Sunday, March 11, 2007

My Viragos

The first of the Virago Modern Classics I purchased was The Lost Traveller by Antonia White. I'm not sure what stood out to me besides the beautiful green color and partially eaten apple - I seem to have an eye for picking British book editions out of shelves of American ones. Quickly realizing The Lost Traveller was part of a quartet, I knew there must be more out there and my quest began. It was helped along a bit by the section on Viragos in Nancy Pearl's More Book Lust.

My collection currently consists of 15 of the glossy black Dial Press editions and 27 of the green editions. I love these older editions, especially the very dark green ones, with the beautiful artwork on the covers. The new 'modern' covers are not nearly as enticing.

I have been scouring my local used bookshops for these books and have pretty well cleaned them out. I love the thrill of wondering what I will find, how many dark green or black books I will come out with. It is so easy now to find what you are looking for online, but for me, the mystery that comes with finding what I didn't know I was looking for is the best part of collecting.

One of my other recent finds that I am so excited about is a boxed collection of 3 books by M.V. Hughes (Molly Hughes) including A London Child of the 1870s, A London Girl of the 1880s and A London Home in the 1890s. Persephone Books publishes the first of these three, and I think I gasped out loud when I came across these, published in the UK in 1980.

I have 2 more Viragos on the way, compliments of and 2 more ordered from Abebooks by E.H. Young - William and The Misses Mallett. I really wanted to have all her books and wasn't having any luck in the local shops.

Currently reading The Birth House by Ami McKay which I am enjoying quite a bit.


Cornflower said...

Reading this post just makes me want to go out and try to add to my (small) Virago collection!

Tara said...

Karen, it's been great fun, and less expensive than adding to my Persephone collection. I think I originally discovered Cornflower when I was searching for others who enjoy Persephones.