Whilst browsing in my local Waterstones a couple of months ago, I came across a copy of Daphne Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel on the ‘Waterstones’ Recommends’ shelves. The book caught my eye for two reasons. Firstly Du Maurier’s Rebecca is one of my all time favourite novels, yet I haven’t read any of her other works. Secondly because the book is a beautiful object in its own right, an old fashioned hardback with the most amazing cover design featuring Flamenco by Neisha Crosland. Of course, I couldn’t resist such temptation and handed over my pennies, happy in the knowledge that once read, this book would take pride of place on our new but largely empty bookshelves.
Intrigued by the book, I searched for the publisher Virago Modern Classics on my return home to joyfully discover a whole Designer Collection of novels featuring the work of well known textile designers including Angie Lewin and Lucienne Day. I now proudly have all five books in this collection, but I have to confess that so far the pleasure has come mostly from displaying them rather than reading them – much to my other half’s disdain!
I was therefore very happy to discover recently that there is a second (well, first actually) Designer Collection, published in 2008, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Virago Modern Classics. Virago were set up in the 1960s to publish books that celebrate women and I think it is a wonderful they have sought to celebrate classic women’s fiction by showcasing iconic textile designs. There are eight books in this 2008 collection with covers featuring Celia Birtwell, Orla Kiely and Cath Kidston amongst others.
I have already put in my order to Waterstones and am excitedly awaiting the postman. Definitely an early Christmas present to myself, or at least that it how I am trying to justify my splurge. I will post a picture pdate as soon as they arrive.