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Slightly Foxed  Beautifully produced literary review magazine & limited-edition books for #booklovers * Made in England * Worldwide shipping * #slightlyfoxed #books

As the Second World War draws to a close, a group of six friends pool resources in order to rent a sizeable House in the Country – capital H, capital C. Their list of requirements is exacting. It has to be ‘one of those houses that’s been built bit by bit, for hundreds of years’. It has to have acres of land and dozens of outhouses. As it turns out, such a house does exist, a pretty, rambling but rather rundown Tudor manor house in deepest Kent. And so they move in . . *
In Issue 57 of #SlightlyFoxed Antony Longden introduced Ruth Adam’s A House in the Country, published by the Country Book Club in 1957. Claire Dalby’s #woodengraving ‘Nettlecombe: Garden in October’ provided the perfect Country House to illustrate the article. #woodcutwednesday
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Claire Dalby was born in St Andrews, and Scotland is the subject of much of her work. She has been roaming Shetland since 1978, and many of her #woodengravings from the area focus on buildings within their context of the landscape. As a botanical illustrator, she produces portraits of plants as well as more scientific studies, and in her watercolours she explores landscapes and still lives, and their textures, forms and colours. She says ‘it can be maddening to sit outside with paper and watercolours in a strong, cold wind. […] But perversely it is often the weather and lighting that makes me want to paint a particular subject. Even fog has its own special quality of softly revealing shapes and colours without shadow or recession of headlands.’

Poured rain announces the arrival of autumn at Loch Eishort on the Isle of Skye in this beautiful oil painting by fine artist Shazia Mahmood. From the cover of the Autumn 2008 issue of #SlightlyFoxed magazine. @shaziamahmoodpaintings
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Shazia Mahmood is a contemporary fine art painter based in West Sussex. Having graduated with a Masters in Fine Art Painting, Shazia has travelled the world extensively, drawing inspiration from the landscape around her. She has exhibited worldwide and has an international following for her works. With her home nestled between the beautiful South Downs National Park and the rolling sand dunes of West Wittering, Shazia has no shortage of inspiration for her paintings, more of which can be seen on her website: www.shaziamahmood.com.

'Were I to choose an author to write the rest of my life I would not take any of the Brontës, with their fondness for scenes; not Hilary Mantel, who might conjure up a devil at my deathbed; not even Jilly Cooper, since I’ve neither the energy nor the wardrobe for Rutshire. No: if I were to be a character in ink-and-paper let me be written by Elizabeth Jane Howard, with her wisdom and shrewdness and near super-human power of empathy. She’d make no promises, conceal none of my faults, allow no rose to grow without a thorn; but it would be an examined life, and a good one, with Howard a most sage and kindly Creator.'
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The ever brilliant @sarahgraceperry writing on Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalet Chronicles in #SlightlyFoxed Issue 52 - this week's featured issue from the archives as part of our year-long #GetFoxed60 celebrations.
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This week one booklover is in with the chance of winning a full set of Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet Chronicles, Vols. I-V, in @panmacmillan paperback and Slightly Foxed Issue 52, for which Sarah Perry, former Writer in Residence and friend of Gladstone’s Library, wrote a piece on this well-loved, sweeping series of novels following the lives, loves and experiences of the Cazalet clan.
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Head over to our friends and fellow bookaddicts @gladstoneslibrary to enter the draw! Good luck everyone, and many congratulations to last week's winner of @hotcocoareads gloriously autumnal-looking giveaway: @places_and_books - your prizes will be lovingly wrapped by Hattie and whisked off to you by post tomorrow.
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See comments for a full bibliography of this issue. 🦊💕📚

Robin lay flat on his stomach with his nose an inch from the water. Now and again a moth banged into him or a water rat swam across the moon’s path to its hole under the willows. All at once something made him look up and there, twenty yards away in the moonlight, was a deer. It stood with the bracken up to its breast, gazing towards the far end of the pool where the other boys were busy over their lines.
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Robin Hood never moved, neither did the deer. And after what seemed an hour the great beast moved silently out of the fern and bent its head to drink, half hidden by the willows. It drank noiselessly, but the widening rings went gleaming outwards and lapped the log on which he lay. A deer! So there were such things in the Chase after all.
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BB’s Brendon Chase is full of finely observed detail from the natural world, beautifully captured in his illustrations. We discover which trees the rare Purple Emperor butterfly prefers, and how it is quite impossible to kill a hedgehog, even for a hungry teenage boy. BB captures the freedom and simplicity of childhood without idealizing it. His books will be remembered by many adult readers as the best-loved books of their childhood, and they still enchant today.

Slip into a world of thoughtfulness and good humor .... ‘Somehow the timeless and civilizing things we hope Slightly Foxed stands for seem more important than ever at a moment of change like this. We hope, anyway, that with the arrival of this autumn issue you can relax, draw the curtains – actual or metaphorical – and, as one of our American readers recently described it, ‘breathe a sigh of relief and slip into a world of thoughtfulness and good humor’.
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So wrote Gail and Hazel in the editorial of the autumn 2016 issue. Sentiments that seem ever pertinent as we hurtle towards another turn of the year. *
Our year-long celebration of the Slightly Foxed archive is also hurtling - towards Issue 60 and thus, the end of our #GetFoxed60 weekly giveaways. This week we've landed on the Autumn 2015 issue, No. 51. (Please all rush at once to @hotcocoareads to enter the draw, if you haven't done so already.) In this issue of the magazine, with its glorious cover of deep greens, maroons and golds in 'Vasalisa's Garden' by @olivia_lomenech_gill our contributors range far and wide in the usual SF manner. There's:
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- AMANDA THEUNISSEN on the memoirs of Alexander Herzen
- MICHAEL BARBER
on Anthony Rhodes, Sword of Bone
- KARIN ALTENBER on August Strindberg, The People of Hemsö
- HENRY JEFFREYS on
David Lodge’s university novels @henrygjeffreys
- JEREMY LEWIS
on Richard Church, Over the Bridge
- PATRICK WELLAND on
J. G. Farrell, The Singapore Grip
- SUE GEE
on Penelope Fitzgerald, Charlotte Mew and Her Friends
- URSULA BUCHAN
on John Buchan, Montrose and Witch Wood
- VICTORIA NEUMARK
on Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That
- DEREK COLLETT
on Nigel Balchin, Mine Own Executioner
- DAISY HAY on
Mary Wollstonecraft, Letters Written in Sweden . . .
- REBECCA WILLIS
on Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety
- TANIA HERSHMAN on
Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams
- MARTIN SORRELL on
Ted Walker, The Last of England
- ROWENA MACDONALD
on Jean Rhys, Quartet and Voyage in the Dark
- DEREK PARKER
on the pleasure of obscure books
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Much literary joy all-round!

Delight, surprise, wit, beauty, good sense and absurdity ...
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'Life as a country GP exposes one to an extraordinary range of people and situations – always fascinating, sometimes absurd, often sad and poignant. I hope this small book catches something of that infinite variety.’
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Each Christmas for the past sixteen years Dr Philip Evans has sent his friends and family a small booklet of ‘wonders and absurdities’ gleaned from many different sources over the year. When he sent the booklets to us they made us laugh so much we decided to publish a selection. The result is A Country Doctor’s Commonplace Book, a very personal look at the pleasures and eccentricities of English life from a well-read individual with a keen sense of humour and many decades of observing his fellow men and women in his work as a Suffolk GP.
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Dr Evans – now retired – is a man of many interests, and wine, cricket, poetry, his passion for Chekhov and P. G. Wodehouse, the arcane goings-on of the Church of England, and the bizarre oddities of British politics all feature, along with wise and pithy words on marriage, health and family life. His varied sources include anecdotes from friends, overheard country conversations, letters to editors, correspondence with HMRC, and a rich vein of announcements from parish newsletters.
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Altogether this is a little book we’d say you can’t do without in these serious and uncertain times. Slip it into a dear one’s Christmas stocking, give it to a friend or even buy it for yourself. Out now. From £12.

‘My Fall Fox has arrived. It is always a happy sight on the hallway mat, that brown envelope from UK waiting to be unwrapped. I am thrilled with the contents, the cover drawing is beautiful, I can smell the burnt leaves in the crisp autumn air ... ‘// #foxedreader O.S., Canada
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Good morning fellow #bookish friends and #readersofinstagram. England is feeling distinctly autumnal this morning and we’re longing to dive straight into this cosy little scene created by @hotcocoareads for the 51st #GetFoxed60 international giveaway. It’s up and running right now so please head over to Jeana’s feed to enter.
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This week one booklover is in with the chance of winning a copy of Slightly Foxed Issue 51 together with a cloth-bound hardback limited-edition of ‘Sword of Bone’ - Anthony Rhodes’s account of the events leading up to the British Expeditionary Force’s evacuation of Dunkirk in May 1940.
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In this issue of #SlightlyFoxed magazine ...
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• Nigel Balchin, Mine Own Executioner
• Books, obscure, the pleasure of
• John Buchan, Montrose; Witch Wood • Richard Church, Over the Bridge
• J. G. Farrell, The Singapore Grip
• Penelope Fitzgerald, Charlotte Mew and Her Friends
• Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That • Alexander Herzen, My Past and Thoughts; Childhood, Youth and Exile
• Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams
• David Lodge, Changing Places; Small World; Nice Work
• Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety • Anthony Rhodes, Sword of Bone
• Jean Rhys, Quartet; Voyage in the Dark
• August Strindberg, The People of Hemsö
• Ted Walker, The Last of England
• Mary Wollstonecraft, Letters Written in Sweden, Norway and Denmark

Before the Party ... 'I came to Suffolk in 1986, bringing with me a dowry of 1,000 books, a Labrador and an apocalyptic vision of farming. I persuaded my husband to diversify the farm by planting a vineyard and converting an old barn into a restaurant and country store.' // Carla Carlisle
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It was an absolute delight to be at Carla & Kenneth's gloriously restored 400-year-old barn on the ancient Suffolk estate @wykenvineyards last night to celebrate the launch of a Slightly Foxed Special: A Country Doctor's Commonplace Book: Wonders & Absurdities by long-term #FoxedReader and Suffolk GP Philip Rhys Evans. This was taken just as Anna had finished setting up her stall and before the merry horde arrived, at which point one fox may have snuck off for a few moments to explore The Book Room (carved out of a former dairy) with its array of literary delights and special displays of fellow small presses @littletollerbooks @elandbooks @persephonebooks & @nottinghilleditions ... more photos and a few sound clips to come in the next few days. If any friends are Suffolk bound, we urge you to visit this special place. 🦊📚💕

Barrie, Beckett, Beerbohm, Blunden, Brooke ... ‘In the autumn of 1991, I started working for the Royal Society of Literature, one of the strangest and most beguiling organizations in London. Nobody, not even Roy Jenkins, its President, seemed to have much idea of the RSL’s purpose, and so in the evenings, after work, I took to exploring the archives. They lived in a small room over the front door of the Society’s home, 1 Hyde Park Gardens, stuffed into lever arch files whose spines read like a register of literary ghosts: Barrie, Beckett, Beerbohm, Blunden, Brooke . . . The yellowing letters inside the files did not, on the whole, concern matters of great intellectual weight – one Fellow had left his kid gloves after a lecture and wanted them ‘sent down’ to him in the country; another, suffering from lumbago, offered his apologies for the next Council meeting. But among them I found something that made me sit up. It was a list of my predecessors as Secretary: ten of them, beginning, in 1820, with Mr Cattermole. On average, I calculated, they had each served seventeen years. Never! I thought. Not me!’
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From Maggie Fergusson’s brilliant article in Slightly Foxed magazine Issue 50.
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This issue, together with a handsome red @royalsocietyofliterature notebook and a copy of one of our most charming paperbacks, The Young Ardizzone, are on offer in this week’s #GetFoxed60 draw, hosted by @booksugar ⭐️ TEN WINNERS ⭐️ The draw ends just before midnight tonight so do head over and take a look. #literaturematters

‘It’s hard to believe autumn is here already. But the days are shortening, the air is growing brisker, and gradually the city is coming to life again as people trickle back after the long summer break. London is back in business, and it’s all go here in the Slightly Foxed office, with the latest of the Slightly Foxed Editions and Slightly Foxed Cubs arriving from the printers, and some new projects afoot . . .’
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So wrote Gail and Hazel back in #slightlyfoxed Issue 47, Autumn 2015, and things aren’t so different now. Crisp autumn days have put an end to the long, hot summer, we’re awaiting delivery of our latest seasonal offering, A Country Doctor’s Commonplace Book, from our printers, and we’ve embarked on an exciting new project – The Slightly Foxed Podcast. We’ll be recording the first episode this month and it will be available to readers – soon to be listeners! – on 15 November, so do keep an eye out for more news.
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@llewellynthomasartist's autumnal wood engraving, which illustrated the contents page of Issue 47, is today’s #woodcutwednesday.

When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library. // Jane Austen
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I suspect dear Jane had rather grander plans for Miss Bingley’s future library of dreams than most of a sitting room in a Deptford garden flat but I'm rather fond of this little Foxed & Austen (little gilded leather-bound editions atop the desk) section of my 'library' at home. There are many perks of working for the glorious thing that is #SlightlyFoxed for most of your career (10 years and counting) not least being the proud owner of a full run of the quarterly, Slightly Foxed Editions, The Carey Novels, The BB Books, the Notebooks, the SF Paperbacks, the Plain Editions and, out of sight, the Book Bags, the Bookplates and more . . . In our final #GetFoxed60 draw this December, one booklover will be winning all 60 issues of Slightly Foxed, handsome grey slipcases to keep them all in and a subscription for next year too. Make sure you're following us and our giveaway hosts to enter in due course. Skip back a few posts to find out more. Jennie 🦊💕📚
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PS The SF office has been covered in scaffolding for over a year now which makes it incredibly dark and almost impossible to take nice photos in. I hope you don’t mind seeing pictures of the fox at my home instead meantime ... perhaps the scaffold will add a cosy air on dark winter mornings. 🙄 #bookishfeatures

‘One of our somewhat irrational fears [when we began] was that we might run out of books to write about, and people to write about them, but the reverse has been the case. We know from the steady stream of suggestions arriving from contributors inside and outside the literary world that there are still countless unusual and fascinating books to discover . . .’ wrote Editors Gail and Hazel in their introduction to the celebratory 50th issue of #SlightlyFoxed
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If you’re in need of some #readinginspiration and would like to discover some unusual and fascinating books, hop over to @booksugar’s gallery and look for this photo for the chance to win Slightly Foxed goodies.
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For this week’s #GetFoxed60 prize Maria is hosting our giveaway for ten lucky readers to each win a copy of the 50th issue, a paperback edition of illustrator Edward Ardizzone’s charming memoir, The Young Ardizzone, and a smart leather-bound #LiteratureMatters notebook from Foxed Friends @royalsocietyofliterature - Go forth, and good luck! 🙌🦊💕📚

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