible) for Miki, who used to run the Persephone office and is now an English teacher. Also the photo research was a bit feeble – they quote the description of Miss La Fosse’s room as being ‘exotic’, ‘nothing matched anything else’ but have illustrated it with an incredibly dull room where everything does match and it isn’t a bit exotic. Ah well. We are extremely proud to be in the book. This
is the picture OUP have used. We took it from a blog about the film which concludes: ‘Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day may be termed at first glance as a “feel-good” movie; however, beneath this light exterior there exists a good deal of profundity.’ Very true.
Jonathan Jones wrote an article about blockbuster art exhibitions being less enjoyable than smaller ones. He also wrote a panegyric to London (in response to a recent spate of carping articles): clearly he is an incognito visitor to the shop as he ended up by focusing on Lambs Conduit Street. (He tells us that in his immediate neighbourhood there are plaques to Lenin, Jerome K Jerome and Kenneth Williams and from this we have deduced that he lives in Marchmont Street or the Brunswick Centre. And maybe his daughter is lucky enough to go to the fantastic Coram nursery.)
Antonella Gambotto-Burke wrote here ‘In praise of motherly love’: which is extremely germane to the ongoing research we are doing into the whole subject of domestic feminism; Sam Wollaston was very funny about the Lily Cole programme about motherhood and creativity: ‘“There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall,” said the critic Cyril Connolly. In this Artsnight Lily Cole – model, actor, entrepreneur – sets out to find out whether he was right. With a personal interest, and an impartiality. She already has the pram, though it won’t be filled for another month or so (at time of filming). She’s very much hoping that her baby won’t sound the death knell for her own creativity. Barbara Hepworth did it with four, including three at the same time. But then, when the triplets were toddlers, they were sent away to a residential nursery. A what? What an excellent idea. Why don’t these places still exist, and if they do what is their phone number, please?’
Malvina Cheek, who was 100 a few days ago, has been the subject of the Post this week. There are too many wonderful paintings to fit in, so here is one that didn’t make the final cut on the Post. It’s the view from her kitchen, painted in the 1980s.
Spare Rib is now online; Home Front continues on its excellent way at noon on Radio 4; and we are missing Home Fires on television very much and can’t wait for it to return. There is a curious Persephone link: one of the characters is played by Leanne Best and her sister Sarah a) lives very near the shop b) is co-producer on the proposed televising of Miss Buncle’s Book (which is far from being definite but on the other hand there is a very good chance it will happen). In this photograph Leanne is fourth from the right.
59 Lambs Conduit Street