The 40th anniversary of Virago Modern Classics has made me realise I haven’t much looked at my Virago collection for a while, much less read anything from it. I’ve not even bought many Viragos - the new covers with green spines are beautiful, but they’re all titles I already have or don’t particularly think I’d read. Finding second hand copies of titles I don’t already have is an increasingly rare occurrence - though I did find a very handsome Edith Wharton a couple of months ago.
The spelling your blog name with tbr books thing that’s going around looked like a good opportunity to think about my books generally, and maybe those VMC’s specifically. So I did. Any book in my flat is there to be read (eventually) regardless of if it’s been read before or not. Which is one way of saying I’ve read some of these before (but not so many book titles start with an e, so spelling Desperate Reader without the help of a few Emily’s wasn’t going to be possible).
Looking through the shelves was fun, I found a lot of great looking stuff I’d forgotten about, and realised again the tremendous range of voices and times Virago covers. Something that even this small collection more or less demonstrates.
Devoted Ladies - Molly Keane
Emily of New Moon - L. M. Montgomery
Sisters by a River - Barbara Comyns
Provincial Daughter - R. M. Dashwood
Elizabeth and her German Garden - Elizabeth Von Arnim
Rumour of Heaven - Beatrix Lehman
A Lost Lady - Willa Cather
Tea at Four O'Clock - Janet McNeill
Excellent Women - Barbara Pym
Roman Fever - Edith Wharton
Emily's Quest - L. M. Montgomery
Anderby Wold - Winifred Holtby
Diana of the Crossways - George Meredith
Eight Cousins - Louisa May Alcott
Ruffian on the Stairs - Nina Bawden