Thursday, 20 December 2012
The Ghosts and the Unicorn
I listened to Tracey Thorn's new Christmas album, Lorraine Bowen's podcast interview with Barbara Moore, and Tavener's Christmas Round. That's my favourite.
Yesterday, in the midst of present shopping and discussions with my sister, Katie, I had a dig through the bargain bin outside Charing Cross Road’s Any Amount of Books. You’d be a feel not to. I found a copy of The Ghosts by Antonia Barber, which was filmed in the early seventies as The Amazing Mister Blunden, looking like the perfect thing for the season (I already have a reading list as long as my arm, of course, but it’s hard not to respond to things like this). It was an imprint I’ve not heard of before, Unicorn Books, edited by the children’s poet and folklorist and anthologist, James Reeves. Look at this list of advertised titles! Some names stand out – Doctor Syn, Evelyn Waugh, Peter Dickinson – but everything else is a mystery. Evocative of another world in publishing, reading and, I suppose, writing too. What on earth is Grandad With Snails or Moon Eyes or Honey in the Horn about?
The tantalising stories of another time...