It's been a very busy week, so much so that I'm currently slumped on the sofa fighting to stay conscious - the only thing energising me at all is a desire to share the news that I found another Angela Thirkell this week. I went over to Uppingham with my friend R on Wednesday afternoon where the highlight was a browse around The Rutland Bookshop. It's impossible to describe how tiny, dusty, cobwebby, and crammed with books this place is. There are some pictures from a previous visit here (along with an excellent recipe for Rowan jelly) but they really need somebody in them to give a sense of scale. Unfortunately it's hard to get far enough away from a second person in the shop to get all them in the picture to really give that sense of scale. the place is a treasure trove (neither very cheap or terrifyingly expensive, it has a wonderful collection of middle brow fiction, hunting shooting and fishing books, and Victorian children's books).
My treasure this time was an old Penguin paperback edition of Angela Thirkell's 'The Headmistress' in not bad condition and reasonably priced at £2. There where a few hard back Thirkell's as well but they were more than I could afford (more than £2) and take up to much space on the shelf to be really attractive to me. I struggle to find affordable second hand Thirkell and when I do come across her books it's almost always 'The Brandons' or 'Wild Strawberries' (why is it that there are so many second hand copies of specific titles around and so few of others? It's a rare charity or second hand shop that doesn't have 'Precious Bane' and 'The Well of Loneliness' knocking about for example) so I'm delighted with this find. I've not had much time to read more than a few pages yet but was really pleased to find a little recap of a couple of Trollope's Barchester chronicles (mostly Doctor Thorne) relayed as gossip.
On the Thirkell front there's more good news - a quick search on amazon reveals that Virago are reprinting 'Summer Half', 'August Folly' (which I think is my favourite so far) and the ubiquitous 'The Brandons' in May 2014. I'm more excited by November's release of 'Pomfret Towers' and 'Christmas at High Rising' (apparently an exclusive, never before collected set of short stories) as both will be entirely new to me but overall the portents seem good for an extensive re-print of her back catalogue and that's excellent news.