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The endpaper is taken from ‘Piano’, a 1948 screen-printed rayon designed by Henry Moore for Ascher Ltd; the design is eccentric, bohemian and beautiful and, we feel, would have been very much liked by Margaret Bonham.
The Casino, like Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day three years before, was brought into the office, in this case by the author’s daughter Cary Bazalgette. She then wrote the Preface to our edition, in which she explained that because she and her brother did not live with her ‘these 1940s stories stood in for my mother during my childhood and teenage years. Few of the children in them have two parents and when they do trouble looms. Family life in a conventional sense is non-existent: the heart of each story is usually the relationship between one parent and a child.’
‘The stories in The Casino are witty and perceptive, and some of her metaphors and similes are extraordinary eg “the water in each hollow, fringed with brown weed, was clear as gin”’ wrote a Persephone reader. Five of them were wonderfully read on BBC R4 by Emma Fielding (whose intelligent, quirky, sensitive voice – can anyone forget her Thomasina in the original production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia? – was perfectly
The Casino
suited to Margaret Bonham’s humour and originality).
‘A collection of witty and acerbic short stories,’ wrote Anna Carey in Image magazine.‘Whether Margaret Bonham’s subjects are an unconventional new mother or a fledgling writer disappointed with the stolid ordinariness of her own home-life, her writing is cool, wry and touching.’
Margaret Bonham and her daughter Cary in 1946
 232pp PERSEPHONE BOOKS ISBN 9781903155387

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