Persephone publishes reprints of “neglected fiction and non-fiction by mid-century (mostly) women writers.” They were started in 1998 by Nicola Beauman and publish a few books a year – right now there are 112 available.
A few years ago I got to visit Persephone’s bookshop in London. It was charming and the bookseller who was working that day kept saying “fab.” (I started saying “fab” a lot after that, but I’m not sure I pull it off.)
I restrained myself and only bought three books, but I wanted to take them all home with me.
They’ve just republished London War Notes by Mollie Panter-Downes, non-fiction first published in The New Yorker during WWII. One of my favorites is How to Run Your Home Without Help, a manual about housework for the newly servant-less homemaker. It’s interesting as a piece of domestic history… and honestly it still works as a practical guide to keeping a house, too.
So if you’re at all interested in reprinted novels, women writers, small publishers, life in England between the wars (hello Downton Abbey), or charming bookshops, definitely check out Persephone Books in London. It’s fab.