Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Capuchin Classics

I’ve sort of followed Capuchin Classics since they started up in spring 2008 but somehow they have stayed on the periphery of my buying and reading habits (this has more to do with my limited means than Capuchin’s list) but amazon keeps reminding me that Nancy Mitford’s ‘Highland Fling’ is out in a few months. Okay so I don’t actually need reminding – I’ve been waiting for this for the last eighteen months with virtually bated breath – thanks to the imminent release of ‘Wigs on the Green’ from penguin and ‘Highland Fling’ from Capuchin this is going to be quite the year for Mitford fans.

Whilst I was ordering my missing E.F. Benson’s amazon was trying it’s best to make me pre order Mitford’s with the end result that I went straight to Capuchin for a good old browse. I warn you now I’m about to be unashamedly enthusiastic. I called Capuchin (to shamelessly beg for a book) and spoke to a very nice man who was exceptionally helpful - generally and not just regarding my begging – so all in all it’s left me with an excellent impression. I like their blog as well, and not just because it mentions me!

It was intriguing talking to a man; previously I’ve only ever spoken to women in publicity departments but it seems fitting with Capuchin. If Virago books are broadly feminist and Persephone books are feminine I’ve always had a sense that Capuchin are somehow more masculine – they make me think of well made leather shoes, trilby hats, and trench coats; maybe even a hint of cigar smoke about some of the titles. I’m hoping that doesn’t all sound to deliberately whimsical; I’ve put a bit of thought into it and still haven’t hit on a better way to express what I mean. Either way it’s what I seem to be in the mood for after a good eighteen months to two years of reading books almost exclusively by and about women.

My browse turned up a few things I’m interested in – A A Milne’s ‘Two People’ and Eric Linklater’s ‘Juan in America’ have jumped to the top of my wish list. If I ever read (and turn out to enjoy) the Storm Jameson books I already have I’m also intrigued by ‘Love in Winter’. They have a Saki coming out ‘The Unbearable Bassington’ (there cannot be enough Saki on the bookshelves) and then there’s ‘Scenes From the Latin Quarter’ (Henri Murger), ‘South Wind’ (Norman Douglas), and ‘The Undiscovered Country’ (Julian Mitchell) – all very tempting and just a slight departure from what I have been reading, so fingers crossed for a good bonus and a huge splurge on books.

Even more interesting is the invitation to suggest titles for publication – if you propose one that gets taken up Capuchin will provide a whole year’s worth of books – I tried to think of something but sadly my mind went blank – worth checking out by anybody with a book to champion though...


  1. Ooh, yes, I covet many of those titles and some of the ones that they are about to bring out!

  2. Yes I think they are marvellous and I have had my eye on many of their books - Highland Fling and Green Dolphin Country have recently made their way onto my wishlist!

  3. Oh, thank you for this post! It has reminded me to finally dive into Capuchin. I came across them on various blogs and loved the covers and titles but somehow still haven't read any. This must change... but slowly as my finances are also limited :-(
    How wonderful to get a whole year's worth of books if they publish a book you suggested! Very generous of them.
    I like the mention you get on their site and I hope they'll send you the Mitford to review :-)