Monday, 24 June 2013

Cor blimey guvnor

Evening everybody. What a day it's been. I've worked hard on the conference version of our jazz in contemporary fiction paper ready for next week, and edited the photographs of my trip to That London for my cousin's 21st birthday. Apart from the party, I mostly spent the weekend walking round Greenwich and Blackheath grinding my teeth in pure envy.

I also – you'll be surprised to learn – visited a book shop. Sadly, though the stock was magnificent (I've never seen so many Beverley Nichols novels in one place), the prices were insanely aspirational, judging by the ones I already own. £30 for a decent copy of Stephen Spender's Forward From Liberalism in the Left Book Club edition? Mine was £3.50.

That said, I couldn't leave empty-handed. I picked up some lovely rarities: a volume of poetry by Angry Young Man novelist and poet (and son of Stoke) John Wain, melodramatically entitled Weep Before God; a collection of poems by Rex Warner, the celebrated absurdist interwar novelist, and an undated Edwardian one-act play, called Trouble At The Telephone ('A Serio-Comic Sketch for Lady and Gentleman') by Campbell Rae-Brown, who had some work filmed in the 1920s. I couldn't resist this early foray into techno-fear art. I'll let you know what it's like when I get round to reading it. Sadly, they didn't have any copies of the racist and misogynist plays advertised in the back, such as The Suffragettes: A Farcical Sketch by E MaKeig Jones, or The Black Rivals: Five Negro Characters, which appears to be a collection of comic songs.

More tomorrow. If you're very good I'll show you some pretty pictures of Cockney squirrels. 

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