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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Crochet Woman

Ruth Manning Sanders is one of my favorite authors. I have loved her books of folk and fairy tales since I was a girl, and have a quite a collection of her works. I have been trying to purchase a copy of her "A Book of Mermaids" for quite a while (one of her most highly sought after titles), but even when I manage to find one it is always listed for $100.00 or more. But I keep hoping to find one more in the price range I am willing to pay, so every now and then I do a search for her books on EBay and Amazon.
Imagine how surprised I was a few weeks ago when the title "The Crochet Woman" popped up when I typed   "Ruth Manning Sanders" into the search field on Amazon. Even though I have read her books for years, I had never heard of this one.  I immediately clicked on the title, wondering what the book could be about. There was not much information, other than it was published in 1930. There were 3 copies available from three different used book sellers; 2 were listed at $75.00 each. The third was listed for $10.00 plus shipping, so I  ordered it right away, even though I didn't really know what to expect.
When the book arrived about a week later, I sat down and began to read. The story drew me in immediately, even though I quickly learned that the crochet woman (we never learn her name, she is always referred to as "the crochet woman") is not a good person. In fact, she is quite evil, a witch, who uses her crochet work to cast spells on the poor folk who live in the countryside around her.
Here is a quote from the inside flap of the cover:
"Tart as a cooking apple, full flavored as wild honey, is this tale of the English countryside, the story of a modern witch who works with gossip and innuendo in place of curses and spells. Knotting hatred of youth into her endless pattern, she bestirs herself to bring havoc into the lives of her young neighbors, and almost succeeds."
I read the book in a single day, and I must say I enjoyed it very much. The ending was just what I had hoped it would be (no spoilers here, even though the book has been out of print for more than 80 years.) If you ever happen to run across a copy, be sure to pick it up. I am sure you will enjoy it, too!

8 comments:

Bailey said...

Have you tried Biblio.com? I find they have a pretty good selection of hard to find out of print stuff.

Ann said...

No, I haven't Bailey, but I will check them out. Thanks for the info!

Cris said...

ohhh a book I'll have to check out! (wonders if she can get it on her kindle... off to find out!)

Ann said...

Rats, I checked out biblio.com, Bailey, and they did have a few copies of 'A Book of Mermaids' but they were all in the $100.00+ range. I guess I will have to keep looking, but thanks for letting me know about the site.

Ann said...

Oh, and they also had several copies of "Crochet Woman"; one was even signed by the author!

CrochetBlogger said...

Wow - what a great find! Thanks for sharing.

Sandyteje Creaciones said...

Hola Bella !!! desde Venezuela donde te sigo , no encuentro esos libros deben ser muy interesantes , lo de la mujer ganchillo debe ser interesante , la verdad la gente no siempre usa sus manos y sabiduría para hacer el bien... Siempre tienes bellezas que mostrar y grandes cosas que enseñarnos , Un besote y feliz inicio de semana!!!

Chris Otto said...

This is too funny! I am a Ruth Manning-Sanders researcher and collector. I had my eye on that $10 copy of "The Crochet Woman" on Amazon for the longest time; I always intended to get around to buying it. Then, one day, I was surprised to see it had vanished. "Who else would be interested in THAT book??" I thought. ... I'm very glad it got into good hands. ... Meanwhile, "A Book of Mermaids" is indeed one of the toughest Manning-Sanders books to get your hands on cheaply. None of the other "A Book of..." titles are that expensive. I am always looking out for "Mermaids" and I can tell you that, if you're patient, there are probably one or two opportunities per year to snag the book for $25 or less, especially on eBay, where I've bought a couple. ... If you or your readers are interested in more about Manning-Sanders, I have a subsection of my ephemera blog that's solely about her and her works: http://papergreat.blogspot.com/search/label/Ruth%20Manning-Sanders

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