tueLondon Seen Through the Arch of Westminster Bridge was painted by Canaletto in 1747. Details of the exhibition here: there are some interesting-sounding curator’s tours at 1 pm on 7 August, 4 September, 2 October and 6 November.


Back from Cornish heaven to our everyday life – Lamb’s Conduit Street and the vastness of London that surrounds it. There is an exhibition at the Guildhall Art Gallery which gathers together paintings of London over four hundred years: a city that is always changing yet stays pretty much the same. This is Prospect of the city from the North by an unknown artist c. 1730.


And back to the house of our dreams, Broom Parc. Here is what the Guardian said about it a few years ago (some of this repeats Monday’s Post, but in a good way: ‘Wuthering Heights meets Jamaica Inn. Broom Parc (broom being a type of gorse and parc meaning ‘place’ in Cornish) is a grand Georgian cliff-top house. In the early 1990s, it was used as the location for TV mini-series, the Camomile Lawn, starring Felicity Kendal and Paul Eddington. The entrance is almost a museum piece with its stone-flagged floor, grand staircase, huge fireplace and French windows on to the front lawn. The TV in the vast guests’ lounge and the fridge in the dining room are the only tokens to modernity. The coastal walks from the house are wonderful. The proprietors are also dog friendly.’


Who would have believed that one could spend the day on a beach with no other people on it? In June, in Britain? This is the next beach along from Porthcurnick beach, reached by steps from the coast path just before it arrives at Portscatho. Here are details of the National Trust cottages to rent at Roseland.

Wed again

So the point of the Persephone Post is to keep our website refreshed and to give Persephone books a context. But it has another purpose, which is to cheer up our readers! And honestly we cannot think of anything better guaranteed to make them happy (apart perhaps from the puppy we are planning to acquire in September) than a holiday on the Roseland Peninsula (called thus because rhos was the Celtic word for heath or gorse). Get the train to Truro and a taxi (fifteen miles) to Broom Parc or Portloe (our guidebook called it ‘another dreamy Cornish fishing village’) where The Ship Inn or the Lugger looked good places to stay. And spend the days walking on the South West Coast Path. Nothing could be more heavenly.


It was a long-held ambition to go to the house that was used when they filmed The Camomile Lawn. It did not disappoint, in fact exceeded expectations because it is still completely un-wrecked. And turned out to do bed-and-breakfast! There cannot be a more beautiful place to stay anywhere in the world. This is the view from the terrace/the top of the steps.

Camomile Lawn

The Post this week celebrates Mary Wesley (1912-2002) and her best-known book The Camomile Lawn which was published in 1984 and adapted, gloriously, for television in 1992. ‘Mary Wesley came late to literary success. After thirty five years of writing, all she had to show for it were a couple of virtually unknown children’s books. All this changed in 1983 with her appropriately titled novel Jumping the Queue. With the success of her first novel, Mary decided to embark on a blast from the past. If her first novel had been informed by her later years of loneliness and depression, this new venture would be steeped in the carpe diem atmosphere of World War II era England. The book was also written partially in response to the overly sentimental and whitewashed books concerning the era that had been written by other authors. Mary herself had certainly partied her way through the war years and slept with many men, so she saw no reason why this lifestyle should be hidden from modern audiences’ (from a blog about the book here). We of course have our own take on the same subject, To Bed with Grand Music by Marghanita Laski.

l woolf

And finally ‘our’ author Leonard Woolf, author of The Wise Virgins. This is probably Sally, a black-and-white Cocker Spaniel on the left; and it may be Merle, a Shetland Sheepdog, as a puppy, on Leonard’s lap. If anyone knows the name of the third dog please let us know. Also, who was the dog who was living with Virginia Woolf when she was writing Flush? (It must be in the biographies, but we are on holiday on the Roseland Peninsula so can’t look it up. More about this heavenly spot next week.)

vita copy

Vita Sackville-West has apparently written a book (it’s on order from the library) called Faces: Profiles of Dogs (1961). As we have just read Elizabeth von Arnim’s All the Dogs of My Life we shall soon be extremely well -nformed about women novelists and their dogs. This undated photograph may be of Pippin, the mother of Virginia Woolf’s dog Pinka. And the textile used on the armchair is interesting: it’s obviously Omega but which fabric is it?


This is Churchill with Rufus II (‘but the II is silent’) at Chartwell in 1950. To see a similar poodle – Max, although he is black not brown – go in to our neighbours Pentreath and Hall in Rugby Street, he is often there.

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