Posts Tagged dean street press

The ‘Furrowed Middlebrow’ Fiction: Recording of LSE Talk

Laura Jesson in Boots Booklovers’ Library – still from Brief Encounter

A recording of my talk on The ‘Furrowed Middlebrow’ Fiction: novels by and for women, 1920s to 1950s is now available here It was hosted by LSE Library and delivered via Zoom on 20 May.

I discussed some of the ‘middlebrow’ novels written by women that were available to borrow from public and circulating libraries in the 1920s to the 1950s, making special reference to those by novelists such as Margery Sharp, Celia Buckmaster, Stella Gibbons and Elizabeth Fair that have recently been republished by Dean Street Press under their ‘Furrowed Middlebrow’ imprint. I have written introductions to about 35 of the reissues.

The talk ties in with the current LSE Library online exhibition Making Modern Women: Women’s Magazines in Interwar Britain – which you can view here

You might also like to consult The Furrowed Middlebrow blog and The Middlebrow Network.

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Something A Little Different: Furrowed Middlebrow Books January 2021

It has been my Lockdown pleasure to write more forewords to novels reissued by Dean Street Press under the Furrowed Middlebrow imprint. The following 11 novels (6 by Margery Sharp and 5 by Stella Gibbons) were all released in January 2021. It was blissful escapism to read them all, delve into the lives of the authors, and demonstrate how elements in the novels related to Real Life.

When I began selling books by women, it was just these titles that I searched for in bookshops around the country. Isn’t it odd how life works out?

Here are the delicious Dean Street Press covers. Full details of all Furrowed Middlebrow titles can be found here.

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Something A Little Different: Furrowed Middlebrow Books: Summer 2020

It has been my pleasure to write forewords to a few of the novels reissued in August 2020 by Dean Street Press under their ‘Furrowed Middlebrow’ imprint. The theme this summer is ‘The Village’.

A major part of my commission is to uncover something of the lives of authors who, often very popular in their heyday, have subsequently disappeared beneath the waves of the rolling literary tide. One such is Celia Buckmaster – whose life has something of a novel quality. She would have made a good heroine.

Although the other two novelists I’ve ‘resurrected’ are both named ‘Dorothy’, their backgrounds were very different.  The novels of both were well-received by critics and well-loved by readers during the interwar period and well into the 1950s.







Needless to say, reading these novels, all quite delightful, and pondering on the lives of their authors, provided a welcome escape from our national predicament. One is never quite ‘locked-down’ when the imagination can roam freely.


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