I was recently contacted by Slightly Foxed and asked if I would like to write on Random about same and of course I am simply delighted to do so. The more people know about this publication the better.
I am going to own up straight away and say that I no longer subscribe to Slightly Foxed. Not because I thought it wasn't worth it, it so is, but simply because I had no time to read it. I was working at the time and they plopped through the letter box and were put on the pile and never read and in the end I gave up. I have picked up the odd copy here and there and have always enjoyed it so as this request to review SF also came with a copy of the Winter edition I said oh yes please and here I am.
What I have always loved about SF is its look and feel. Just the right size to pop into a handbag, good paper and printing font, and it looks classy. Inside the articles live up to one's expectations. I have just glancing down the index of the Winter edition and first on the list is Happy ever After by Daisy Hay (author of The Young Romantics) - all about Daisy Ashford and her delightful book which she wrote when she was a child called The Young Visiters (no I have not made a typo that is how it is written). I have had this book for years and think it is quite quite wonderful. Here is a taster:
"Bernard placed one arm tightly around her. When will you marry me Ethel he uttered you must be my wife it has come to that I love you so intensely that if you say no I shall perforce dash my body to the brink of yon muddy river he panted wildly.
Oh dont do that implored Ethel breathing rarther hard......Oh Bernard she sighed fervantly I certinly love you madly you are to me like a Heathen god she cried looking at his manly form and handsome flashing face I will indeed marry you"
She certainly did love him as by the time they returned from honeymoon they had seven children....
Other contributors are Juliet Gardiner, Sue Gee and Diana Athill so you can see the standard is stratospherically high. I actually submitted an article once but it was turned down and looking at it again recently I can understand why. Not very good!
As well as the magazine Slightly Foxed has started producing its own editions of chosen books. I was delighted to find that they are now publishing A House in Flanders which I reviewed earlier here. I chose this as my book of the month at the Wood Green bookshop and found that Souvenir Press have now licensed SF to produce it. A simply beautifully and elegiac piece of writing and I think I am going to have to get hold of a copy of this again as I gave my older edition away. BUT what has really caught my eye is Edition No.12 The Young Ardizzone who is one of my favourite illustrators, I actually wrote about him earlier here and so I feel my credit card is going to take another bashing when I order a copy. I was meant to go up to London last week on three occasions and all of them had to be cancelled because of the snow which was infuriating, not least because on one of those days several members of my on line reading group were going to the Slightly Foxed Bookshop in Gloucester Road. Still, this is a simply a pleasure deferred and next time I am in town I am determined to go in and say hello.
And of course now that I have reacquainted myself with SF, well you can guess what I am going to do can't you? Yes, I am going to take out a subscription again.......