Thursday, 3 June 2010


Yesterday, I wrote about my 276th Virago Modern Classic - which, given that there are currently 552 in the list means that I am halfway through my venture. Not bad going given that I only started in July this year! Of course, I had read a number of these before embarking on the challenge, so the figure is slightly artificially updated by the "catch-up" posts that I have written (I'm nearly up to date with those, the only author that I have read and not blogged about is Elizabeth Taylor but I'm holding out until I manage to get myself a complete set of her books in the original green editions!). But I'm still pleased with the progress of the challenge, and maybe it won't take the 10 years to complete that I originally anticipated. On the other hand, many of the books that I have left may be difficult to track down, and others are really long (four volumes of Pilgrimage only count as one book according to the master list), and Virago are still issuing more modern classics at the rate of about 10 a year. So I still feel somewhat daunted by my challenge, but hopefully there are many more wonderful books out there to be discovered.

But it still represents a pretty big achievement I think. Big thanks to Virago for their help, sending me copies of the latest VMCs and some of the other ones too. Many thanks to all of my wonderful readers who have commented, and shown interest in the project, and who have lent me books, and those who have given me books along the way - I've been absolutely bowled over by people's generosity!

To celebrate, I'd like to giveaway a surprise VMC to one lucky reader. Tell me which out of the VMCs that I have yet to read, you'd most like to see me reading (that might involve a little research!).


  1. That is truly an achievement Verity! I would be sad to see this end so soon so do take as much time as you need. I've been enjoying your posts. I think you haven't read any Molly Keane, at least I can't find any on your labels or on Google. I may have missed it though. I'd love for you to read her novel, Good Behaviour. Mind you, I disliked it right after reading it but then it grew on me after some time.

  2. At this rate, it certainly won't take ten years! Congratulations, Verity! You're doing great, and adding to our wishlists dangerously.

    As for the contest, I'm going to cheat slightly and say A Woman of Independent Means - not only because we talked about it only yesterday, but also because I enjoyed it so much and hope you would too.

  3. Go Verity :)! It's got to be "Pilgrimage", currently the biggest gap in my library is the hole waiting to be filled by the original Virago set. One day, when I am rich :)

  4. Verity, that's a fabulous accomplishment! I've really enjoyed being an armchair traveler on your journey and am looking forward to the rest of it!

  5. Wow! Well done you, congratulations! :)

  6. Well done you! Are there any particular outstanding ones that you are looking for (that is probably an answer for which there is an endless answer and i am sorry if that is the case, but I thought that some might be easier to get hold of than others.... )

    Congratulations Verity!


  7. Congratulations! I don't know which book I'd pick, since you've read all the ones I've heard about!

  8. Thanks for all your lovely comments people!

    Mrs B - I have read some Molly Keane, but not Good Behaviour - think there is a Keane in the tag cloud.

    Alison - Pilgrimage is the one that is daunting me most - four volumes to cross just one off the list.

    Jenny and A girl walks - thank you very much.

    Nymeth - good suggestion indeed! It may take me 10 years to track down some of them.

    Hannah - so far, I've just concentrated on ones that I hear about/sound interesting - I think it will be the rest which may be more obscure.

    Laura - armchair traveller is a very good phrase :)

  9. Congratulations Verity! I do love reading about the VMCs you have read. I couldn't find this in your blog, so I would very much like to hear your thoughts on Joanna Godden by Sheila Kaye-Smith (sorry if you have already read this). This was adapted into a film called The Loves of Joanna Godden, the poster of which was featured on the Persephone Post a few weeks (months?) ago. I am intrigued by this book as the desciption of it reminded me a bit of Gone with the Wind with is one of my most favourite books!

  10. What an amazing accomplishment, Verity! You must feel so proud how quickly it is going when it has seemed like such an insurmountable task at times.

    I think some of the VMCs remaining will be more enjoyable to track down than you imagine; the enjoyment will be in finding those elusive titles, of spotting that green spine and hoping it is one you haven't yet read. There are a number of denser ones though and I hope you find them gripping and easy to read.

    I would love you to read The Camomile by Catherine Carswell as it is the VMC I am currently most interested in and would like your opinion.