Zeno's Picks


The Neglected Books Page

www.NeglectedBooks.com: Where forgotten books are remembered
  • Of Princesses and their Memoirs
    Just in case the newest addition to the British Royal Family, the Duchess of Sussex, is in need of some self-help reading, here is a tiara-full of memoirs written by princesses from the past. • The beautiful Lady Craven; the original memoirs of Elizabeth, baroness Craven, afterwards margravine of Anspach and Bayreuth and princess Berkeley... Read more
  • John Quill, from Weeds of Witchery, by Thomas Haynes Bayly (1837)
    John Quill John Quill was clerk to Robert Shark, a legal man was he, As dull, obscure, and technical as legal man could be; And, perch’d before his legal desk, Quill learnt the legal rules That give high principles to all who sit upon high stools! John Quill with skill could doubt distil where all... Read more
  • George Arbuthnott Jarrett, by Bernard Toms (1965)
    George Arbuthnott Jarrett was one of the most striking debuts in English fiction in the 1960s. There was nothing in Bernard Toms’ background to suggest that this ex-RAF mechanic and former Metropolitan Police officer had a work of such intensity and originality in him. As Irving Wardle, the TLS reviewer wrote: Originality is the last... Read more
  • “The Vote,” by Ralph Knevet from Another World Than This (1657)
    The Vote The helmet now an hive for bees becomes, And hilts of swords may serve for spiders’ looms;    Sharp pikes may make    Teeth for a rake; And the keen blade, th’ arch enemy of life. Shall be degraded to a pruning knife.    The rustic spade    Which first was made For honest agriculture, shall retake......
  • Where Love and Friendship Dwelt, by Marie Belloc Lowndes (1943)
    Where Love and Friendship Dwelt, the second volume of Marie Belloc Lowndes’ memoirs, covers a period of just over ten years, but it is a nearly non-stop parade of personalities. Most of them come from French literature, art, and theatre, for Belloc Lowndes spent much of this time writing notes from Paris for a variety... Read more
  • Tea, from And So Did I, by Malachi Whitaker (1939)
    Wine costs so much a bottle, ready made. When you have once got over the effort of hospitality (if it is an effort) there is nothing to do but open the bottle and wait. But tea is different, especially tea among the poor. Sometimes it is an effort in itself to go and draw the... Read more
  • And So Did I, by Malachi Whitaker (1939)
    If And So Did I were to be published afresh today as the work of a woman in her late thirties with a number of well-received short story collections behind her, I have no doubt that it would be quite successful in its sales and critical reception. Thanks to Wild, Eat, Pray, Love, The Argonauts,... Read more
  • No Stars on Travelocity, from Arthur Young’s travels in France
    At St. Geronde: go to the Croix Blanche, the most execrable receptacle of filth, vermin, impudence, and imposition that ever exercised the patience, or wounded the feelings of a traveller. A withered hag, the daemon of beastliness, presides there. I laid, not rested, in a chamber over a stable, whose effluviae through the broken floor... Read more
  • Blood and Water, by Peter de Polnay (1975)
    Every year or so, I reach for one of Georges Simenon’s “straight” novels–those bitter human comedies, such as The Rules of the Game, that he turned out as regularly as his Maigrets, usually spending under two weeks in writing them. As I once wrote, these novels have something of the attractive bitterness of a glass... Read more
  • The Many Names of God … er, Coffee, from All About Coffee, by William H. Ukers (1922)
    Nepenthe Festive cup Juice divine Nectar divine Ruddy mocha A man’s drink Lovable liquor Delicious mocha The magic drink This rich cordial Its stream divine The family drink The festive drink Coffee is our gold Nectar of all men The golden mocha This sweet nectar Celestial ambrosia The friendly drink The cheerful drink The essential......
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