I’ve been home for most of this week with a cold which, while not exactly fun, has given me a chance to catch up on some reading. I love it when the email with the link to the monthly Persephone Letter arrives in my inbox. Persephone Books reprints and retails books mostly by women about women’s lives. Although it’s bookshop is in London, you can also order books online.
Although the books are primarily about life from Victorian times up to the 1950s, the issues faced by the characters in many of the books are still relevant today. For example, Alas Poor Lady by Rachel Ferguson describes just how much the lives of Victorian and Edwardian unmarried women differed from those of men. Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting by Penelope Mortimer movingly describes the isolation of women in suburbia in the 1950s, and The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens is about being an older woman, a theme close to my own heart.
As you can see from the photos, all the books have grey jackets and endpapers and bookmarks based on last century fabrics.
It’s also well worth subscribing to Jessica Valenti’s column “This week in Patriarchy” in the Guardian. She writes about many issues affecting women from politics to health care. This week she talks about a range of subjects including President Trump withdrawing from the Paris Accord and Jessica Chastain’s speech at Cannes about the representation of women in films.
Another interesting read this week is an article by Jill Lenore in The New Yorker about the Wonder Woman film. She talks about what a relief it is to see a woman fighting back – “A lot of viewers will come to this film, as I did, after the most ordinary of days, punch-card-punching, office-meeting, kid-raising, news-watching days, days of seeing women being silenced, ignored, dismissed, threatened, undermined, underpaid, and underestimated, and, somehow, taking it. I am not proud that I found comfort in watching a woman in a golden tiara and thigh-high boots clobber hordes of terrible men. But I did.”
Once I recover from this cold I will start interviewing inspirational women and post the interviews, but in the meantime I will enjoy all the amazing books, columns and articles about women that are out there just waiting for us to read them.