Order Nr. 41946 THE COMPANY WE KEPT. Barbara Kaye.


  • New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 1995.
  • 8vo.
  • cloth, dust jacket.
  • x, 224 pages and 18 illustrations.
  • ISBN: 1884718124
  • ISBN: 9781884718120

Price: $20.00  other currencies

Order Nr. 41946

Reprint of the first edition. In 1938, after three years of sharing a house in London with a moody, elderly Russian who translated Chekhov, Barbara Kaye and her husband, Percy Muir, move to a Tudor cottage in northwest Essex, in joyful anticipation of having a home to themselves at last. As she handles a young daughter, domestic crises, a garden, chickens and writes novels - Percy commutes to London to carry on his antiquarian book business at Elkin Mathews in Duke Street. Eighteen months later, on the eve of war, the business and staff join the exodus of evacuees from London to room with the Muirs, along with parents and dog, in their draughty and already over-crowded cottage. In this entertaining and very personal sequel to Percy Muir's MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS, Barbara Kaye describes the struggle to keep the firm of Elkin Mathews going while, as they host an egotistical author engaged on a book on women, an eccentric poet, the creator of James Bond and other friends who come for temporary refuge from the Blitz. Writers and artists living in northwest Essex at the time come into story, amongst them A.J.A. Symons, Marjorie Allingham and A.E. Coppard. The book also gives a vivid picture of war-time life in a village where American Forces were stationed. From the reference library of Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts with their bookplate included.