My English Journey Set is Complete Thanks to Jill and Cornflower

A few months ago in a post about the books in my nightstand I wrote about how I had 19 of the 20 volumes in Penguin’s English Journey series. The one that was missing was AE Housman’s A Shropshire Lad which was out of stock at The Book Despository. At the time I blamed Cornflower because her book club had just read the book so what else could I conclude? Months later the book is still out of stock and the Penguin website won’t sell these to the US. I was beginning to get worried that I would never be able to complete the set. So I thought I would appeal to Cornflower to see if anyone in her book club had a clean copy they were willing to part with. Within no time, Jill from Victoria, Australia came to my rescue and offered to send me her copy.

In exchange I offered to buy the book of her choice that would cover the cost of the book and shipping. Jill’s choice was Henrietta’s War. Since she had done me a kind turn, and because the price of Henrietta’s War didn’t seem enough to make up for the effort and expenditure on Jill’s end, I decided that I would send her a few of my favorites in addition to Henrietta. Since Jill lives in Australia, I decided I would send her something by American authors so I chose The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman and The Professor’s House by Willa Cather. Two of my favorites for very different reasons. I hope she likes them.

Yesterday I got this cute package in the mail from Jill. She not only sent me the Housman I needed to complete my set but she also sent me a copy of A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey-an “Australian Classic”

Born in 1894, Facey lived the rough frontier life of a sheep farmer, survived the gore of Gallipoli, raised a family through the Depression and spent sixty years with his beloved wife…

The long awaited volume…Now that the set is complete I am toying with the idea of reading all 20 of them over the course of a month. None of them are very long so I don’t think it would be too difficult to do.

Here are the rest of them just waiting for A Shropshire Lad.

12 thoughts on “My English Journey Set is Complete Thanks to Jill and Cornflower

  1. Mlle Paradis February 20, 2010 / 12:04 am

    So pretty! You are a hardcore Anglophile! Have you ever read any Russell Hoban? He is a transplanted Yank who writes about England and language in a completely different way. You might enjoy him. Very thoughtful and evocative. Riddley Walker is pretty intense.


  2. Jill February 20, 2010 / 1:54 am

    A Shropshire Lad was just waiting in a my collection for a short while until it could be reunited with its stablemates from English Journeys. It was my pleasure Thomas.Enjoy.


  3. Cornflower February 20, 2010 / 6:07 am

    I'm so glad you were able to complete your set, Thomas!


  4. verity February 20, 2010 / 6:13 am

    Aren't book bloggers so very kind! And how lovely to ahve that beautiful set, complete.


  5. Thomas at My Porch February 20, 2010 / 9:06 am

    Mlle: I have never even heard of Russell Hoban. Sounds interesting.

    Jill: Thanks again Jill.

    Cornflower: Me too, thanks.

    Verity: Since I am not much of a poetry reader this title would not normally be on my wish list. But the fact that it was a whole in this series was too much to bear. And now that I have it I am looking forward to reading it.


  6. savidgereads February 21, 2010 / 11:54 am

    Oh this is what I love about the book blogging community everyone is so kind!


  7. Rose City Reader February 21, 2010 / 9:54 pm

    I have such jealousy. If there's anything I like more than a stack of good books, it's a stack of MATCHING good books.


  8. Nadia February 22, 2010 / 9:25 am

    Love the way Jill wrapped the books! And that was so sweet of her. Book bloggers are the best!! And that is just fab that you now have a complete set = yay!


  9. Jodie February 25, 2010 / 7:20 am

    You have the prettiest collections. Are you planning on picking up the whole Bloomsbury set as well (that's what the journeys are balanced on right?)


  10. Thomas at My Porch February 25, 2010 / 9:53 am

    Nadia: I know, I didn't want to open the package. It felt like it came directly from Martha Stewart.

    Jodie: The EJ series is finite, the Bloomsbury books could go on forever, which would make it a dangerous thing to begin collecting. So far I am sticking with just the two I have.


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