A bit of a mixed bag, Writers as Readers, a collection of forty introductions from the forty years of Virago Modern Classics, but that's as you might expect given its range of books and their champions.
Some of the reader-writers do not wear their learning lightly; some pieces tend to the worthy, rather like lumpy porridge; others are lucid, elegant, and a perfect pairing of introducer and subject.
Among the highlights for me were Penelope Lively on Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence):
"Her strength was that she was able to combine the encyclopaedic knowledge of an insider with the accuracy and selective power of a fine novelist and the detachment of a highly intelligent social and historical observer."
Jilly Cooper on E.M. Delafield (The Diary of a Provincial Lady):
"[...] here is a very subtle and deliberate talent at work, naturally satirical, with a marvellous ear for dialogue and an unerringly accurate social sense."
Alexander McCall Smith on Angela Thirkell (Wild Strawberries and High Rising):
"[...] we do not read Angela Thirkell for profundity of emotional experience; we read her for the pleasure of escape - and there is a perfectly defensible niche for escapist fiction in a balanced literary diet."
Equally good were Anita Desai on Rumer Godden (The River), Hilary Mantel on Elizabeth Taylor (Angel), and there's an excellent piece by Elizabeth Taylor herself on setting a scene, Jane Gardam on Barbara Comyns (The Vet's Daughter), and Kate Saunders on Barbara Pym (An Academic Question). The best of them would sit comfortably within the pages of Slightly Foxed.
I did skip a few pieces which didn't appeal, and as some of the introductions are issue-led - a perfectly legitimate approach, of course - readers looking for something more rounded may find them wanting. Personal tastes apart, though, the book will undoubtedly remind you of pleasures past and likely lead you on to new ones.