Ranking Persephones…

While I haven’t managed to read a Persephone book so far during the Persephone Readathon hosted by Dwell in Possibility blog, I have been inspired by Simon’s recent post in which he ranks the Persephone books he has read, which is an amazing 57!  At the end of his post he says ” I’d love it if other people wanted to go crazy and rank all the Persephones they’ve read.”  So I have, and here they are – all five of them – in reverse order with my favourite at the end:

5. Little Boy Lost by Marganita Laski (review) – A father goes in search of his lost son after the family was split during the war. But is the most likely candidate the right boy?

4. Greenbanks by Dorothy Whipple (review) – A family drama set in a northern town. before and after WWI.

3. The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marghanita Laski  (not reviewed) – One to re-read. A really suspenseful timeslip novella with a slight horror edge!

2. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (capsule review) – A frothy Cinderella story. Lovely – and with some fab illustrations.

1. The Hopkins Manuscript by R.C. Sheriff (review) – Science Fiction and an Apocalypse are not what you think of as a Persephone novel. But Sheriff’s human story of life after the Moon starts falling towards the Earth is classic Persephone fare. Love those endpapers below too.


R.C. Sheriff – The Hopkins Manuscript (1939), Persephone Books – 2005. 440 pages.

11 thoughts on “Ranking Persephones…

  1. At first I didn’t think I’d ever read a Persephone, but actually I have read Miss Pettigrew, and also Diana Athill’s Midsummer Night in the Workhouse (short stories). And The Victorian Chaise-Longue was one of my book prescriptions from the bibliotherapist, so I’m keen to find that at some point.

    • Ah, I just recalled another I’ve read by looking at Simon’s post: Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey. And then I’ve read Flush by Woolf but in a prior edition.

  2. AnnaBookBel says:

    The VCL is rather good (and short). I have also read The Provincial Lady- but not in the Persephone edition. so I didn’t include it here.

  3. This shows the wonders of Persephone – I’ve read around 50 but I have only read two of yours! (I’ve also read a few in other editions or had already read them – I’m sure there’s a Winifred Holtby, plus A Fortnight in September by Sherriff and The Village by Laski. I wanted to do something pulling together my Persephone reviews but lacked the time, unfortunately. I don’t think I could manage to rank them!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      The one I want to read, but don’t own is A Fortnight in September – must look out for it. I do have a handful of others on the shelves – but not read yet.

  4. I’ve read a few more Persephones than you I think, though nowhere near as many as Simon! I loved The Hopkins Manuscript too – it would be really high on my list, as would Miss Pettigrew. Oddly, I didn’t warm to The Victorian Chaise-Longue and found it a bit disappointing – not sure why now!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I read the VCL ages ago – it was my first Persephone – I ought to re-read – it won’t take long. Glad to find another fan of the Hopkins MS.

  5. I’m so glad you decided to rank your Persephone reads too, Annabel! From your list, I’ve only read Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Little Boy Lost- both of which I loved. I can’t wait to pick up my copy of Greenbanks, and The Hopkins Manuscript sounds like a fascinating read.

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