Library Loot

Have you ever had a visit to the library where you have found just one book and were so thrilled with it that you didn’t need to look at anything else? Well that’s what happened to me at the weekend.

What’s the book? Well here are two photographic clues – careful selections from my own shelves that may well give you the answer.


Yes it's a Persephone! One that I don't own! And a lovely new never been out of the library before copy!

Viragos for Elizabeth TaYLOR

A lot of books by Elizabeth Taylor? And one by Nicola Beauman?

Now I think it’s fair to say that if you haven’t worked it out byyet you probably aren’t going to.

So here, without further ado, is the star of the show.

The Other Elizabeth Taylor

The Other Elizabeth Taylor by Nicola Beauman

“This is the first biography of one of the outstanding English writers of the last century. Betty Coles became Elizabeth Taylor upon her marriage in 1936 when she was 23. Her first novel appeared in the same year, 1945, as the actress Elizabeth Taylor was appearing in National Velvet and began her ascent to stardom. Meanwhile, over the next thirty years, ‘the other Elizabeth Taylor’ lived and worked in Buckinghamshire and published eleven more novels and four volumes of short stories. Nicola Beauman’s biography draws on a wealth of hitherto undiscovered material, which includes the wartime letters Elizabeth Taylor wrote to her lover.”

While I love Elizabeth Taylor, Virago Modern Classics and Persephone Books, I did have some reservations about this biography. Might it be intrusive? Should I leave it until I finished reading all of the subject’s works? Maybe but the volume is so beautiful and the few pages I scanned were so lovely that I decided the time is definitely now. I should have not have doubted persephone –  I do have great faith in Nicola Beauman.

And just one more thing. The quotation on the inside of the front cover is from “A Wreath of Roses” – my favourite out of the works of Elizabeth Taylor that I have read so far. and a book in short supply. Do you think that might signal a reissue on the way? I do hope so!

What did you find at the lbrary this week?

See more Libray Loot here.

12 responses

  1. I was really surprised when I saw a Persephone at my library (alas it was one I already own…Miss Buncle’s Book). I have been looking out for other grey covers among their shelves but I have a feeling it was a donated copy. Enjoy your loot:)

  2. Dear Fleur,

    I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on The Other Elizabeth Taylor… have had the same worries, especially about the intrusion, however it will probably get the better of me, as I so enjoy reading of writers’ lives!

  3. You lucked out there didn’t you! This is a book that I look forward to reading one day. In a Summer Season is the only Taylor that I’ve read but A Game of Hide and Seek is waiting on my shelf. Enjoy!

  4. What a wonderful find!

    You have a great collection of green Elizabeth Taylors – goodness! I have yet to read any of her books and really must. Could you recommend a good place to start?

    I hope that there will be a re-issue of your favourite.

  5. I don’t think our library buys Persephone books either as I have yet to find one there but I have to admit that they (along with the old greeen Virago classics) are the sort of book that I would rather buy because I think that they look so beautiful on a shelf! Shallow ? Moi?
    I am currently re-reading Elizabeth Taylor’s books, last read in the 1980’s, and have the biography on order from the library (although it is taking its time!)

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