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Thank you for visiting the Persephone Books website. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, please e-mail us at email@example.com, call us at 01225 425050 (outside the UK +44 1225 425050) or write to us at Persephone Books, 8 Edgar Buildings, Bath, BA1 2EE.
Where can I buy a Persephone book?
Persephone books are available to buy from our website, our Bath shop or your local bookshop. You can also contact us directly to place an order.
How much does a Persephone book cost?
The Grey editions are £14 each or £36 for three. The fourteen Classic editions are £11 each.
What is the difference between a Grey edition and a Classic edition?
We have re-issued fourteen of our bestsellers in more 'bookshop-friendly' editions i.e. with pictures on the front. The text and paper is identical to that used in the 149 grey Persephone books, but because the Classics do not have the full-colour endpapers, they retail at £11 instead of £14. All fourteen Classics are available here.
Can I buy Persephone books from abroad?
Yes: we send books all over the world. Please order via the website.
For customers in Europe, we charge £24 for a grey book, £19 for a Classic; for customers in the Rest of the World (the US, Canada, Australia, etc), we charge £27 for a grey book, £21 for a Classic. This includes the cost of international shipping, although for heavier books we add a surcharge - see below regarding postage.
There is the usual discount if you buy three books (or six, or nine…).
It is generally more cost-effective though to order 6 or more books at a time because then we are able to send them by courier in a box.
However, we encourage visitors to our website to select their local currency before shopping, at which point the site will reflect the prices in their current location. If the shipping destination is a different location, this will be reflected at checkout.
We are aware that the price of sending a book outside the UK is high and we are very sad about this, but like all small business in the UK the combination of hugely increased postage costs and the Brexit-induced form-filling means we have had to make serious adjustments. We hope you understand.
For information about customs charges, click here.
In the UK, postage costs £3 per book.
For overseas customers, the books themselves cost more but postage is generally free, although there are some exceptions: in recent months the cost of international shipping increased enormously and as a result, when we send books to the Rest of the World (US, Canada, Australia, etc), we have had to add a surcharge of £10 per book for those that weigh over 500g (about 325 pages), which is currently 63 titles out of a total of 143.
All books are sent out in separate envelopes, unless you order 6 books or more in which case they are sent together in a box by courier.
Yes, you can ask your local bookshop to place an order with us. We are also stocked by a number of wonderful bookshops including Daunt Books, Hatchards and John Sandoe (in London), The Book Hive (in Norfolk), Cogito Books (in Hexham), the Hare and Hawthorn bookshop (in Hastings), Beacon Hill Books (in Boston, Mass.), etc.
To have one book a month arriving through your (or someone else’s) letterbox every month for 12 months costs £180 (including postage) or £90 (including postage) for six months in the UK. Order a six or twelve month gift subscription.
Within the UK we send out the books by Royal Mail second class, so they should arrive within four working days – but often they arrive the next day. Of course, during busy periods such as November/December they take longer and we ask you to allow a week. We send them out in individual cardboard envelopes (no plastic packaging here at Persephone Books) that fit through a standard letter-box, thereby avoiding the dreaded ‘while you were out’ note from the post office – unless you order 6 books or more, in which case they are sent by courier in a box.
Postage overseas usually takes about five days to Europe and ten days to the rest of world; more than six books are sent together in a box and usually take a week. However, at the moment we are finding some orders are taking up to 4-6 weeks to arrive, unfortunately, due to global transport issues.
We can also rush deliver books the same day or overnight for an additional charge; please contact us for details.
Yes – this costs an extra £2 per book for tissue paper, £3 per book for Cambridge Imprint patterned wrapping paper, or £8 per book for reusable fabric gift wrapping (pictured below).
A card saying ‘Best Wishes’, ‘Happy Birthday’, ‘Thank You’ or a blank card, is included in the price. When ordering, please say in the ‘message’ box which card you would like. If required, the envelope can also have a ‘Do not open before…’ sticker.
Yes, we sell a Persephone Book Token. They cost £17 for one book including U.K. postage, or £45 for three, and are sent out with a copy of the Persephone Biannually, along with a note telling them who has given them the book token. These are not available overseas, however; instead we recommend the Persephone Digital Book Token.
The name Persephone was chosen as a symbol of female creativity, as well as of new beginnings (the daughter of Zeus is associated with spring).
Here at Persephone Books we are often asked how we choose our books. Well….
1. Persephone Books arose out of years of being at home with small children: so much time to rediscover C20th women writers, and to buy books for 20p or go to the London Library, and come home with an armful of forgotten books. Once the children were older there was time to read in the British Museum reading room and browse in secondhand bookshops. Now there’s the Internet.
2. We have to completely and utterly love every book. It is a cliche of publishing that a book will not sell unless someone is passionately behind it. Each must have a special quality to justify the expense / commitment of its re-publication.
3. Quite a few of our titles are written about in Nicola Beauman’s 1983 book A Very Great Profession: The Woman's Novel, 1914-1938. A mixture of literary criticism and social history, this book influenced our choice of titles in other ways, for example its focus on women’s everyday lives: what we think of as ‘domestic feminism’. Our books are linked by the idea of 'home', though of course that doesn't preclude their characters having a career or flying an aeroplane.
4. Our books mostly date from the mid-C20th, though some appeared earlier (A New System of Domestic Cookery is our earliest: 1806) and some later (Emmeline and Still Missing were both first published in the early 1980s). Why this focus on the 1930s and 1940s? A quick answer is that women simply wrote so well then! But also many were well educated, yet society was not yet ready to allow them to work outside the home: writing was a good compromise.
5. Ideally ‘the novel tells a story’ (EM Forster). In other words, we prefer books that are page-turners and a guaranteed good read. They must, for example, have a proper plot.
6. People kindly suggest books: Henrietta Twycross-Martin told us that Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day was her mother’s favourite; the late Neville Braybrooke sent us his wife Isobel English’s novel Every Eye. Sometimes we realise that a book of classic quality is unaccountably not in print (Mariana, Little Boy Lost, The Expendable Man).
7. Finally, we occasionally find books in rather odd ways. Lettice Delmer was ‘puffed’ by TS Eliot on the flap of another book; Fidelity —a superb book —was advertised on the back of Elizabeth Jenkins's Virginia Water, which is not so good; the author of A Happy Tree was mentioned intriguingly in Virginia Woolf’s Diary; we read an obituary of the author of One Afternoon in the Guardian, etc.
And thus, just like the goddess Persephone emerged back into the light, so do our books.
Do you have any jobs available? Or work experience opportunities?
We do occasionally have jobs available working in the bookshop, yes. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your CV and also telling us a little about your favourite Persephone book. We are too small, however, to offer work experience - sorry.
No, thank you. We only do reprints.
Maybe. We are always delighted to hear recommendations from our readers, so do get in touch.