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The Gallery - October

Welcome to THE GALLERY where we invite you to browse some of the beautiful literature we have in stock here in the Plymouth Proprietary Library.

All of these books are available to borrow and you will be pleased to know we don't specify a date for their return, hence our policy of not issuing library fines.

Complimentary coffee, cake and a tour of the Library will be available at all of our Coffee Mornings on the second Saturday of each month for anyone interested in joining. Annual membership is £60 - payable by cheque or cash - with a reduced rate of £30 for under 25's or students.


by Barbara Pym

One did not drink sherry before the evening, just as one did not read a novel in the morning.

In 1970s London Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia work in the same office and suffer the same problem - loneliness. Lovingly and with delightful humour, Pym conducts us through their day-to-day existence: their preoccupations, their irritations, their judgements, and - perhaps most keenly felt - their worries about having somehow missed out on life as post-war Britain shifted around them.

Deliciously, blackly funny and full of obstinate optimism, Quartet in Autumn shows Barbara Pym's sensitive artistry at its most sparkling. A classic from one of Britain's most loved and highly acclaimed novelists, its world is both extraordinary and familiar, revealing the eccentricities of everyday life.



The continuing purpose

by Robin Fedden

A history of the National Trust, its aims and work

THE CONTINUING PURPOSE is the first book to deal fully with the history of the National Trust, its work, and its organisation. Sections are devoted to the story of the Trust's development since its birth in 1895, to the way it works today — how its task is carried out, how land and buildings of national importance are preserved — and finally to its legal framework, administrative machine, and finance. 




Designs on LifeDESIGNS ON LIFE
by Elizabeth Ferrars







by Claire Rayner

How many hearts will a woman break to reach the top? Lexie Asher had talent and looks, and nerve - but more than that she had charm. And she knew how to get her own way. She could will her own way out of the slums and onto the West End stage. She could will her way out of everything that was poor or ordinary or tedious and make herself a star. And in her quest for fame there was nothing that would get in her way- not even the man she loved or the child she secretly bore.



The Immortal DinnerThe Immortal Dinner
by Penelope Hughes - Hallett

Between Christmas and new year of 1817 the eccentric painter, B.R. Haydon, gave a famous dinner party. His guests included three of the greatest literary stars of the age: the poets John Keats and William Wordsworth and the essayist and wit Charles Lamb. They recited poetry, took part in ridiculous antics, indulged in high-minded discussions - with such displays of brilliance that the party became known as the Immortal Dinner.



 by Simon Winchester

In the summer of 1858, in a garden behind Christ Church in Oxford, Charles Dodgson―better known by his pseudonym Lewis Carroll―dressed the six-year-old Alice Liddell in ragamuffin's clothes, draped the folds of cloth low enough to expose her bare chest, asked her to look deep into his eyes―and then snapped the camera's shutter. In The Alice Behind Wonderland, Simon Winchester uses the famous photograph of Alice―notorious for the child's alluring pose―as the launching pad for an energetic and penetrating look at the inspiration behind, and the making of, one of the greatest classics of children's literature: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Indeed, Winchester shows that it was Dodgson's photographic love affair with Alice that transformed this shy and half-deaf mathematician into one of the world's best-loved writers. Equally important, this photograph offers a window into Dodgson's troubled Victorian's mind and soul; it is a picture imbued with more meaning than its appearance would suggest. Much like the fictional Alice's world, as the photograph is subject to closer examination, it becomes nothing short of curiouser and curiouser. Alice Liddell as The Beggar Maid was, in short, the muse that would inspire the creation of Alice in Wonderland.
Deftly engaging with Dogson's published writings, private diaries, and photography, Winchester weaves together the poignant, turbulent, and entirely fascinating story behind Lewis Carroll and the making of his Alice.


Recording AngelsRecording Angels
by Sarah Gristwood

The secret world of womens diaries

Why do women keep diaries? Is it to record private thoughts they dare not reveal to anyone else? To chart inner despair - as did Rachel Roberts and Virginia Woolf when on the brink of suicide? To achieve the catharsis of strong emotions in times of supreme happiness or danger? Or simply to record some extraordinary event - such as Lady Bird Johnson's evewitness account of the assassination of President Kennedy or Mrs Henry Duberly watching the Charge of the Light Brigade.


The Castle of OtrantoThe Castle of Otranto

This novel is the story of Conrad, son of Manfred of the house of Otranto. This thrilling tale abounds in adventure, suspense, and supernatural occurrences. Crammed with invention, entertainment, terror, and pathos, the novel was an immediate success and Walpole's own favorite among his numerous works. This work initiated a firestorm in this literary genre and was easily one of the most popular novels published in the late 18th and early 19th century.

Opening Hours

Monday 10.30am to 7.00pm
Tuesday 10.00am to 12.30pm
Wednesday Closed all day
Thursday 10.00am to 12.30pm
Friday 10.00am to 12.30pm
Saturday 10.00am to 12.30pm
Sunday Closed all day

Upcoming Events

March 2018


Mon 05 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Sat 10 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Fri 16 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Mon 19 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

April 2018


Mon 02 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Sat 14 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


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Literary Anniversaries


The Gallery Archive

The Gallery

Laura Reinbach - 31 Poems in 31 Days!

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With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one - but no one at all - can tell you what to read and when and how.

Doris Lessing (1919-2013)


Photo Gallery


Issue Room

William Cookworthy

Memoir of William Cookworthy
By his grandson


Historic Books and tea in the drawing room
Plymouth History Festival 2017