Saturday, 30 April 2011

My Bookshelves...

The walls of my small study are lined with all sorts of books: hardbacks and paperbacks, non-fiction and fiction, biographies, thrillers, romances, and children's books old and new. I love them all. So over the coming weeks and months inbetween writerly chat and author interviews, I'd occasionally like to talk about the books I've collected over the years and to introduce you to some much loved authors.

Ruby Constance Ferguson. (1899 - 1966)

Let's start at the very top shelf by taking a look at nine children's books written between 1949 and 1962. These books are very special to me and through my 1960's childhood I read them over and over. They were my best friends. All I had to do to achieve my dream of owning a pony and living in the countryside was to open up a 'Jill book' and lose myself in her wonderful make-believe world.

These books are all first editions in their original dust jackets.


Some years later, I was delighted to discover that Ruby Ferguson had written eight mystery thrillers under her maiden name of R C Ashby. I now have most of these treasured old books on my shelf. The most prized is the signed first edition copy of The Moorland Man - the Romance of a Northern Farm published in 1926 by Hodder & Stoughton. They are the amongst the oldest books on my shelves and none have dust jackets, which is just as well, as I doubt I could have afforded to buy them if they had.


Ruby Ferguson also wrote thirteen wonderful romance novels and I have managed to collect and enjoy reading them all. From Lady Rose and Mrs Memmary in 1937 to A Woman with a Secret in 1965. She also wrote a fictionalised memoir published in 1967. Her books were published by Hodder & Stoughton London and Macmillan in the USA.

Ruby Constance Ferguson died on Jersey on 11th November 1966.

My wee West Highland terrier is called Ruby after the author Ruby Ferguson

What books are on your top shelf and have you ever named a pet after a much loved author...?

12 comments:

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great post, Janice - I haven't read any of Ruby Ferguson's books, so it's good to read about them.

Andrew Culture said...

Pre-WWII books without jackets are such a lovely thing to collect (I'm a sucker for old Wodehouse myself), because they're cheap enough to be affordable but rare enough that each find is exciting!

Misha said...

I've never read any of her work, but now I'm curious. I can't actually say that I love one author above all others, because I read too widely and can't compare writers in one genre with those in another.

:-)

Janice Horton said...

Hi Rosemary - I'm happy to have introduced you to Ruby Ferguson!

Janice Horton said...

Andrew - a like-minded soul. Ebay and Abe books have been fantastic resources for me. I would never have found some of my 'treasures' if it wasn't for the Internet bookshops.

Janice Horton said...

Hi Misha - thanks for your comment - I actually have so many favorite authors that I thought it would be a good theme to blog about on occasion over the next few months. I think Jilly Cooper might be next!

GillyF said...

I LOVED the Jill books and still have most of mine though they are the 2/6d Armada series! I named my first pony Rhanna after the Hebridean island in Christine Marion Fraser's books. Does that count?

Melanie said...

Let me see... there's a bookstore not too far away from here that sells used and antique books. I have a copy of Gone With the Wind I picked up from there. I also have a set of four antique books "Hudson and Mohawk Genealogy and Family Memoirs" the histories of families alonf the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers in New York state. Many of my Wiltse ancestors emigrated there and latterly to Canada. I also have some reproductions of antique county atlases.
I still have quite a few of my books from my childhood - Black Beauty, Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, Tales to Tremble By (a number of ghostly short stories).

Janice Horton said...

Hi Gilly - yes it does count! - and those Armada paperbacks are really collectable too so keep hold of them.

Janice Horton said...

Hi Melanie - what a prize to have a old copy of Gone with the Wind!

Melanie said...

It being Mother's Day here got me to thinking. I have the copy of A Tale of Two Cities that my mum read in High School.

Kristal Shaff said...

Sweet! I love the look of old books. My son's teacher collects first edition books.

Thanks for sharing your bookshelf with us!