Sunday, February 15, 2009

For BabelBabe

BabelBabe just published a wonderful post entitled "There is a world of difference between domesticity and domestication." She describes the beauty and magic of Persephone Books, and this immediately reminded me of my own Persephonies and the joy they have brought me.

In honour of BabelBabe's beautiful post here is a photo of the books that are not in my grandfather's library, but in my bedroom:



And here, dear BabelBabe, is the very first Persephone I bought:

Here is its inside cover. I knew you'd like that!



I was visiting my parents in London...it was probably around the year 1999. Miss Commentbox was about 8 and Master C was about 4 years old. I fell into my mother's arms, handed the two of them over to her, and then I spent a week trying to remember who I was and what I was doing and whether anything outside the domestic world really and truly existed.


I think I came across "The Homemaker" at Daunt's Bookshop. My mother sent me there like a doctor prescribes medication: "Go to Daunt's, go there twice a day for three days and come back if you don't start feeling better."


I started to feel better.


Once I returned home to Sydney my mother sent me Persephone Books as they were published, like mail-order medicine. She and my father went to the first Persephone shop one rainy Sunday afternoon and found Nicola Beauman there trying to hang a framed picture (I think it might have been a map) above her desk. She let them into the shop even though it wasn't officially open yet, and my father helped her hang the picture.


Dear BabelBabe,
How I wish that I could invite you over to my house and lend you a Persephone or two. But this post is the best I can do for the moment. Thanks for reminding me of those silvery beauties, and thanks for such a wonderful post.

10 comments:

BabelBabe said...

so pretty. and calming. they ARE like a tonic.
Thank you!

ps. would your mum adopt me? : )

RW said...

Eleanor
Glad to have you back with us. Books are treasures. I so love the way you write about them. I am not at all familiar with that publisher - but I am certain I would love them too.

eurolush said...

I LOVE Persophone books! And I only discovered them about two months ago.

I love that they reprint books which deserve to be read again...small silvery masterpieces!

...and I have to admit, I love the inside covers.

I'm off to "meet" BB now...

Esti said...

I didn't know about Persephone books. Sounds pretty interesting.

trashalou said...

Is it coals to Newcastle if I tell you about Jane Brocket?

Blue Mountains Mary said...

Beautiful silvery books.

Beautiful silvery post.

Will call you soon.

XX

Anna said...

Hi there. What a clever mother. That inside looks like a precious tapestry. I'll put the book on my E-list. That's the one with the books you mention. Or recommend. Be well.

Julia said...

I love Persephone books too. My sister discovered them in Switzerland and we've been ordering them from Amazon ever since!

kim at allconsuming said...

Where are you Elemar?

eurolush said...

Every day when I stop by for a visit to Eleanor's place, I think to myself, "Is she STILL giving BableBabe something? Why does it still say "FOR BABELBABE???"

That's not fair!

Why does Bablebabe get so much?

Sure, she's nice...and funny...and well-read...and okay...she's super cool.

STILL.

You must stop! I NEED you back here again...It's SO lonely in blogland without YOU.

Sniff.

Sniff.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah.

PS-I ordered TEN new Persephone books last week! Eeeeeeeee! So 'cited!!!