"My books are all novels as it is the human element which interests me most in life; some of my books are light and amusing and others are serious studies of character, but they are human and carefully thought out, and perhaps it is for these two reasons that my public is so diverse and ranges from university professors to old ladies and small boys!" ~ D. E. Stevenson
Once again I must give credit to my friend Alison, who between the two of us, has the gift for discovering long forgotten, but wonderfully great reads. Often times we're lucky to find these books have recently been reprinted by publishing companies like Persephone Books. It was Alison who tipped me off last year to Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (reviewed), and also she who discovered that Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote more than children's stories -- I had no idea!
Thanks to Alison I learned of and read The Making of a Marchioness (reviewed), its sequel The Methods of Lady Walderhurst (reviewed), and the crem de le creme of Edwardian novels, The Shuttle (reviewed) -- all excellent reads.
This time Alison found D. E. Stevenson, who while to today's readers she remains relatively unknown, was during her life time a a very proliferate writer. Dorothy Emily Stevenson (first cousin to Robert Louis Stevenson) penned over 40 novels in the span of as many years. The particular novel that caught Alison's attention and now has mine is the first book in a series by Ms. Stevenson, Miss Buncle's Book (1934), which the British publishing company Persephone Books chose to reprint in late 2008. (Click on the Persephone link to read a summary of the book's plot.)
I checked around the Internet and very little information is available about any of Ms. Stevenson's books, but I was able to find an entire bibliophile of her books on Wikipedia and some personal information as well as fan reviews on two fan websites: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Garden/1024/ and http://www.destevenson.org/.
I am determined to get my hands on a copy of Miss Buncle's Book, but since neither of my libraries have this novel (or any in the series) I must find another way to get a hold of the book. The question now is -- do I spend $3.00 for temporary possession through Inter-Library Loan, or do I spend $19 plus shipping and spring for a copy of my own? Stay tuned to hear what I decide and what I think once I get my hands on this book.