The Persephone Project

I have always loved a Persephone book and back in 2012 I made the decision that I loved them so much I would go back to the very beginning and read them all in order. This was back when there were just 100 of them and it seemed like quite the treat to do. And it was. I started with the idea of reading one a month and writing about them on a specific Sunday so that I could let people join in who wanted to. It was great, I managed one a month for 8 months, then things off blog were awful (after Gran died) and I didn’t quite get my mojo back for some time, then only reading one in 2014 and one in 2015. You could say it all went a bit awry, however after heading back into Persephone Books a few weeks ago to say (a slightly shamefaced) hello and buy some books, I am back on it and have picked up the challenge again, hoorah. Below are the list of all the titles with links to my reviews as I read them, here are my new very loose rules to keep it fun, do join in if you would like…

1. William – an Englishman by Cicely Hamilton
2. Mariana by Monica Dickens
3. Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple
4. Fidelity by Susan Glaspell
5. An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Ettie Hillesum 1941-43
6. The Victorian Chaise-longue by Marghanita Laska
7. The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
8. Good Evening, Mrs Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes
9. Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson
10. Good Things in England by Florence White
11. Julian Grenfell by Nicholas Mosley
12. It’s Hard to Be Hip Over Thirty by Judith Viorst
13. Consequences by E M Delafield
14. Farewell Leicester Square by Betty Miller
15. Tell It to a Stranger by Elizabeth Berridge
16. Saplings by Noel Streatfeild
17. Marjory Fleming by Oriel Malet
18. Every Eye by Isobel English
19. They Knew Mr Knight by Dorothy Whipple
20. A Woman’s Place: 1910-75 by Ruth Adam
21. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
22. Consider the Years by Virginia Graham
23. Reuben Sachs by Amy Levy
24. Family Roundabout by Richmal Crompton
25. The Montana Stories by Katherine Mansfield
26. Brook Evans by Susan Glaspell
27. The Children who Lived in a Barn by Eleanor Graham
28. Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski
29. The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett
30. Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll
31. A House in the Country by Jocelyn Playfair
32. The Carlyles at Home by Thea Holme
33. The Far Cry by Emma Smith
34. Minnie’s Room: The Peacetime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes by Mollie Panter-Downes
35. Greenery Street by Denis Mackail
36. Lettice Delmer by Susan Miles
37. The Runaway by Elizabeth Anna Hart
38. Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey
39. Manja by Anna Gmeyner
40. The Priory by Dorothy Whipple
41. Hostages to Fortune by Elizabeth Cambridge
42. The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
43. The Wise Virgins by Leonard Woolf
44. Tea with Mr Rochester by Frances Towers
45. Good Food on the Aga by Ambrose Heath
46. Miss Ranskill Comes Home by Barbara Euphan Todd
47. The New House by Lettice Cooper
48. The Casino by Margaret Bonham
49. Bricks and Mortar by Helen Ashton
50. The World that was Ours by Hilda Bernstein
51. Operation Heartbreak by Duff Cooper
52. The Village by Marghanita Laski
53. Lady Rose and Mrs Memmary by Ruby Ferguson
54. They Can’t Ration These by Vicomte de Mauduit
55. Flush by Virginia Woolf
56. They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple
57. The Hopkins Manuscript by RC Sherriff
58. Hetty Dorval by Ethel Wilson
59. There Were No Windows by Norah Hoult
60. Doreen by Barbara Noble
61. A London Child of the 1870s by Molly Hughes
62. How To Run Your Home Without Help by Kay Smallshaw
63. Princes in the Land by Joanna Cannan
64. The Woman Novelist and Other Stories by Diana Gardner
65. Alas, Poor Lady by Rachel Ferguson
66. Gardener’s Nightcap by Muriel Stuart
67. The Fortnight in September by RC Sherriff
68. The Expendable Man by Dorothy B Hughes
69. Journal by Katherine Mansfield
70. Plats du Jour by Patience Gray and Primrose Boyd
71. The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett
72. House-Bound by Winifred Peck
73. The Young Pretenders by Edith Henrietta Fowler
74. The Closed Door and Other Stories by Dorothy Whipple
75. On the Other Side: Letters to my Children from Germany 1940-46 by Mathilde Wolff-Mönckeberg
76. The Crowded Street by Winifred Holtby
77. Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting by Penelope Mortimer
78. A Very Great Profession by Nicola Beauman
79. Round About a Pound a Week by Maud Pember Reeves
80. The Country Housewife’s Book by Lucy H Yates
81. Miss Buncle’s Book by DE Stevenson
82. Amours de Voyage by Arthur Hugh Clough
83. Making Conversation by Christine Longford
84. A New System of Domestic Cookery by Mrs Rundell
85. High Wages by Dorothy Whipple
86. To Bed with Grand Music by Marghanita Laski
87. Dimanche and Other Stories by Irène Némirovsky
88. Still Missing by Beth Gutcheon
89. The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow by Mrs Oliphant
90. The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens
91. Miss Buncle Married by DE Stevenson
92. Midsummer Night in the Workhouse by Diana Athill
93. The Sack of Bath by Adam Fergusson
94. No Surrender by Constance Maud
95. Greenbanks by Dorothy Whipple
96. Dinners for Beginners by Rachel and Margaret Ryan
97. Harriet by Elizabeth Jenkins
98. A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf
99. Patience by John Coates
100. The Persephone Book of Short Stories by Various
101. Heat Lightning by Helen Hull
102. The Exiles Return by Elisabeth de Waal
103. The Squire by Enid Bagnold
104. The Two Mrs Abbotts by DE Stevenson*
105. Diary of a Provincial Lady by E M Delafield
106. Into the Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg
107. Wilfred and Eileen by Jonathan Smith
108. The Happy Tree by Rosalind Murray
109. The Country Life Cookery Book by Ambrose Heath
110. Because of the Lockwoods by Dorothy Whipple
111. London War Notes by Mollie Panter-Downes
112. Vain Shadow by Jane Hervey
113. Greengates by RC Sherriff
114. Gardeners’ Choice by Evelyn Dunbar and Charles Mahoney
115. Maman, What Are We Called Now? by Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar


27 responses to “The Persephone Project

  1. Pingback: Persephone 100 and the Persephone Project… | Savidge Reads

  2. Rosemary Kaye

    Such a lovely project – I have read some of these & I would like specially to recommend The Fortnight in September, one of my very favourite books. The Judith Viorst poems are also wonderful.

    Will be very interested to read your thoughts on any Persephone.

  3. Wendy B

    That’s just weird knowing what you will be reading in 2021!!! Good luck with the project, I will jump on board for a few!

  4. Great project — I’m also working my way through the Persephones, though not nearly as structured as you. I’ve read about half of them so far, in dribs and drabs. I just finished three recently, my favorite was Family Roundabout. I’ve put Fidelity on a reading challenge list for 2013 so maybe we’ll post reviews about the same time.

    • Oooh we might Karen. I thought if I worked through it like this I would treat myself at the right time and it would keep me reading in the order they were chosen if you know what I mean?

  5. Pingback: Mariana – Monica Dickens; The Persephone Project #2 | Savidge Reads

  6. Recently discovered your blog. I’m a fan of Persephone books too and think this is a great idea for a challenge. Why didn’t I think of that? 🙂 looking forward to following.


    I am really enjoying Someone at a distance- such acute observation of another time, its a pleasure to come across such delights!

  8. Pingback: Someone at a Distance – Dorothy Whipple; The Persephone Project #3 | Savidge Reads

  9. wordandpiece

    What are Persephone Books?

  10. Pingback: An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43 | Savidge Reads

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  14. Pingback: The Home-Maker – Dorothy Canfield Fisher | Savidge Reads

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  16. Hi Simon – are you still doing this challenge? I have some Persephone books on the shelf I’ve been meaning to give myself some time to read and would love to own all of them. Putting numbers on books is a very clever marketing tool – it just makes you want to have them all! Reading this has inspired me to get started… I do so hope you are continuing with it. No rush – it’s going to take me a while to catch up!

  17. Pingback: Pondering: The Return of 40 By 40 (I Need Your Book Recommendations) | Savidge Reads

  18. A friend recommended the Persephone books to me about 2 months ago and I can’t get enough of them. I have read and reviewed 5 or 6 of them on my site already. I keep saying that I want to read their entire catalogue, maybe I will now that I have good company 🙂

  19. That’s quite an undertaking, but a great idea! Bets of luck to you!! I work in a library and have started working my way through the fiction section, but I have no list to tick off or set deadline. Maybe I should make a list! I do love making lists..

  20. Ha, I thought this was about greek mythology at first. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I had no idea Persephone books was a thing. I should probably get around to reading some of these.

  21. Pingback: Rounding Up The Reviews #6: A Pair of Persephone’s – Vere Hodgson & Florence White | Savidge Reads

  22. Googled up Anita Brookner best stories and discovered your blog 👍
    So many great reads, so little time!
    Will return when I have a bit more time to explore.
    Love your new library plans, too.

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