BAMB 7Qs with Cynthia Gamble

Cynthia Gamble will be joining us on Books Are My Bag day - Saturday 10 October - between 2 pm and 3:30 pm! Cynthia will be enjoying cake as well as chats, photos and book signings whilst she launches her new book!

Cynthia Gamble, Honorary Research Fellow University of Exeter, is a recognised authority on John Ruskin, Marcel Proust, Shropshire history and related areas. Among her books are Proust as Interpreter of Ruskin (2002) and John Ruskin, Henry James and the Shropshire Lads (2008). Cynthia will be launching her new book, 'Wenlock Abbey, 1857 - 1919' at Wenlock Books on Saturday 10 October between 2 pm and 3:30 pm. During the launch, Cynthia will be appearing in conversation with William Motley (who grew up at Wenlock Abbey) - this is not to be missed!

1) Why are high street and independent bookshops important to you?

“Bookshops represent, along with the vanishing tearooms, the art de vivre. They provide a varied diet and menu, and good food for the mind. If one closes, it is likely to be replaced by a chain such as Starbucks or Costa, with an identical menu throughout the world. How boring that would be!"

2) Name your three favourite independent bookshops (apart from us, of course!). What makes them special?

“1. Daunts Books, 83/84 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QW
2. G. Heywood Hill, 10 Curzon Street, Mayfair, London W1J 5HH

3. Slightly Foxed Books, 123 Gloucester Road, London SW7 4TE 

What makes them special:
- Their inspirational architecture, both inside and outside.
- The welcoming, knowledgeable staff
- The freedom to browse, sit in a comfortable armchair and read a book, and hopefully buy it!
- The sense and aroma of history (Nancy Mitford at G. Heywood Hill and a blue plaque)
- They are havens of tranquillity and literary joy…and much more."

3) What is the best, funniest, quirkiest or most moving experience you have ever had in a bookshop?

“I am still waiting for this to happen…maybe on 10 October?"


4) What three words come to mind when you think of Wenlock Books?

"Anna, Jasmine and smiles."

5) What has been your favourite book of 2015 so far?

“The Lost Pre-Raphaelite: The Secret Life and Loves of Robert Bateman, by Nigel Daly.  I hope this counts! It was published in late 2014, but I did not read it until 2015!"

6) What books are you looking forward to reading before the end of the year?

“In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower by Marcel Proust, translated by William C. Carter. Yale, October 2015. This is the volume, in French, that won the Pirx Goncourt in 1919."

7) What are your top three desert island reads?

“1. My recent book of course!
2. My archive to write the next book
3. and the Complete Works of Marcel Proust."

Keep up-to-date with our Books Are My Bag plans by following us on Twitter @wenlockbooks, and join in by using our hashtag #WenlockBooksAreMyBag.

Don't forget to use the Books Are My Bag hashtag #BAMB and to tag @booksaremybag too!