I borrowed a copy from the library a few years ago, and have wanted a copy for myself ever since. It's a tricky one - out of print and collectable.
Having let the opportunity to buy a second-hand copy for $49 slip by a year or so ago, I suddenly found myself unable to get my hands on a copy for under $150.... I realised my folly and and the quest became a MISSION!!! (I try not to dwell on the tragic $56 Ebay copy, which I missed out on by $1 because I got the auction end-time wrong...).
Ok, I'll admit it now - I'm a bit of a sad case who should get out more. This is a book about the history of embroidery, for goodness sake!! It's written from a feminist perspective.
Anyone who has read The Subversive Stitch would know that it's also a cracking read, with lots of floor-stealing quotes and fascinating insights into both craft and history. It's incredibly relevant to my choice of career and life... Besides, I keep trying to be clever and quote fascinating bits of it in embroidery workshops... but have a shocking memory and can never get them right because I only ever read it ONCE.
From the back cover of the book.... my favourite -
"...while embroidery was employed to incalcate femininity in women, it also provided a way to negotiate the constraints of the feminine role. "Polly Cook did this, " states one eighteenth century child's sampler, "and hated every stitch she did in it."
Anyway - a copy came up on Amazon for $69 plus $12 postage.... better than the $250 it'd cost to buy here. I hit "ADD TO CART" and got terribly excited.... and then waited... and waited..... and waited.... and emailed the sellers... and waited.... and waited... and started to worry.... and it finally ARRIVED!!!! Yipppeee!!
More reasons to be cheerful - my sister also brought over another Enid Gilchrist mag yesterday. I've kept the other two since childhood - and they were vintage even then. I love them. I can't quite bring myself to put them away on the bookshelf yet.
Yep - I should get out more.