Tuesday, 8 May 2012
Books: Capuchin classics
So it's no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I am a Nancy Mitford fan, as in fan short for fanatic. I know some people find her work snobby or even (horror!) irrelevant but I don't care, I would give my little toe to have her turn of phrase and I literally find opening her books like getting into the biggest bed with the downiest, most cloud like duvet imaginable.
Some writer's most famous books aren't their best books (clearly Jane Austen can do little wrong but I would argue the lesser known Persuasion is more of a towering great than say Mansfield Park, which many a girl has trudged through for a levels). In Nancy's case I do think the best known Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate are her greatest achievements- although Don't Tell Alfred is also a marvel- but I think everything she does is gold.
Happily a great publisher called Capuchin Classics publish some of Nancy's lesser known delights, including Highland Fling, Christmas Pudding and Pigeon Pie. Prior to my discovery of this company I only owned Pigeon Pie of these three- and that copy was a very old Penguin classic that I found on the book stall at Spitalfields market which was falling apart completely.
Capuchin's mandate is to revive 'great works of fiction which have been unjustly forgotten or neglected'. I think they are brilliant. Plus the peppermint cream colours covers look delicious on book shelves, especially next to the similarly chic dove grey spines of Persephone books- of which I am also, obviously, very fond.