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The Magic Hour

On sale

29th February 2024

Price: £10.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781780726267

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“The perfect desert island book.” Adam Nicolson

“Reading a poem gives us a glimpse of past and future possibilities, other worlds and other lives. It makes a gift of unfamiliar words, and refreshes parts of the mind that other art forms cannot reach…”

Charlotte Moore, a writer and former English teacher, has loved poetry all her life. Keen to be able to read and talk about poems with others, she set up a weekly poetry club for anyone interested to join her round her fireplace.

This book brings together a selection of the Tuesday Afternoon Poetry Club’s favourite poems, some well-known, some less so. The poems are grouped into themes – from home and lovers, to war and the planets – each framed with a little context from Charlotte and delightful insights from members of the group.

The Magic Hour offers a source of lifelong pleasure and nourishment, with words to delight and console, while reminding us of moments of personal significance. It demonstrates how we can all benefit from a dose of poetry in our daily lives.


Adam Nicolson
I LOVED this book so much: warm, honest, informed, generous, original, funny and very touching. It is so various and redeemed from so many hidden corners, it would be difficult to think of an anthology more richly packed. Which of course makes it for me the perfect desert island book. And I can't remember anything of which I have thought, for page after page of surprise and recognition, 'I must keep this to hand.'
Clover Stroud
A beautiful collection, full of wonderful surprises and old favourites.
Hattie Ellis
The Magic Hour has the powerful charm and the heart-lifting sense of surprise and discovery of the best poetry and the best anthologies. I shall keep it near my favourite chair and give it to many.
Martha Kearney
An immensely enjoyable collection chosen by poetry lovers on a mission to share their enthusiasm.
Marcus Berkmann, The Spectator
What really comes over is the great sunny enthusiasm of Moore and her mates, so that reading her book feels a little like sitting by her fireside drinking a cup of Earl Grey.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
Based on her Tuesday afternoon reading group sessions, it contains a hundred poems accompanied by simple commentary, Moore's aim is to take any whiff of the classroom out of the appreciation of poetry, and she succeeds - springing, like Palgrave, delightful surprises (Charles Causley's Eden Rock, Ralph Hodgson's Eve) as well as reminding us of old friends. It would make a super Christmas present.
Sue Gaisford, The Tablet
It is an anthology like no other, rich, varied, unexpected and very approachable. Never patronising, Charlotte's own commentary is gentle, informative and often droll... Arranged by theme, her choices range from mesmerising Old English lyrics to such contemporary stars as Alice Oswald... There are some terrific discoveries to be made: riddles, lyrics, ballads, sonnets and nursery rhymes; poems of love, grief, despair, celebration and joy.
Maggie Alderson, The Tablet
It's a perfect volume for periodic mini-reads and I will be buying some extra copies for Christmas presents.