Heading off in pouring rain to get the papers and some milk from town yesterday afternoon, I'm not quite sure how Bookhound diverted by about 35 miles to the second-hand bookshop on the other side of Dartmoor, but divert he did and it wasn't a wasted excursion.He can be relied on to do this, bit like the aunt of mine who went out to buy some Brillo pads and came back with a grand piano.
Introduction to African Literature edited by Ulli Beier will be very handy when I head there on my travels. I haven't given Africa a thought yet, though someone else in the house has.
The Kayaker off this week travelling around Africa for a few months with a team who plan to paddle the White Nile. First stop Uganda and he says he'll probably go and do the Zambezi again while he's there...as you do.
This is the Zambezi, the White Nile is bigger and faster apparently and just to help you get your bearings, the orange bit is the boat, the blue is the buoyancy aid (!) and the white is the helmet and he's inside all of that and meant to be going this way>>>>>>.Doesn't it look fun?
How a mother is supposed to sleep I know not but at least I have plenty of books to read and I will look forward to Africa when I arrive safely seated, warm and dry in my armchair of course.
Genius in the Drawing-Room, The Literary Salon in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries edited by Peter Quennell looks right up my street.
'From Juliette Recamier, who revived the Parisian salon during the Napoleonic epoch, to Emerald Cunard, whose drwaing-room at the Dorchester was a centre of conversation in wartime London, from Karel Capek in Prague to Salka Viertel in Hollywood, the literary salons of the last two centuries have provided a vital forum for the exchange of ideas between eminent men and women of the day.'
Thank goodness we keep 'the product of a leisured society' alive at Hotel Endsleigh in the twenty-first century.
I didn't think there could be many books written about Bloomsbury that I don't already have but trust Bookhound to find one.Bloomsbury : a house of Lions by Leon Edel published by the Hogarth Press in 1979 looks like an unusual read on the lives and personalities that comprised Bloomsbury as we know it.
In the words of Virginia Woolf,
'Gordon Square is like nothing so much as the lions house at the Zoo. One goes from cage to cage. All the animals are dangerous, rather suspicious of each other, and full of fascination and mystery.'
Leon Edel apparently recounts the saga in episodic form following his nine characters from childhood into middle age and I'll be intrigued to see if this shines a new light (but as it's 1979 actually an old light) on what he describes as 'nine characters in search of an author.'
I've already been intrigued enough by the street map endpapers in the book.The old hunting grounds and I've been poring over all those familiar street names.I regret to this day living in Bedford Place and environs all those years ago, right slap-bang under the 'bury' bit of Bloomsbury, and never really appreciating the literary nature of my surroundings.Too busy worrying about my sore hands and whether the laundry had come back and would I have a clean starched apron to wear.
It's also obvious why we spent many a winter's afternoon off-duty wandering around The British Museum.
It was free, warm and about a minute's walk away.