Here’s our teensy cottage (a bit smaller than the Dashwood’s cottage!), which is being slowly covered in ever more snow — right now it’s about up to my knees. (And for those of you who worried about our not having a bathroom or kitchen, my parents’ house is right next beside us, so not to fear. We do have to trudge back and forth a lot, but that’s part of the adventure…) I put on my snow pants and boots (and scarf, hat, mitts, etc) and went out for a walk in the snow today with Thomas (that’s the husband, may as well use his name and save time since all the nicknames I’ve considered seem a bit silly), fresh in the face exercise. We talked about how nice it would be to be snowed in until spring, then we’d have more time to read! Except we don’t have any salted pork stored up for the winter…
Besides reading, I’ve finally finished the complete list of Virago Modern Classics alphabetized by author, here! I’ve worked from this list, which is organized by publication date, so if there are any flaws in my list, that’s why, let me know and I can fix it. Rachel and I have finally got a date for our Virago Reading Week, which will be the last week of January, the 24th to 30th. I hope you all join us!
As I’ve worked through retyping their list and also looking up each author, to provide a link for many of the lesser known among them (I’m still working on that), the variety of what Virago chose to publish in their Modern Classics collection is truly astonishing. For those who are new to the Virago Modern Classics like me, there are more accessible books — they published their own editions of Jane Austen, the Brontes, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Daphne du Maurier, some Louisa May Alcott, early Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter, and Joyce Carol Oates; one of the earliest women writers and a 17th century playwright, Aphra Behn (she wrote novels too); a few lesser known works of George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, Anais Nin, and Katherine Mansfield and the list goes on!
There are also book blogger favourites Muriel Spark and Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Taylor, Rebecca West (and even Mae West, who knew!), Sylvia Townsend Warner, Elizabeth von Arnim, Barbara Comyns, some early Ivy Compton-Burnett; I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (if you haven’t read this what are you waiting for), Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield, The Group by Mary McCarthy, The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy, even The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin for some feminist science fiction!
There are lesser known Victorian authors, like Margaret Oliphant, George Gissing, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, George Meredith, there’s even one H.G. Wells and one George Bernard Shaw each. There are authors also published by Persephone Books (including Nicola Beauman’s A Very Great Profession: The Women’s Novel 1914-39) and NYRB Classics and authors from so many different backgrounds, even a Canadian prairie suffragist I discovered tonight, Francis Marion Beynon. Virago was also the first to publish Pat Barker, as her early books about working class women were not accepted anywhere else.
Look through the list, I’m sure everybody reading this owns at least one book from the Virago Modern Classics, even if you don’t know it yet.