The most beautiful bookshop in the land of Albion

Claire and Lisa, Slightly Foxed Bookshop (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Claire Morton and Lisa Hobman with Ewa's book in their secondhand bookshop Slightly Foxed
Półka z książką Ewy w antykwariacie Slightly Foxed w Berwick-upon-Tweed
Copies of Ewa's book in the Poetry section, photo by Slightly Foxed

There are moments when you think you will bang your head against a wall of indifference to no end – like a woodpecker against a petrified tree. Then suddenly, like an echo, Leonard Cohen’s words return:

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in”

There is a crack in everything, and that’s how the light gets in. This light, this spark of someone’s kindness can dispell the darkest night like a comet tail resembling the fiery tail of a fox. Speaking of foxes… Meet Claire Morton and Lisa Hobman of Slightly Foxed, a secondhand bookshop in Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, near the Scottish border: – it is a bookshop with a fox in its logo, and it is a place which décor combines probably all the otherworlds that Ewa wrote about. Anyone who remembers the fox from the TV series Fleabag or the one from The Little Prince knows that this animal is particularly in tune with the symbolism of the human heart. Not only do “robins appear when loved ones are near”, so do foxes.

When I discovered this ‘foxed’ secondhand bookshop online and noticed its location, evoking memories of my trip years ago to Bamburgh Castle, I instantly felt that by writing Claire and Lisa about Ewa’s book I would come across open hearts. And it happened so. Their hearts opened like books with a beautiful story that is being written with every passing day – and which was probably meant  for me, for us to read… 

Above the volumes of Ewa’s book Lord Tennyson himself proudly flexes his… spine, and a mouse from The Tale of Two Bad Mice smiles to the right. Recently, Lisa and Claire shared exciting news: someone has bought one of the copies available in their bookshop! Dear Stranger, whoever you are, I wish you well, and in the back of my mind I picture you as Colophonius Regenschein from The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers or Thursday Next from Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde.

I have no doubts that Slightly Foxed is the most beautiful bookshop in the British Isles. Today, I am writing it partially a priori, because – only in month and a half from now will I have the chance to see it with my own eyes. I know that the beauty of a place is the reflection of the beauty of the inner landscape of people who co-create it. The uncommon kindness of Lisa and Claire shown to me (actually, a stranger) and to Ewa and her work, made me experience this beauty with my soul’s eyes and share it with you.

Dear Lisa and Claire of Slightly Foxed – I can’t thank you enough for your kindness, and I think that the little foxy fellow who accompanies you in the picture must have quickly sniffed out the solid amount of poetry in Ewa’s book, not only because of its topic, but also because of how Ewa conceived and wrote it. I am so happy that now, thanks to you, the new readers may discover it by themselves!

translated by J. Niedziela


  1. Hi, may I purchase three copies of the book ‘Literary Appropriations of Myth and Legend’ by the scholar Ewa Mlynarczyk please? I received one as a gift from Malgorzata and Jakub, and wish to buy more for friends who share these passions. We live in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

    The web address I’ve given here is a direct link to the art of Jakub (Kuba), who designed Ewa’s book cover.

    Warm regards from Australia

    1. Dear Louisa,

      we are so happy to know that you received the book and took it into your collection with such tenderness and empathy. We will send you the additional books soon (and an e-mail, too)!

      As you know, we wanted to create a place where Ewa could constantly become present, influencing life that only seemingly goes on without her: inspiring new research and artistic explorations, stimulating (self)cognitive curiosity or evoking emotions which often become the wind of change and the source of much-needed hope. This place resembles a garden, and your „words of wisdom” are like the spreading branches of an oak tree planted in that garden.

      Juliusz Słowacki, our famous Polish poet, once wrote:
      „There is one, only one treasure left for us
      A thought knowing no dam and following the heart”
      I am glad that the paths of our thoughts have crossed between continents, cultures, decades and dimensions…
      Let the „coversation of centuries” continue.

      Take care
      Małgosia and Kuba

      PS We are happy that you liked the cover art too. To give the credit to the right person, we must say that we designed the cover (typesetting etc.), but we asked our talented friend, Barbara Sobczyńska from Kraków, to paint the picturesque library scene.

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