When last week I visited Barnetts Books I asked if they were aware of any other local bookshops and they lamented that so many had closed down but that a new one had recently opened in Battle, though they hadn’t been there yet so couldn’t yet review it.
Nevertheless I hot-footed it to the rather important historical town, near Hastings.
Battle was the location of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Battle Abbey remains on the edge of the town and is open to visitors through English Heritage. You can walk around the extensive grounds and try to imagine what went on there hundreds of years ago and you may, if like me, be inspired to work out that the British Royal Family all comes from there, from that battle. William the Conqueror came over from France, killed the King and took over. And that is the genealogy of our now Royal Family.
Meanwhile, back on the High Street, Rother Books is a new addition to the shop fronts and it is here where I bought myself a lovely modern copy of a classic vintage book – The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford. (Book review on Wednesday) When I bought the book I had a nice chat with the proprietor about how much he loved the Mitfords and had at one point, read everything he could find by or on them. He expressed that he loved this book and I should expect he does. This isn’t the biggest bookshop you’ll come across so the books available for sale must be curated in some way and it’s always nice to know that someone is recommending all the books to you. Clearly this chap was well read as we discussed at length how I came across Mitford – through reading Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill – you may remember I reviewed this at the start of the year and that it is a book about books. Author of The Woman in White, Susan Hill, relates her favourite books and authors, covering her lifetime. I’ve come to a few books as a result of reading this and books that I have enjoyed. Elizabeth Bowen’s The Heat of the Day and Penelope Fitzgeralds The Bookshop amongst others. So here I was buying another one.
This bookshop has a great classic novels section with plenty of choice and many that you may not have read. There is also a great selection of local books and I was intrigued to see that Virginia Woolf has strong links to the County, something I will explore more of eventually!
It’s nice to see a new bookshop opening with a good selection of books and I hope that many local people will get themselves in there and buy a book.