Category Classics

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey

I picked up this slender novel because of its title – we’ll be celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary this month, so I hoped this would be a joyous novel to fit the occasion. However, sadly, this wedding story is rather glum! The entirety of the novel, written in 1932 while the author’s marriage was falling […]

Sally on the Rocks by Winifred Boggs

This fabulous book is my second five-star read this year. Published in 1915, Sally on the Rocks strikes a delightful balance between comedy and social commentary, and I had a ball reading it! The story begins with the arrival of Alfred Bingley, a banker, in the small village of Little Crampton in England. An annual […]

Tension by E. M. Delafield

I’ve been meaning to read E. M. Delafield’s Diary of a Provincial Lady for a while now, but never actually got around to it. So I’m glad I got the chance to read Tension, one of Delafield’s earlier novels published in 1920, even though Tension‘s self-righteous female lead, Lady Edna Rossiter, is nothing like the charming and delightful Provincial […]

Dangerous Ages by Rose Macaulay

In this gem of a novel, recently republished by the British Library Women Writers series, Rose Macaulay, with her unrelenting eloquence, chronicles the dangers women face in each stage of their lives. Written in the early 1920s in England, at a time when psychoanalysis was becoming popular, and the Labour Party had begun gaining political […]

My Husband Simon by Mollie Panter-Downes

When the British Library unveiled their new Women Writers series early this year, I couldn’t help but squeal with delight! 💃💃💃 As you may know, Mollie Panter-Downes is one of my favorite authors I discovered thanks to Persephone Classics. Ever since I came across Good Evening, Mrs. Craven – a story that made my heart […]

A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

In this slim novel set in the 1960s, what we have is a day in the life of George Falconer. George, 58, is a transplant from England residing in sunny California. Over a year ago, when Jim, George’s partner of 16 years, suddenly passed away, it had left George’s life in shambles. This being the […]

Like Death by Guy de Maupassant

At one point in Like Death, Richard Howard’s elegant translation of Guy de Maupassant’s fifth novel Fort comme la Mort, Olivier Bertin the novel’s protagonist mentions that his heart is “worm-eaten with love.” After reading Maupassant’s reflective and evocative prose, that is exactly how I feel about this book and its lovers’ fate! Let me […]

Operation Heartbreak by Duff Cooper

Today is the final day of Persephone Readathon, so I thought I would pick a slim book which I’ll be able to read in a day. The book I chose is Operation Heartbreak which only has 167 pages, and right off the bat before I get into the story I must urge you not to […]

The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Shuttle, which I think will most likely end up among my top reads of this year, is a book set in the early 1900s at a time when it was fashionable for American heiresses to marry British aristocrats. These American heiresses were then called “Dollar Princesses.” By marrying into British families they gained titles […]

William – an Englishman by Cicely Hamilton

William – an Englishman by Cicely Hamilton is the first book Persephone Books published. So to kick off the Persephone Readathon, I decided I’d read it. It is the story of William Tully, a “mild-mannered, pale-faced, and under-sized” young clerk. He comes to a small fortune when his mother passes away, but having spent his […]

Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus

I’ve never been a big fan of Greek mythology. But reading Prometheus Bound converted me! Prometheus Bound, which is probably the oldest book I’ve ever read (I am yet to read The Iliad and The Odyssey), is an ancient Greek tragedy. The play has been historically attributed to Aeschylus (525 – 456 BC, however, the […]

The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf

The Black Spider written in 1842 is a short novella set in a remote Swiss village. On a summer Sunday, the villagers gather to celebrate a baptism at a lovely farmhouse. During the feast (the child is the firstborn son, so food doesn’t stop coming!), one of the villagers wants to know the story behind […]