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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Victoria Holt collection & the Gothic square

I've been rather slowly collecting all of the old Victoria Holt paperbacks. At some point, I'll post a pic of them together, but at this point, I'm still early in the process. My collection began when I was at my local UBS around 3 years ago and they had a grab bag of books for $1.00 with the name "Victoria Holt" written on it.


I devoured these books like candy when I was a teenager, so I grabbed it, even though I had no idea what was in it, and paid my dollar and then took it home. It took a while for me to get ready to read them, though, so the four books (.25 each!) sat on my shelves for a while. Then, a few years ago, I picked up The Mistress of Mellyn, and I enjoyed it. It resulted in one of my favorite reviews, which you can find here, if you're interested.


I followed that one up with The Shivering Sands and The Pride of the Peacock in kindle format, and then I picked up The Kirkland Revels, which had been in that original bundle, and I read it. I decided at that point that the best way to read these books was in paperback, with their hideous old-fashioned covers (usually of a woman in a diaphanous dress running in terror from some sort of a castle or chateau or mansion), so I've started buying them whenever I find them, and buying them used from amazon from time to time. In addition, lots of the Holts have not been republished into kindle format, so some of her lesser known books are unavailable as ebooks.


I also remembered reading Phyllis Whitney, and none of her books are available as ebooks, so I bought The Window on the Square used from amazon, which had been recommended by a bookliker (can't remember which of you recc'd it) as one of her favorite books of all time. I also picked up Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart, which has been republished in a gorgeous Rediscovered Classics print edition which makes my old Fawcett & Avon paperbacks look like the bastard step-daughters of the queen or something! It was also really expensive, compared to the $4.00 (.01 for the book, $3.99 for shipping) that I've been paying for the Holt/Whitney used books.


These books are available so cheap, that I've decided to just collect a whole shelf of them. Holt & Whitney are my first priorities, along with Mary Stewart, but I'll probably add Barbara Michaels, and possibly some of the lesser known gothic authors to the collection as I proceed!


That was a long lead-in to the pictures, which are of my most recent acquisition:



I don't think I've ever read this one, because it was first published in 1984, which is the year I graduated from high school. I am fairly certain I had abandoned gothics when I was around 16, so this one would've been published after I stopped reading them.


And, look at the inside cover page:



I believe that Dolphin Cay POA is likely a Property Owner's Association from Florida. And, I love the description - it hits all of the Holt-lover's hot buttons: windswept moors, galloping horses, and a man (no doubt the lord of the manor, but that's just a guess) who is forbidden to the heroine. Nine sentences.


I'm going to read this one for my gothic square!