Behold: the Handheld Christmas Gift Guide! We offer here suggestions for some of the difficult present-buying decisions you may have to make in the next few weeks.
- Books for men: The Flying Shadow and England is my Village. 1930s aviation, sensitive chaps and utterly thrilling adventures in the air with only strips of canvas between you and the ground.
- Books for awkward Goth teens: Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Kingdoms of Elfin, and Of Cats and Elfins. Her moody, amoral and selfish Elfins have no understanding of how to clean up their own rooms and expect all the housework to be done for them.
- Books for lively independent women: Marjorie Grant’s Latchkey Ladies and Zelda Fitzgerald’s Save Me The Waltz. Guaranteed to produce feminist impulses.
- Books of simple joy: Jane Oliver and Ann Stafford’s Business as Usual, and Betty Bendell’s My Life and I, for glorious, heartwarming stories that will incite smiling as your default expression throughout Christmas Day.
- Books full of life: for biographies to sink into and emerge blinking from as if from a trip to a different time and place, try Sylvia Townsend Warner’s marvellous life of T H White (he wrote The Sword in the Stone), or Sarah LeFanu’s biographical memoir Dreaming of Rose. Full immersion guaranteed.
- Books for dipping into: Rose Macaulay’s Personal Pleasures, for essays short, long, serious, frivolous, astonishing, erudite, sentimental and heartfelt. Elephants in Bloomsbury, anyone?
- Books for laying down like wine: you can preorder (almost) all of our 2024 titles to be sent as presents during the year. Choose from Ann Stafford’s Army Without Banners (WW2 ambulances), Rosemary Sutcliff’s Blue Remembered Hills (shattering love affairs and a Navy upbringing), E Nesbit’s The House of Silence (ghost stories) and Sylvia Thompson’s The Gulls Fly Inland (glorious surging WW2 romance).
- Books of simple nostalgia: Malcolm Saville’s Jane’s Country Year is best present for Christmas because it begins on 1st January, waking up to the snow.
We publish forgotten fiction and lost authors, and biographies, letters and memoirs.
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Army Without Banners, by Ann Stafford
To be published on 16th January
Ann Stafford co-wrote our best-seller Business as Usual. Nine years later she uses her experiences in the Blitz to bring British history back to life. Her autobiographical novel Army Without Banners reports from the front lines of the Home Front in the darkest days of the war, lightened by her inimitable line illustrations sketched on the street, in the canteen and while waiting for the sirens. Her heroes are the volunteers, the women and men who pick up the pieces and get the wounded into ambulances after the bombs stop falling. Until the next raid ….
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