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 our next Coffee Morning 10am to 12pm on Saturday 8th April for anyone interested in joining. Annual Membership is £60 - payable by cheque or cash - with a reduced rate of £30 for students.
Days from a Different World: A Memoir of Childhood
by John Simpson
‘I have already touched on my childhood in Strange Places, Questionable People. But the further through life I get the more I want to revisit it. I want to look at the whole of my childhood, the England I grew up in and my family.’
This is not a mere exercise in nostalgia, rather it is a journey through the England of the late 1940s in all its shabby wonder, which also tells the somewhat strange and often deeply painful story of John Simpson’s family. Here we meet his father and his grandmother, still living in the small and rather depressing south London suburb which his family built, dominated and, finally, declined with. We meet the grandfather who drank the family money away and abandoned his wife and children, and the grandfather who toured the country with a Wild West show. We learn, too, of the broken marriages and the unfulfilled lives, of the people who died, and the lives which were just beginning. Candid, beautifully written and touching, Days from a Different World will enchant all those who read it.
The Magnificent Mrs Tennant: The Adventurous Life of Gertrude Tennant, Victorian Grande Dame
by David Waller
Gertrude Tennant’s life was remarkable for its length (1819–1918), but even more so for the influence she achieved as an unsurpassed London hostess. The salon she established when widowed in her early fifties attracted legions of celebrities, among them William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Thomas Huxley, John Everett Millais, Henry James, and Robert Browning. In her youth she had a fling with Gustave Flaubert, and in her later years she became the redoubtable mother-in-law to the explorer Henry Morton Stanley. But as a woman in a male-dominated world, Mrs. Tennant has been remembered mainly as a footnote in the lives of eminent men.
This book recovers the lost life of Gertrude Tennant, drawing on a treasure trove of recently discovered family papers—thousands of letters, including two dozen original letters from Flaubert to Tennant; dozens of diaries; and many other unpublished documents relating to Stanley and other famous figures of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. David Waller presents Gertrude Tennant’s life in colorful detail, placing her not only at the heart of a multigenerational, matriarchal family epic but also at the center of European social, literary, and intellectual life for the best part of a century.
London: The Biography
by Peter Ackroyd
Much of Peter Ackroyd's work has been concerned with the life and past of London but here, as a culmination, is his definitive account of the city. For him it is a living organism, with its own laws of growth and change, so London is a biography rather than a history. It differs from other histories, too, in the range and diversity of its contents. Ackroyd portrays London from the time of the Druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century, noting magnificence in both epochs, but this is not a simple chronological record. There are chapters on the history of silence and the history of light, the history of childhood and the history of suicide, the history of Cockney speech and the history of drink.
London is perhaps the most important study of the city ever written, and confirms Ackroyd's status as what one critic has called 'our age's greatest London imagination.'
The Rendezvous And Other Stories
by Daphne Du Maurier
Mary Farren went into the gun room one morning about half-past eleven, took her husband's revolver and loaded it, then shot herself. The butler heard the sound of the gun from the pantry...
The fourteen haunting stories in this collection span the whole of Daphne du Maurier's writing career and explore every human emotion: an apparently happily married woman commits suicide; a steamer in wartime is rescued by a mysterious sailing-ship; a dull husband breaks loose in a surprising fashion; a con woman plays her game once too often; and a famous novelist looks for romance, only to meet with bitter disappointent. Each meticulously observed tale shows du Maurier's mastery of the genre.
by E.V. Thompson
E.V. Thompson's number one bestseller immerses the reader in the greed, misery and ruthlessness of the Chinese opium trade. The opium trade involved Britain in one of the most shameful wars of all time, just as it reached out from Hong Kong to threaten the very throne of China's all-powerful emperor. Young Cornishman Luke Trewarne is in the Far East to make his fortune but his plans are threatened by his ideals, together with a growing love for China, its people and a beautiful Chinese boat-girl. Challenged by the brutal intrigues of those with the most to gain from the squalor and degradation of the opium trade, Trewarne finds an ally in the Tartar hero of China's 'Bannermen' army. Together, they meet with both triumph and disaster. This is one of E.V. Thompson's most exciting and readable novels.
The Mysteries of Udolpho
by Ann Ward Radcliffe
`Her present life appeared like the dream of a distempered imagination, or like one of those frightful fictions, in which the wild genius of the poets sometimes delighted. Rreflections brought only regret, and anticipation terror.'
Such is the state of mind in which Emily St. Aubuert - the orphaned heroine of Ann Radcliffe's 1794 gothic Classic, The Mysteries of Udolpho - finds herself after Count Montoni, her evil guardian, imprisions her in his gloomy medieval fortress in the Appenines. Terror is the order of the day inside the walls of Udolpho, as Emily struggles against Montoni's rapacious schemes and the threat of her own psychological disintegration.
A best-seller in its day and a potent influence on Walpole, Poe, and other writers of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Gothic horror, The Mysteries of Udolpho remains one of the most important works in the history of European fiction. As the same time, with its dream-like plot and hallucinatory rendering of its characters' psychological states, it often seems strangely modern: `permanently avant-garde' in Terry Castle's words, and a profound and fascinating challenge to contemporary readers.
The Invisible Man
by H.G. Wells
'People screamed. People sprang off the pavement ... "The Invisible Man is coming! The Invisible Man!"'
With his face swaddled in bandages, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses and his hands covered even indoors, Griffin - the new guest at The Coach and Horses - is at first assumed to be a shy accident-victim. But the true reason for his disguise is far more chilling: he has developed a process that has made him invisible, and is locked in a struggle to discover the antidote. Forced from the village, and driven to murder, he seeks the aid of an old friend, Kemp. The horror of his fate has affected his mind, however - and when Kemp refuse to help, he resolves to wreak his revenge.
The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Darling Ma: Letters to Her Mother, 1932-44 Hardback
by Joyce Grenfell
A collection of Joyce Grenfell's letters to her mother originally published in 1989. The release of this volume coincides with the publication of Joyce and Ginnie, a collection of her letters to Virginia Graham.