Saturday, March 10, 2007

Persephone, Frances, and Emily

I summoned up the wherewithal this past week and ordered two of the Persephone (UK) titles, specifically Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and The Making of a Marchioness. It's true I ordered them from Amazon so I won't get the nifty matching bookmarks, but...

I have to wait a little while before I'll see the books as Miss Pettigrew is currently being re-printed. I hadn't known this prior to ordering, but it would seem that both of the books I chose are quite popular (see the Feb 15 newsletter from Persephone Books). Included in that newsletter is an announcement that there's a tea in April in New York City for which I am now hoping to reserve a spot (assuming they are not all taken yet). With a Miss Pettigrew movie currently in development with Frances MacDormand in the title role, it's apt to continue to sell well.

Coincidentally, Elaine at Random Jottings wrote of the news that Persephone has announced that they'll be issuing a new edition of Frances Hodgeson Burnett's novel, The Shuttle, this spring. (It's mentioned in the newsletter as well). It's a wonderful book that I had picked up once in a Canadian antique bookseller's shop while on a business trip; it kept me occupied for the whole of a five-hour cross-country flight. It might have been the first time I realized that Frances Hodgeson Burnett did more than children's books. Clearly Persephone has a wonderful eye for good properties to bring back into vogue. I'm so looking forward to this!

Whoops, an explanation of the title for the post! Persephone and Frances is obvious from the text above, but Emily is Emily Fox-Seton, the heroine of The Making of a Marchioness. She's such a good down-to-earth creature that you can't help but like her. The following is a quote from the opening pages of the text that describes Emily's character:

Emily Fox-Seton, however, was far from making any professions of grandeur. As time went on, she had become fond enough of the Cupps to be quite frank with them about her connections with these grand people. The countess had heard from a friend that Miss Fox-Seton had once found her an excellent governess, and she had commissioned her to find for her a reliable young ladies' serving maid. She had done some secretarial work for a charity of which the duchess was patroness. In fact, these people knew her only as a well-bred woman who for a modest remuneration would make herself extremely useful in numberless practical ways.

She is such a lovely character. Now I think I'll further indulge myself by leaving the computer alone and re-reading my old copy of The Shuttle.