Read on for news, forthcoming publications, events, competitions and more . . . 
Christmas is nearly here and our printers are preparing to send out the Winter issue of Slightly Foxed – our 40th! It seems no time ago – certainly not forty issues – that we were sitting round the kitchen table, arguing about a title, discussing printers and finances and page designs and paper thicknesses, and how to get the word out about a new quarterly. The cheering response to our early issues certainly supported the truth of the simple idea that had got us started in the first place – that there are many more interesting and amusing books to be read than the ones featured in the weekly review pages, and that people want to know about them.

Now the number of Slightly Foxed readers may have increased, but we still feel that each issue goes out, not just to subscribers but to friends. We’re constantly cheered and encouraged (and often amused!) by your letters and phone calls, and truly grateful for your loyalty in supporting us. We’re still a very small staff and we still discuss things round the kitchen table. Fortunately we have no need to spend too much time ‘in meetings’ – a few words over a cup of coffee, or even something stronger, will usually sort out a problem.

We’ll be raising a glass of something stronger this coming Monday at our bookshop to celebrate the arrival of the Winter issue and the publication of our new Slightly Foxed Edition, Gwen Raverat’s Period Piece. This enchanting account of growing up in Victorian Cambridge at the heart of the large and idiosyncratic Darwin clan must be one of the best-loved books in the English language, and it’s hard to think of anyone with an interest in people and a sense of humour who wouldn’t enjoy it. We do hope that any of you who are local will pop by for a glass and a mince pie.
Anyway, back to the present where it’s all hands on deck in the SF office as our Slightly Foxed Editions, new Slightly Foxed Cubs and Paperbacks are snapped up in preparation for Christmas. The newest of our Slightly Foxed Paperbacks is Edward Ardizzone’s delightfully illustrated memoir, The Young Ardizzone. It wasn’t supposed to be published until the Spring but as our printers delivered early copies and as it would make such a nice Christmas present, we thought we’d make it available now.

Read on for an extract from The Young Ardizzone, details of two parties at our bookshop in the coming weeks, and a special offer for Slightly Foxed readers from The Raverat Archive.
I - Preamble
I was born, the eldest of five children, on 16th October 1900,in the town of Haiphong in the province of Tonkin.
    My father, French by nationality but Italian by blood, was employed by the Eastern Extension Telegraph Co. My mother was half Scots and half English. In 1905 she brought me and my two sisters to England, which has been my home ever since.
    As I have little or no memory of the long voyage, nor of our first few months in the London suburb of Ealing, I will begin these memoirs with our arrival at the small Suffolk village of East Bergholt. Why my mother chose this remote village I cannot tell. I can but conjecture.
    Her mother, my maternal grandmother, had been a Miss Kirby. Daughter of old Captain Kirby, master of one of the great sailing ships in the China trade, she was born at sea off the Cape. The captain was an excellent artist and illustrated his private log books with many drawings of everyday happenings on board his ship; these, as a boy, I loved to look at. He, in turn, was the son of the Reverend Lawrence Kirby, an eccentric parson of Thorpe le Soken in Essex. The parson, who was well known as an amateur water-colourist, claimed to be the direct descendant of Joshua Kirby the eighteenth century painter and Gainsborough’s bosom friend. Perhaps it was the East Anglian connection which drew my mother to this small village on the Essex–Suffolk border.
    An additional reason may be that my mother was something of a painter herself. She had done that unusual thing for a young English woman, she had studied painting at Colorossi’s in Paris in the 188os, continuing to paint in watercolour from time to time for the rest of her life. Constable was her favourite painter and it is possible that she wanted to settle her family down in Constable country.
    Of my father you will find little in the following pages. This is because he was abroad for much of the time and only visited home on rare occasions. My mother too would leave us for years at a time when she went to join my father in the Far East.
    So it was my grandmother who loomed large in our young lives. Indeed she loomed in more ways than one, for she was immensely stout and had a formidable temper. But I must not anticipate.

2 - East Bergholt

Old memories are strange in the sense that one never can be sure how true they are. The most vivid of them are probably fairly accurate, even allowing for time and nostalgia to make the inevitable changes. Half and quarter memories are a different matter. What truth is there in them? Some may be quite fictitious but believed in just the same.
    Often I would prefer to use, instead of ‘I remember’, the phrase ‘I think of so and so as’, or of ‘such and such as’. For instance, my most vivid memories of those early days in East Bergholt are of the shop, and I can truthfully say that I remember it. On the other hand, of Mrs Tweed who owned the shop I would rather say I think of her as a middle-aged plump partridge of a woman, a dark brown shadow in the shadows behind the counter at the back of the shop. But I would not swear to this in a court of law.
    I think of Mr Tweed as a tall thin man, with a very pale face and very black hair and a very sweet, gentle manner, but again I could not swear to this. Yet I can swear to the fact that he produced the most delightful decorated hens’ eggs for our first Easter in the village; I remember them well. They were beautifully coloured and delicately patterned by scraping the shell with a knife. Poor Mr Tweed. We learnt later that he suffered from a mental sickness and from time to time would have to spend a period in the local mental hospital.
    I remember this shop so well because my mother had rented rooms beside and behind it and, in a sense, the shop was almost part of our home.
    As you went into the shop from the street entrance, to the left, right and facing you, making a smaller square in the larger square of the room, were rods attached by brackets to the ceiling. From these rods hung a strange assortment of goods: clothes of every kind, trousers, shirts, sunbonnets and pinafores. Then lengths of cloth, nests of galvanized buckets, a tin bath or two – in fact anything that could be conveniently hung up. These cast dark shadows on the three facing walls and the counters which lined two of them.
    In the centre was an enormous pyramid of assorted merchandise. At the base were buckets, scrubbing brushes, garden shears, flowerpots and hanks of bass. Above that pots and pans and various articles of kitchen hardware. Above that again, cotton reels, collar studs, glass balls which, when you shook them, produced an internal snow-storm, glass paperweights, now so valuable, coloured wools, dolls, notepaper, cheap toys and so on, almost to the ceiling.
    On the shelves behind the two counters were ranged many of the old proprietary medicines: Dr Collis Browne’s Chlorodyne, Scott’s Emulsion, syrup of figs, Mother Siegal’s Syrup, Gregory Powder, liquorice powder, cold drawn castoroil, Beecham’s Pills, iodine and many powerful laxatives. Some of these we knew to our cost, liquorice powder being for me the most hated . . .


The Young Ardizzone

There can be few author-illustrators whose books are remembered – and still read – with such affection as those of Edward Ardizzone. And affection is the keynote of this charming memoir, which brings alive in words and pictures the comfortable Edwardian world in which Ardizzone grew up.

UK: £12
Europe: £14
RoW: £15


Blue Remembered Hills

Rosemary Sutcliff is one of Britain’s most distinguished children’s writers, with over forty historical novels to her name. Blue Remembered Hills is the vivid and touching memoir of her own childhood.

UK: £12
Europe: £14
RoW: £15

Another Self

A Late Beginner

Priscilla Napier grew up in Egypt during the last golden years of the Edwardian Age – a time when, for her parents’ generation, it seemed the sun would never set upon ‘the regimental band playing selections from HMS Pinafore under the banyan tree’.

UK: £12
Europe: £14
RoW: £15


Going fast!

2014 Wall 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 while stocks last.

UK £12.50
Overseas £14.50
inc. p&p

All friends are invited to join us at our bookshop to celebrate the launch of the Winter issue of Slightly Foxed and the 24th Slightly Foxed Edition, Period Piece by Gwen Raverat.
6 – 8 p.m.
Monday, 25 November 2013

There will be plenty of wine and snacks, a short reading and a 10% discount on all purchases. So come, and be merry, and stock up on Christmas presents!
Slightly Foxed on Gloucester Road
123 Gloucester Road, London SW7 4TE

020 7370 3503

Reader Offer

You can own original prints by Gwen Raverat, author of Period Piece, granddaughter of Charles Darwin and friend of Virginia Woolf. Not only was Gwen Raverat (1885-1957) one of the 20th century’s most popular memoirists but she was also one of that century’s most important artists. A pioneer of modern wood engraving, she was a celebrated print-maker, illustrator and miniaturist with an international reputation. A friend of Rupert Brook, she was among the first women to attend art school in Britain, she went to the Slade in 1908, studying alongside the likes of Stanley Spencer and Mark Gertler. Determined to share her beloved art form with the widest possible audience, she became a founder-member of the Society of Wood Engravers.  Raverat developed a distinctive “engraving with light” style to capture the world around her. Her fastidious landscapes, townscapes, portraits and book illustrations shine a fascinating light on life in the early 20th century; we get to see the world through the eyes of a member of the Bloomsbury Group.

The Raverat Archive is the definitive collection of these great works and is now available online to the public. To celebrate the release of our forthcoming edition of Period Piece, The Raverat Archive is offering Slightly Foxed readers an exclusive 10% discount.

Visit to browse the archive and simply enter the code CAM1 at checkout to claim your discount.

New in cloth-bound hardback

Slightly Foxed Edition No. 24
Period Piece

Gwen Raverat

• Cloth-boun• Hand-numbered
Illustrated • 220 x 155mm

Gwen Raverat is best known for her glorious wood-engravings, but in her childhood memoir Period Piece she created a perfect small masterpiece of another kind – a deliciously funny, affectionate and atmospheric picture of life in the small world of nineteenth century academic Cambridge among the eccentric Darwin clan.

UK: £16; EU: £18;
Rest of World: £19

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.

‘My faith in the culture of good books is renewed every time I receive a new issue of Slightly Foxed.’ C.S.

‘There ought to be devilish green horns and a ‘wealth warning’ on every issue’s front cover: far too much bibliophiliac (?) temptation! This time it’s the complete Careys . . . Well, why not. Your devoted reader . . . ’ R.H.
‘What a splendid read, I was impressed by the quality of Knight Crusader. I think there is a little corner of Paradise in Hoxton Square, and I am lucky to have found it.’ J.B. 
‘I love the illustrations and everything about SF – so glad I discovered its existence.’ M.J.
‘I wanted to tell you that I was an art director working in magazine publishing for many years, and that the art director in me, as well as the reader and bibliophile enjoy your publications on every level. The illustrations throughout add a touch of whimsy that enchants me thoroughly.’ I.L.
‘Thank you for all the pleasure you give this old chap whose memory is going but still enjoys recollection to the full.’ P.C.

Slightly Foxed has become for me that friend I always hoped to have, someone to suggest the unusual, the out of print, the type of book I would never normally come across.  In the two years I have been a member there hasn’t been a single issue from which I haven't gone on to buy at least one book.  I am a total fan. Please, keep up your good and inspiring work.’ M.R.

Please join us to celebrate the release of Given for Christmas. This wonderful spoken-word CD is an ideal complement to seasonal music and a perfect present for all ages. Selections of the very finest Christmas poetry and prose, read by the very finest of today’s actors, recorded live at St Paul’s and Westminster Cathedrals at concerts for Cancer Research UK

Given for Christmas
with Dame Judi Dench

& Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, Damian Lewis, Jim Broadbent, Ian McKellen, Eileen Atkins, Sian Phillips, Rupert Penry-Jones, Tom Conti, Sam West & Penelope Wilton, among others
All proceeds from the sale of the CD will be given to Cancer Research UK
There will be a reading by the author and BBC Radio 4 presenter, Edward Stourton, plenty of wine and mince pies and a 10% discount on all books. So please come and be merry, stock up on Christmas presents and support an excellent charity
6 - 8 p.m.
Monday 2 December

The Slightly Foxed Bookshop
123 Gloucester Road, London SW7 4TE
020 7729 9368

If you cannot attend the party but would still like to buy the CD, you can order on the bookshop’s website:
or by phoning 020 7370 3503.

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