I was down in London earlier this week with work and was soooo pleased that I found some time to browse in my favourite shop- Persephone Books on Lamb’s Conduit Street.
I’ve been in love with Persephone books since 2002 when Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime broadcast the fabulous Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski. I listened intently for two weeks but avoided the final episode so that I could read the book and find out what happens for myself- it is literally the last page that all is revealed so don’t be tempted to jump ahead! My mum bought me the book for Christmas and since then I have collected a good few editions and none have failed to inspire, entertain or amuse me.
As well as the stories however, I also just fell in love with the books themselves- the plain dove-grey cover, the typeset and particularly the use of vintage fabrics and wallpapers of the era of the book for the inside covers and bookmarks, like these:
– The delightfully named, ‘How to Run your Home Without Help’ by Kay Smallshaw- endpaper is ‘Riverside’, a 1946 printed dress fabric in rayon crepe
– ‘The Crowded Street’ by Winifred Holtby, endpapers taken from a printed silk dress fabric. I get a triple word score of connections with this one- it’s Persephone, it’s fabric, and Winifred Holtby and I come from the same neck of the woods!
The shop itself is just a sheer delight. I have to limit myself otherwise I’d buy the whole back-catalogue at once and where would be the fun in that?!? They make such perfect presents and are displayed so beautifully in the shop.
I restricted myself to ‘Housebound’ by Winifred Peck this time, which of course came with the coordinating bookmark.
The staff are also incredibly helpful and recently sent me some endpapers which I’ve used to line the drawers of these two beautiful miniature chests which my very talented Dad made to keep my lace threads in.
The one on the left was his prototype, believe it or not- I think it’s pretty good for a practice piece! And I’m just so stupidly happy every time I open the drawers to see the designs peeking out from under the threads.
Isn’t it great when you can bring your different passions together in one place?