Pros and Cons book

This obscure, battered old book was a favorite of my grandmother's. I loved her very much and named my daughter Emma Rose after her. A socialist, she was always interested in political debate, and loved to take classes at the London City Lit in things like political economy, sociology and philosophy.  This little book would often travel with her as it always gave her something interesting to read and think about. In her late 80's and early 90's, not wanting to carrying the book, she would cut chapters out to take to class or lunch. The chapters would be tucked or taped back in and another cut out to carry. The chopped about book came to me when she died and sat on my shelves gathering dust.  
One day, my partner's mother was telling me of her own mother - a communist who'd left her first marriage and lived with her father, a fellow communist and Bermudan GP in the East End of London. She was highly intelligent and outspoken, a chain smoker with tattoos, and they must have made a distinctive pair in the East End of London in the 1930's.  Like my grandmother she shared a love of politics and debate, and she was very proud of having edited a book of "controversies of the day." I asked it's title, and my mother in law said "oh, you wouldn't possibly know it, it's been out of print for years, it was called Pros and Cons."  I'm still amazed to have discovered this obscure book meant so much to both my and my partner's grandmothers.  I wish our two grandmothers could have met, it would have been a meeting of lively hearts and minds which they'd both thoroughly enjoy.  They would have been tickled to know that Emma recently joined her school's debating club - it must be in the blood! The book will be Emma's in due time.

Claire Delafons
Art Buyer