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The Casino

by Margaret Bonham
Persephone book no:

47 48 49

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A Well Full of Leaves
Regular price £14.00
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ISBN 9781903155387

Author Margaret Bonham's daughter Cary Bazelgette has written the preface to this collection of short stories. It begins: 'One day in 1948, when I was six and my brother four, our mother disappeared... I have the tiniest memory, like a blurred snapshot, of a car bouncing away down the rough driveway between the unmown lawns and experimental vegetable beds, her hand flickering happily out of the window.... Of course we already knew that she was a writer.... These stories, then, stood in for my mother during my childhood and teenage years. Reassuringly, few of the children in these stories have two parents and when they do trouble looms. Family life in a conventional sense is non-existent here: the heart of each story is usually the relationship between one parent and a child.'

The Casino is a beautifully written book which until now has never been reprinted since its original hardback appearance. It was brought into the office by the author's daughter; at first we were cautious because we had never heard of Margaret Bonham; but one only has to read the extraordinary first paragraph for scepticism to vanish. 

'The stories in The Casino are witty and perceptive, and some of her metaphors and similes are extraordinary, for example: ''the water in each hollow, fringed with brown weed, was clear as gin''' wrote a Persephone reader. 'A collection of witty and acerbic short stories,' wrote Anna Carey in Image magazine. 'Whether Margaret Bonham's subjects are an unconventional new mother or a fledgling writer disappointed with the stolid ordinariness of her own home-life, her writing is cool, wry and touching.'


The endpaper is taken from 'Piano', a 1948 screen-printed rayon designed by Henry Moore for Ascher Ltd; the design is eccentric, bohemian and beautiful and, we feel, would have been very much liked by Margaret Bonham.

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amileereads via Instagram

Concise, spare, sometimes very funny vignettes of post-war British life.

Categories: Short Stories

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