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Persephone Books

by Evan Orensten in Design on 13 March 2006

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Persephone Books, a small artisan book publisher in London, has resurrected dozens of forgotten or passed-over fiction and non-fiction titles written by, for and about women. Each book features a unique endpaper fabric, subtly connected to the setting of the novel.

William—an Englishman (1918) is the timeless tale of a working-class couple torn apart by the Great War in the early 20th century. The endpaper fabric dates from 1913, the setting of the first chapter, and includes the same colors worn by the suffragette characters in the novel while the curves are meant to evoke the rolling Belgian hills, the novel's setting.

Another selection, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (1938), is the story of a young governess sent to the wrong address by her employment agency where she is introduced to a fast-living nightclub singer. The endpaper fabric pattern hails from the same year of this light-hearted novel, the story of a prim and proper young lady given a second chance to blossom.

These esoteric gems with their smart, stylish packaging, make great gifts or additions to a personal library.

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