Wednesday, August 7, 2013

On the Kindness of Strangers

Original edition Britain in Pictures (1943) on the left
Prion reprint Writers' Britain on the right (1997)
Recently I wrote about my three books in the Britain in Pictures series (here) that were published in the 1940s as a morale booster for the British people as Hitler was bombing the heck out of the country. The 132 books in the series, written by well-known authors, covered all sorts of British life from cricket to postage stamps to universities.

In a shameless appeal to my readers, I asked that if anyone had any others in the series, that they were willing to part with, to let me know in hopes that we could come to financial agreement about the book or books.

To my delight, Joan commented that she had one - English Cities and Small Towns by John Betjeman.  It turns out that her book was part of a series of 1997 reprints by Prion of a few of the books in the original series which it entitled Writers' Britain. Other reprints in this series include Edith Sitwell's English Women, Grahame Green's English Dramatists, and Vita Sackville-West's English Country Houses

The reprints include the black and white illustrations and color plates that were published in the originals. They are a bit smaller (7.5 x 5) than the originals and fit nicely in the hands for reading. 

Joan kindly donated her copy to my collection and I am thrilled to have it.  I have never seen either of the editions in my trolling of used bookstores in America, but I will keep looking. 

Thanks again, Joan!


  1. I'm always happy to find good homes for my books! I've never seen other volumes, except two more I had and took to a used book store, but I'll keep my eyes open for others.

    1. Joan, it was a very generous gift. I am very pleased that the book has a new home with me!