A novel about Florence Green's battle against natural and supernatural influences, as she tries to open a bookshop in a small coastal town in East Anglia.
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Since 1977, Penelope Fitzgerald has been quietly coming out with small, perfect devastations of human hope and inhuman (i.e., all-too-human) behavior. And now we have the opportunity to read "The Bookshop," her tragicomedy of provincial manners first published in 1978 in the U.K., but never available in the U.S. The Bookshop unfolds in a tiny Sussex seaside town, which by 1959 is virtually cut off from the outside English world. Postwar peace and plenty having passed it by, Hardborough is defined chiefly by what it doesn't have. It does have, however, plenty of observant inhabitants, most of whom are keen to see Florence Green's new bookshop fail. But rising damp will not stop Florence, nor will the resident, malevolent poltergeist (or "rapper," in the local patois). Nor will she be thwarted by Violet Gamart, who has designs on Florence's building for her own arts series and will go to any lengths to get it. One of Florence's few allies (who is, unfortunately, a hermit) warns her: "She wants an Arts Centre. How can the arts have a centre? But she thinks they have, and she wishes to dislodge you."
Once the Old House Bookshop is up and running, Florence is subjected to the hilarious perils of running a subscription library, training a 10-year-old assistant, and obtaining the right merchandise for her customers. Men favor works "by former SAS men, who had been parachuted into Europe and greatly influenced the course of the war; they also placed orders for books by Allied commanders who poured scorn on the SAS men, and questioned their credentials." Women fight over a biography of Queen Mary. "This was in spite of the fact that most of them seemed to possess inner knowledge of the court--more, indeed, than the biographer." But it is only when the slippery Milo North suggests Florence sell the Olympia Press edition of "Lolita" that Florence comes under legal and political fire.
Fitzgerald's heroine divides people into "exterminators and exterminatees," a vision she clearly shares with her creator--but the author balances disillusion with grace, wit, and weirdness, favoring the open ending over the moral absolute. Penelope Fitzgerald's internecine if gentle world view even extends to literature--books are living, jostling things. Florence finds that paperbacks, crowding "the shelves in well-disciplined ranks," vie with Everyman editions, which "in their shabby dignity, seemed to confront them with a look of reproach." One senses that classic hardcovers would welcome The Bookshop, despite its status as a paperback original. --Kerry FriedBook Description:
Mariner paperback, 1997, previous ISBN 978-0-395-86946-8
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Descripción 1980. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Near Fine. FIRST EDITION. 1980 Gerald Duckworth hardcover first edition, second impression. A lovely copy with its dustjacket in Near Fine condition. Posted promptly by UK seller. Nº de ref. de la librería 99-8MGP-P6XD
Descripción Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, 1980. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Fine. Estado de la sobrecubierta: Fine. 1st Edition. First edition, Second impression. Shortlisted for the 1978 Man Booker Prize. Book Condition: Fine. Binding tight with sharp gold lettering to spine, fine green boards. Small dent to top right hand front board. Tear to back end paper. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. Minor fading to the spine otherwise sharp. Unclipped dust jacket. In protective sleeve. Nº de ref. de la librería 000028
Descripción Duckworth, 1978. Couverture rigide. Estado de conservación: bon. RO60109380: 118 pages. Etiquette de code sur la jaquette. Ex-libris illustré en noir et blanc (The British Council) encollé au dos du 1er plat. Tampons et annotations de bibliothèque en page de titre. Etiquette de code au dos du 2e plat. Trace de scotch en 1re page de garde. Jaquette légèrement abîmée. Jacket by Joan Ogden. In-8 Relié. Bon état. Couv. convenable. Dos satisfaisant. Intérieur acceptable Classification Dewey : 420-Langue anglaise. Anglo-saxon. Nº de ref. de la librería RO60109380
Descripción Duckworth, London, United Kingdom, 1978. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Near Fine. Estado de la sobrecubierta: Very Good. 1st Edition. True first British printing with original clipped jacket. Jacket has minor patchy edge/shelf wear, a little fading to spine, minor pushing/browning to reverse (white side) top edge, patchy fading to back and lower approx. 4cms of front inner flap has been removed (ie price clipped). Boards are near fine (having been well protected by the jacket) with a little pushing/rubbing to head/tail of spine. Pages are generally clean and the binding is tight. Previous owner's name in pen inside front board. Top of pages slightly dusty with a couple of very small feint marks (not major). No other faults. A tight copy of this author's scarce second book. All books described honestly and accurately. Paypal accepted. Nº de ref. de la librería 003063
Descripción Duckworth, London, 1978. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Very Good-. Estado de la sobrecubierta: Good+. First Edition; First Printing. 1st edition; Hbk with d/w, ex library copy; a little neat writing to front endpaper saying fiction library and classification number, but no other library markings eg no rubber stamps that I can find; dustwrapper has been held inside covers with a piece of sellotape leaving brown mark on jacket and on endpapers; some sunning/fading to spine and edges and a couple of small closed tears & and a little creasing to edges; vg-/g++ ; this renowned author's early and scarce title ; Ex-Library; 8vo 8" - 9" tall. Nº de ref. de la librería 92977
Descripción Gerald Duckworth, 1978. Hard Cover. Estado de conservación: Near Fine. Estado de la sobrecubierta: Very Good. 1st Edition. Green Boards with gilt lettering to spine. Good tight binding. Clean pages. Dustjacket is clipped and just has very slight fade to the spine. A hard to find 1st print. Nº de ref. de la librería 6546
Descripción Duckworth, UK, 1978. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Near Fine. Estado de la sobrecubierta: Near Fine. 1st Edition. Duckworth 1978, First Edition, first impression. Near Fine with slight lean and slight crease to top of spine, tiny blemish to front cover, in Near Fine clipped dustjacket with slight fading to spine and minor wrinkling to top of covers. A lovely copy of this scarce edition which is not ex lib. In clear removable protective sleeve. Photos available. Nº de ref. de la librería 000032
Descripción Duckworth, 1978. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Fine. Estado de la sobrecubierta: Near Fine. 1st Edition. First edition, first impression; shortlisted for the 1978 Booker Prize. Fine: firm and square binding in sharp green boards; bright gilt; toning to the edge of the page block and some tanning/offsetting to the endpapers, else crisp and clean. The unclipped dustwrapper is Near Fine: crisp and vibrant; sunning to the yellow at the spine; toning and one small spot to the top-edge of the verso; presented in a removable, archival-quality Brodart protective cover. Laid-in is the publisher’s 4pp contemporary catalogue (‘Fiction from Duckworth’). All orders are sent very carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and sturdy cardboard. Nº de ref. de la librería D163