15 May 2009

whipple and a wander

Yesterday, Darlene and I attended the first Persephone Classics teatime book group. While I'd read Someone at a Distance before, I thought I'd better read it again in preparation:

And it was just as amazing the second time. In her plain, straightforward style, Dorothy Whipple creates characters that seem so completely real you can't help but feel for them, whether it's sympathy for Ellen or sheer loathing for Louise.

The discussion, led by Nicola Beauman, was fascinating: such insightful observations, comparisons, and criticisms. I did feel a bit out of my league at times, but I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. I'm just disappointed I won't be able to attend the next two meetings (second Thursday of every month).

On a less academic note, Darlene and I had a bit of extra time beforehand, so we stopped by Orla Kiely in Covent Garden. The new collection is fabulous, especially the tops:

Most of the designs are featured in a beautifully done hardcover catalogue--really a book--which is free in the shop. So perhaps we need an Orla Kiely book group as well...


  1. Looks like lots of fun - thanks for the mention of Persephone - I'd not come across this house before, but they look like one I need to make a lot of use of!
    Any suggestions where to begin (other than the Whipple)?

  2. Patterns as in sewing patterns? Ooh! That is a very gorgeous top.

  3. Oh it sounds so much fun and coincidentally I just bought another Dorothy Whipple which I am looking forward to starting, "The Priory, I hope I enjoy it as much as I did "Someone at a Distance"

  4. If I was at a bookgroup chaired by Nicola Beauman I would be too terrified to open my mouth at all.

    Lovely though she is, she scares me witless!

  5. I'm with Ali here. Quiet a fierce woman!

    I've recently finished The Priory and really really enjoyed it..

  6. Sounds like quite a seriously scary bookgroup! I loved "Someone at a Distance" too. I've a stack of Persephone books to get through when I finally get through my current book.

  7. Sounds like a fantastic bookgroup! And I would definitely join your Orla group! :)

  8. Sounds fabulous, I'm way overdue for a visit to Persephone. Love that top, too.

  9. That top is beautiful - I'm so fond of Orla Kiely's stylised flowers. Delicious.

    A teatime bookgroup? How civilised, and I shall have to seek out that book now - it sounds like a good read. The cover illustration is rather lovely too. x