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Read on for news, forthcoming publications, events, competitions and more . . . 
In the last few months we’ve been travelling all over the country, laden with books and filled with enthusiasm as we made appearances everywhere from Shropshire to Soho. It’s been wonderful, as always, to meet some of our readers, and now that we’ve packed away our travel cases we’re looking forward to seeing some of you in Bloomsbury at the Readers’ Day in November.

Until then, as the north winds begin to roll in and the last heat from the summer sun fades, it’s undoubtedly time to hunker down with a book, or three. This month we can recommend the first clutch of our Slightly Foxed Cubs: Ronald Welch’s Carey novels, which make for gripping armchair adventures.

There are offerings, too, from both V. S. Pritchett and Christabel Bielenberg, whose The Past Is Myself got a rather good review in The Times recently. And for those of you who are already looking ahead to – dare we mention it? ‒ Christmas, can we draw your attention to our handsome 10th anniversary wall calendar, with a selection of our favourite covers to brighten up the year ahead? There’s also the full spread of SF mugs, cards and tea towels for those in search of other present ideas – and for those who have everything, we’ve discovered a wonderful website full of bookish ideas. More details below. First, though, an outing with the Cubs:


Ronald Welch’s series of twelve Carey novels, written between 1954 and 1972, follows the fortunes of a Welsh landowning family from their involvement in the Crusades to service in the First World War. Though the books were not written chronologically, put together they join up the dots of English history. A Carey plays a part in the Battle of Crécy and another helps foil a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth. The Battle of Blenheim, Wolfe’s victory at Quebec, the French Revolution, the Peninsular War, the Crimea, the Indian Mutiny – in each volume a Carey is in the thick of it.

Their creator, Ronald Oliver Felton (1909–82), was a history teacher who served as a Tank Corps officer in the Second World War and took the pen-name Welch from that of his wartime regiment, the Royal Welch Fusiliers. In 1947 he became Headmaster of Okehampton Grammar School in Devon. Pupils describe him as an inspiring teacher who looked, sounded and dressed like a typical upper-class Englishman – though in fact it was Wales, the land of his fathers, that was his spiritual home. The Careys too have a much-loved Welsh estate, Llanstephan, and Wales features strongly in the books. The far-flung places Welch wrote about he recreated entirely from meticulous research. Oxford University Press, who first published his books, considered him so knowledgeable that he was often called on to check the work of other authors for accuracy. The Carey books have unaccountably been out of print for many years. Now, for the first time, Slightly Foxed is reissuing them in their entirety, together with their original illustrations. 

Click below for the opening chapters of the first book in the Carey series,  Knight Crusader, which won the Carnegie Medal for the most outstanding children’s book of the year in 1954.

 
The following three titles are available now, each in a limited and numbered cloth-bound edition of 2,000 copies. The Slightly Foxed Cubs format (220 x 155 mm) is larger than that of the Slightly Foxed Editions, but they’re just as lovingly produced, printed on good cream paper and bound in cloth with illustrated endpapers. Some of the SFE titles are already fetching high prices from second-hand booksellers, so why not start collecting this limited edition now – either for your own pleasure or for younger family and friends.
 
Slightly Foxed Cubs
Cloth-bound •  Hand-numbered • Illustrated • 220 x 155mm

UK: £16; EU: £18; RoW: £19
All prices inc. p&p

Corduroy

Out now
Knight Crusader

Young Philip d’Aubigny, son of a Crusader family who have stayed on in the Holy Land after the First Crusade, finds himself caught up in the battle against Saladin for possession of the tiny Christian Kingdom of Outremer, the land ‘across the sea’.

Winner of the 1954 Carnegie Medal.
 


Out now
The Galleon

After killing a man in a duel, a Carey cousin, Robert Penderyn, escapes reprisal by becoming a lieutenant aboard a merchant ship sailing from Swansea with a cargo for Santander in 1583. With England and Spain at loggerheads, Robert becomes involved in foiling a plot to put Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne.


Another Self

Out now
For the King

It’s 1642 and the country is riven by civil war. Neil Carey reluctantly sets out from Llanstephan, the family’s Welsh estate, to fight on the Royalist side in the regiment his father has raised. Though he acquits himself
courageously in battle, he is captured by the Roundheads, and his life hangs in the balance.



Now in Paperback

The writer V. S. Pritchett ended his life crowned with honours, but he never forgot his working-class beginnings. In this vigorous and original memoir he recreates his down-at-heel childhood before and during the First World War, the atmosphere of which would permeate his later fiction.

His mother was an irrepressible cockney from Kentish Town, his father a reckless, over-optimistic peacock of a man, always embarking on new business ventures which inevitably crashed, hence the ‘cab at the door’, waiting to bear the family quietly away from yet another set of creditors.

Pritchett captures unforgettably the smells, sounds and voices of London in the first decades of the twentieth century, and the cast of Dickensian characters who made up his childhood world, from his austere Yorkshire grandparents to the employees and customers of the Bermondsey leather factor’s where he worked as a clerk until he made his getaway to Paris at the age of 20, determined to be a writer.

UK: £12; EU: £14; RoW: £15
All prices inc. p&p



A Tenth Anniversary Calendar
 
Next year Slightly Foxed will celebrate its tenth birthday, and we’ve decided to mark the occasion with a 2014 wall calendar featuring some of the Slightly Foxed covers that readers enjoy so much.

It’s a handsome, spiral-bound calendar measuring 26 x 18 cms and printed on sturdy paper with a board backing, and we feel it will raise the spirits and look good in any room.
 



 
It would make a charming present for anyone who loves Slightly Foxed, or indeed for anyone who hasn’t yet come across it. We’ll only be printing a limited number, so do order in good time.

UK £12.50
Overseas £14.50
inc. p&p


 
If you’ve got and given all the Slightly Foxed presents you can think of, and are in desperate need of gift ideas for the impossibly bookish friend, then may we recommend Bookish England. From Great Gatsby iPad covers to the Bennet sisters on badges, from notebooks, prints and t-shirts to paper roses cut from the pages of old, broken books – the website is a treasure trove of excellent ideas. Do take a look.


National Poetry Competition

There’s still time to enter this year’s competition. Julia Copus, Matthew Sweeney and Jane Yeh are the judges, and the first prize is £5,000 and publication in Poetry Review.

So brush off the notebook and brush up your best poetic offerings for the chance to add your name to a roll-
call that includes the current UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy as well as Tony Harrison, Ruth Padel, Philip Gross and Jo Shapcott. For more information, please visit:



A Set of 12 Carey Novels
Cloth-boun
• Hand-numbered
Illustrated • 220 x 155mm

If you would like to order a set of all 12 Carey novels now then we can guarantee that each book will be hand-numbered inside with the same limited edition number. The first three books, Knight Crusader, The Galleon and For the King will be dispatched straightaway and subsequent titles will be sent to you as they are published. You’ll find a full list of titles and publication dates on our website. If bought as a set of 12, you will save £1 per book.

UK: £180; EU: £204;
Rest of World: £216



Going Fast

Our twenty-third Slightly Foxed Edition is flying off the shelves. Helped on its way by a very nice review by Ian Finlayson in The Times.

‘The Mitford sisters had a name for a woman they approved of: she would be a terrific Hon. Christabel Bielenberg would meet their criteria. From grand Anglo-Irish stock, married in 1934 to a German lawyer, she had to flee Berlin five years later, with her three small sons, to a village in the Black Forest. Her account of ordinary Germans coping with life during wartime is almost unique in its refusal to identify the neighbourly, good-natured villagers who helped her, sheltered Jews and aided an American aviator, with the brutalities of the Nazi state. In 1944 she fought bravely for the release of her dissident husband from a concentration camp. She came finally to know more about the horrors of the Nazi persecutions but her sparkly, persuasive memoir shines with the fierce spirit of finding the best in poeople and making the best of things in the worst of times.’ The Times


The Past Is Myself

Christabel Bielenberg, a beautiful woman from an influential Anglo-Irish family, spent much of the Second World War with her children in a small village in the Black Forest. The Past Is Myself is her unique and fascinating account of wartime life in this ‘other Germany’ and of her own nail-biting encounter with the Nazi regime.

UK: £16; EU: £18; RoW: £19
All prices inc. p&p




Wherever you are, and wherever you take the fox, we’re always delighted to hear from you. Your kind letters, emails, postcards, photos and cheery phone calls – and even the occasional present – really do bring us great pleasure.


‘I’ve been a subscriber for years but I believe I have neglected to pay my respects. You are an institution that gives great pleasure and, I believe, fundamentally improves the world. With gratitude . . . ’ R.W.
 
‘I couldn’t resist sending you a quick email ‒ a very civilized friend of mine introduced me to Slightly Foxed a year ago, and it has become a great source of joy. I’ve revelled in Blue Remembered Hills and A Late Beginner, been driven mad by the crossword, and have just bought a subscription to the quarterly for another friend who knows how to appreciate good books. I particularly love the fact that your editions are beautiful but above all wonderful to hold ‒ they are delightful to read, not just intended to look decorative on a shelf. And whoever chooses the titles is a genius. Thank you so much!’ A.N.
 
‘Love the Slightly Foxed Cubs. Well done. Our 10 grandchildren are in for a real treat. The tomes will be more than slightly foxed. As always.’ T.T.
 
‘Thank you for another lovely magazine. I’ve been subscribing for less than a year, but it is a joy to read other people’s passion for particular books. There are always a few that go straight on my ‘wants’ list, and even those which I know I have no interest in are fascinating seen through others’ eyes. Thank you!’ C.E.O.S.
 
‘I read with great interest Paul Robinson’s article in the Autumn issue. It conjured up memories of finding in my father’s books (inherited with affection) interesting bookmarks, particularly bus and train tickets which when looked at carefully gave clues to journeys he and my mother had taken. I have recently opened a book given to me by my aunt just before she died at age 98+. It is an old French grammar book signed by the authors. Imagine my delight to find in it a birthday card to my uncle which had clearly been used as a bookmark. It seems my uncle was still practising his French at the age of 94 ‒ so reassuring!’ B.F.
 
‘I spotted a Slightly Foxed fan loading up one of your book bags ahead of me at a supermarket checkout recently.  I was most excited, and its owner and I had a little chat. Like me, she said she loves the publication and also like me, she wants to buy every book!  Keep up the good work.’ S.S.
 
‘Thank you for sending the first three volumes of the Ronald Welch series. I am really pleased to have them. How nostalgic to see the pictorial cloth binding, too. I do like the larger format, which is in keeping with the style of children’s books. Good to see the lovely illustrations by William Stobbs and Victor Ambrus.’ E.T.

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