PREFACE BY SALLY BEAUMAN
Spaniel in a landscape by Samuel Spode, 1835
Every publisher's list should have a book about a dog, and Flush is a delightful and unique classic by one of our greatest writers. A 'biography' of Elizabeth Barratt Browning's spaniel (1840-54), its direct inspiration was a new edition, in 1930, of the Brownings' love letters in which 'the figure of their dog made me laugh so I couldn't resist making him a Life.' Rather to Virginia Woolf's dismay, Flush was a great popular success. Yet it is a surprisingly feminist book: 'Although ostensibly about the taming of a pedigree dog, Flush addresses the way society tames and classifies women,' writes Sally Beauman.
The endpaper we chose is a C19th marbled paper of the type that was then often used as endpapers. 'I loved, too, the edition's beautiful endpapers with the swirling Victorian designs in purple (the colour in which Virginia Woolf herself often wrote) that suggest the extremely ''bookish'' nature of this work.'