Library Loot!

By oldenglishrose - Last updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - Save & Share - 10 Comments

Since I started reading book blogs I have gazed enviously at posts reporting the books that bloggers have got out from their local libraries in the weekly Library Loot posts, hosted by Claire of The Captive Reader and Marg of The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader.  At long last, I finally live in a place where I have access to a library!  Up until now commuting such a long distance has meant that I got home too late to use the library in the evenings, and having a long distance relationship has meant most of my weekends have been full, particularly over the last year or so.  However, now that I’m settled happily in Sussex I live five minutes’ walk from my local library and so the first day I had spare I went straight round to register.

I have to say it’s something of a revelation.  The library has a great selection and it felt a bit like being released in a book shop, able to choose anything I liked for free!  It’s not as though I need any more books to read, but naturally that didn’t stop me coming back with far more books than I can read in the six weeks I have before they are due back.  I picked up quite an eclectic selection, as you can see.

Completely unintentionally, I seem to have picked up a lot of books about sex in one way or another!  They all look fascinating though.  From the bottom to the top:

Courtesans by Katie Hickman -Ever since reading about Sugar and her fellow prostitutes in The Crimson Petal and the White this year, I’ve been intrigued by the shady world of the demi-monde as it was politely known.  This book focuses on the lives of five celebrated English courtesans who rose to great heights of fame and fortune, Sophia Baddeley, Elizabeth Armistead, Harriette Wilson, Cora Pearl and Catherine Walters, and it seemed like an excellent way to find out more about the prostitutes and their patrons.

The Big House by Christopher Simon Sykes – I’ve always loved visiting country houses, so this biography of the Sykes’ family home and its somewhat eccentric-sounding inhabitants was bound to appeal to me.  The new series of Downton Abbey has reignited my interest and this looks like it will provide a fascinating insight into that world.

The Covent Garden Ladies by Hallie Rubenhold – When I read Hallie Rubenhold’s edition of a selection of entries from Harris’ List, the famous guide to the prostitutes of London, I thought it was interesting but that something with a bit more commentary and context would have been better.  Hopefully this is that book.

A Book for All and None by Clare Morgan – I have yet to successfully read any Virginia Woolf, but somehow this novel about an academic studying her life and the mysterious discoveries that this research uncovers leapt off the shelf and demanded to be taken home.  Who knows, perhaps this will encourage me to take on Woolf herself someday.

The London Satyr by Robert Edric – I picked this novel up again because of the influence of The Crimson Petal and the White.  Instead of prostitution, this story focuses on the burgeoning trade in pornography during the Victorian era and the committees for morality determined to stamp out this corruption.  I think I’ll be reading this one soon as it already has another hold on it, which I’m also taking as a sign that it might be quite good.

The Devil’s Paintbrush by Jake Arnott – How could I (or indeed anyone) resist a novel which claims to be about “Black magic, Baden-Powell and Islamic revolution”?  I love the freedom to select titles like this which I would never actually buy but which sound too bizarre to pass up.

A Domestic Animal by Francis KingI had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up as it’s part of the Faber Finds series of reprints which, irritatingly, do not have plot summaries.  Some Googling upon my return reveals that it is apparently a classic piece of gay literature.  I wouldn’t necessarily have gone for this had I known the story in advance, so we’ll have to see if this is a fortuitous accident or not.  Hopefully it will be.

I also selected some sheet music for the Old English Thorn, which he is particularly pleased about.  I think we’re both going to enjoy having a library nearby!

Posted in General Bumf • Tags: Top Of Page

10 Responses to “Library Loot!”

Comment from Marg
Time October 6, 2011 at 4:12 am

Welcome to Librayr Loot! You certainly have an interesting mix of books this week!

Comment from Linda
Time October 6, 2011 at 5:42 am

All look great! Enjoy your loot.

Comment from Sean the Bookonaut
Time October 6, 2011 at 10:30 am

There’s a Professor Kate Lundy (lumby?) who’s done quite a bit of work on the history of pornography. I can’t remember if she’s produced a book on it or just a lecture series but it was fascinating to find out the way it was viewed esp. in Victorian Times. Only gentlemen could view it, for the lower classes could not be trusted to turn into animals.

Comment from oldenglishrose
Time October 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Thank you very much! I’ve always enjoyed looking at other people’s book haul, so it will be great to finally add my own.

Comment from oldenglishrose
Time October 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Thank you. I’ve started ‘Courtesans’ already, which is less interesting than I had anticipated, but I have high hopes for the rest of them.

Comment from oldenglishrose
Time October 6, 2011 at 7:46 pm

I’ll have to see what I can find about her on Google. It’s proving to be a surprisingly fascinating area, so thanks for the recommendation.

Comment from jennygirl
Time October 16, 2011 at 3:08 am

Yea for the library! Looks like a lovely place to choose books. Enjoy your finds.

Comment from oldenglishrose
Time October 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

It is! It’s going to take me forever to get through that stack at my current rate, but hopefully I’ll be back soon with more interesting finds.

Comment from Eva
Time October 19, 2011 at 8:22 am

Love your photos! :D

Comment from oldenglishrose
Time October 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

Thank you! We were given a digital camera as a wedding present, so at long last I can take my own photographs.

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