Handheld Classics welcomes you to a world of forgotten fiction and marvellous stories. Scroll down to the foot of the page to see the Classics we’ve already published.
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Save Me The Waltz
Zelda Fitzgerald’s only novel, Save Me The Waltz (1932) was written in six weeks, covering the period of their life that her husband F Scott Fitzgerald had been using for years while writing his Tender is the Night (1934). She died in 1940, and Save Me The Waltz is now recognised as a classic novel of woman’s experience and an authentic record of the Jazz Age. The novel opens during the First World War.
Alabama Beggs is a Southern belle who makes her début into adulthood with wild parties, dancing and drinking, and flirting with the young officers posted to her home town. When the artist Lieutenant David Knight arrives to join her line of suitors, Alabama marries him.
Like Zelda, Alabama is an aspiring dancer. She is committed to her dance training, attending ballet classes in Paris every day, but she refuses to accept that she might not become the great dancer that she ardently longs to be, and this threatens her mental health and her marriage. Erin E Templeton’s introduction to Zelda Fitzgerald’s finest literary work discusses how these struggles to become a dancer were the result of Zelda’s need to have a life of her own rather than living in her husband’s shadow.
Handheld Classic 6, 14 January 2019. ISBN 978-1-9998280-4-2
What Not is Rose Macaulay’s speculative novel of post-First World War eugenics and newspaper manipulation that anticipated Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World by 14 years. It’s a lost classic of feminist wit and protest at social engineering by politics and the media.
Kitty Grammont and Nicholas Chester are in love, but Kitty is certified as an A for breeding purposes, while Chester has been uncertificated, and may not marry. Although Kitty wields power as a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Brains, which makes these classifications, she does not have the freedom to marry who she wants. They ignore the restrictions, and carry on a discreet affair. But the popular press, determined to smash the brutal regime of the Ministry of Brains, scents an opportunity for a scandalous exposure. The introduction will be written by the journalist Sarah Lonsdale.
Handheld Classic 7, 25 March 2019. ISBN 978-1-912766-03-1
Blitz Writing: Night Shift & It Was Different At The Time
Inez Holden, edited by Kristin Bluemel
Emerging out of the 1940–1941 London Blitz, the drama of these two short works, a novel and a memoir, comes from the courage and endurance of ordinary people met in the factories, streets and lodging houses of a city under bombardment.
Inez Holden’s novella Night Shift follows a largely working-class cast of characters for five night shifts in a factory that produces camera parts for war planes. It Was Different At The Time is Holden’s account of wartime life from April 1938 to August 1941, drawn from her own diary. This was intended to be a joint project written with her friend George Orwell (he was in the end too busy to contribute), and includes disguised appearances of Orwell and other notable literary figures of the period.
Inez Holden (1903-1974) was a British writer and literary figure whose social and professional connections embraced most of London’s literary and artistic life. She modelled for Augustus John, worked alongside Evelyn Waugh, and had close relationships with George Orwell, Stevie Smith, H G Wells, Cyril Connolly, and Anthony Powell.
The introduction and notes are by Kristin Bluemel, exploring how these short prose texts work as multiple stories: of Inez Holden herself, the history of the Blitz, of middlebrow women’s writing, of Second World War fiction, and of the world of work.
Handheld Classic 8, 30 May 2019. ISBN 978-1-912766-06-2
Adrift in the Middle Kingdom
J J Slauerhoff, translated by David McKay
Jan Jacob Slauerhoff was a poet, a ship’s doctor and one of the greatest Dutch writers of the twentieth centry. This is his second novel about existential travels in 1920s China, Het leven op aarde (1934), which takes the reader from the stifling warrens and opium salons of Shanghai, to weeks of journeying along the rivers and flooded plains, to the secret city of Chungking. The epic sweep of the narrative is an enthralling as the detail of daily life in pre-Maoist China.
Handheld Classic 9, 9 September 2019. ISBN 978-1-9999448-7-2
What Might Have Been
The Runagates Club
Una L Silberrad
Kingdoms of Elfin
Sylvia Townsend Warner
All our books sold through this website are accompanied on their journey to you by bespoke bookmarks, illustrating your book plus one other title to interest you. Your books are packed in tissue paper, sturdy paper packaging, and secured with remarkably strong non-plastic tape. We love packing as well as Free post & packing for orders delivered within the UK (includes BFPO), and a single flat rate for all other deliveries.