From the Editors
Looking back over the past strange and difficult months, it’s cheering to see some of the good things that have come out of the ‘new normal’. One is Bookshop.org, a website launched last autumn to enable independent bookshops to continue trading online through the pandemic, which generated £1 million profit for indie bookshops in its first four months. It has enabled many a struggling bookshop to avoid furloughing staff and help pay its running costs and we hope it will gather strength in the online fight to challenge the behemoth that is Amazon. Definitely worth checking out.
As to Slightly Foxed, we can only say yet again that the pandemic has shown us just how truly loyal SF readers are. We’ve been touched by the many ways in which you have shown your support, from thoughtful and encouraging messages to extra sales, and the podcasts have brought you and SF together in an especially meaningful way. Though we’re still scattered when we record them, Philippa in Cambridge, Gail in Devon, Hazel and Anna in London, Steph in West Sussex and Jennie in her cottage on the Norfolk border, we’re looking forward to getting together in the office again, and we feel optimistic about the future.
Having spent so much time looking at our own four walls, many of us are probably dreaming of a getaway somewhere this summer. But whether you’re at home or away, this magic-carpet issue of SF will transport you much further, to distant places and other times, in the company of some fascinating writers. Among them, V. S. Naipaul takes us to Trinidad, Rose Macaulay to the shores of the Black Sea, Robert Graves to Rome in the days of the Emperor Claudius, and