I first came across Persephone Books a year ago when I was trying to figure out what on earth to get my lovely, but particular, friends who seemed to have everything. Then after a frantic, yet fruitful internet search for books written by women authors I stumbled on Persephone Books' charming website. Persephone prints mainly neglected fiction and non-fiction by women, for women and about women. They also print neglected classics from 20th century writers. Their titles include novels, short stories, collections of poems, diaries and cook books. You can also choose a book from a variety of recommended categories including "for someone fed up with contemporary fiction," "the ghost story enthusiast," "someone who needs cheering up," and "the londoner," among others.
What I really like about this publisher, is the care and attention to detail given to the bindings. Each book is carefully designed with a clear typeface, a dove-grey jacket, and a beautiful endpaper chosen to suit the mood and period of the book. Persephone Books believes that fabric design should be celebrated for its own sake; and because it is a field in which women designers have been particularly prominent they choose to use their work whenever possible in the bindings.
Of course, I'm dying to visit their storefront in London. However, the easiest way to get your hands on some of their books, is to sign up for the 6 month or 12 month subscription service. Starting at 54 pounds, you get a book of your choice every month for 6 months plus a copy of their magazine, The Persephone Biannually. Quaint, unique, and collectible, I can't remember the last time something so interesting came through the post.