R C ‘Bob’ Sherriff, author of The Hopkins Manuscript, The Fortnight in September and Greengates during the First World War. Famously, he wrote about his wartime experiences in Journey’s End, which has been filmed several times: the recent film (trailer here) is highly recommended.


E M Delafield, author of Consequences and Diary of a Provincial Lady, was a nurse in World War One and wrote a novel about her experiences called The War Workers, which is available as a free audiobook here.


Yesterday, Armistice Day, a group from Persephone Books were part of the People’s Procession, honouring not an ancestor but Persephone’s First World War writers. So this week on the Post we celebrate them. First of all, the author of Persephone Book No. 1, William – an Englishman, one of the most outstanding novels every written about WW1. Here is Cicely Hamilton (seated) at the Scottish Women’s Hospital at Royaumont. And here is some extraordinary black and white silent film about the hospital: it brings everything so vividly to life, particularly the women slipping over in the snow, and during the scene of extracting shrapnel, one might as well be there.


The National Gallery exhibition ends with The Card Players by Cezanne ‘which has become over the last couple of decades one of the world’s most admired paintings, a work in which you can see the history of 20th century art, in the form of the cubism and other developments it inspired, being written before your eyes’ (Telegraph).


‘Courtauld lived in Home House in Portman Square, a spectacular Robert Adam building (now a private club). Period photographs show Gauguin’s The Haystacks, with its wildly elevated viewpoint and radical pattern of trees, hats and cattle, hanging below a stately chandelier in the 18th-century salon.’


The Table, 1925 by Pierre Bonnard was bought by Samuel Courtauld for the Tate. What a stunning painting! Someone somewhere must have written a piece about this indissoluble link between textile manufacturing and sugar production, both so necessary but about both of which (the process! the effect of the sugar!) we are nowadays deeply ambivalent. Well at least the news is good from America.


One of the all-time great paintings, no one can feel depressed or jangled looking at this. It is of course Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. Jonathan Jones wrote about the exhibition here.


‘We are all a bundle of nerves over here [writes a reader in California] with the midterm elections. I have never seen the LA community gather and campaign like this before. I pray Wednesday morning there will be something to be cheerful about, it’s been a long time.’ It has indeed. As it has in the UK. A man came into the shop, saw the newly-in Ladybird The Story of Brexit, guessed where its sympathies lie and snorted, ‘I’m not staying here’ and went out. It was funny but also desperately sad. So this week on the Post some soothing paintings, in the form of the Impressionists newly opened at the National Gallery and lent by the Courtauld (which Persephone Books supports in a very small way). Ironically, the Impressionists weren’t viewed as soothing at the time! This is Edouard Manet Banks of the Seine at Argenteuil 1874. On long-term loan to The Courtauld Gallery from a private collection © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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Leonard Woolf presented the original manuscript of A Room of One’s Own to the Fitzwilliam in 1942. We are doing a Persephone edition next year, to mark the ninety years since its first publication. And have been discussing with Clara Jones, who is writing the Preface, whether we should re-set or use a facsimile of the first edition. We have decided on the latter, partly because the proof reading would be a bit nightmarish. But are hoping to reproduce some of the original handwriting.

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Hardy’s handwriting: to be seen in the superb Fitzwilliam manuscript collection, details here..

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