‘Diana Athill and ‘Sprout’. A Friendship.

I had just read the sublime Stet: An Editor’s Life (2000) by Diana, so I wrote to tell her how much I had enjoyed it.  On 15.9.2001 I received the following  reply from her , written in her beautiful hand-writing from her flat at 7, Elsworthy Terrace, NW3.

‘Dear Amanda,

I was delighted to get your letter and am so glad that you liked Stet – and that you have had your poems published.  I shall order a copy at once.

I’ve no copy of Sprouts,either.  Having never had enough shelf-space at home, I always used my office as a depository for my own copies of AD books without thinking twice about it.  When the end came – help! I’d have had to move house if I took them all with me.  Leaving so many behind was the only really sad thing about that final departure. So I can’t contribute to any attempt to find out how the sprouts blossomed.

Am tickled to see that Waterloo, like Granta, follows the present fashion in typographical design in making the titles and authors all but invisible in the cause of Elegance.

‘Typographers’ navel-gazing’ is what Andre used to call such tricks. And I do think that in your case they have overdone it!

With best wishes




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