Thursday, December 14, 2006

Someone Else's Publication

Userlands: New Fiction Writers from the Blogging Underground
Edited by Dennis Cooper

This was an unexpected delight. It seems like years ago (in reality only a few months) that Dennis Cooper invited regular contributors to his blog to submit a piece of fiction for an anthology to be published by Akashic Books - one of the few US publishers prepared to experiment and take risks with unconventional fiction). It was, of course, fantastic to be included and even more exciting when my two contributor's copies landed on my desk this morning. I'm really most excited by the thought of being able to read the other people's contributions - people I have seen around DC's blog for an age, some of whom I've got to know a little, some of whom I've only seen posting there. I think the actually release date is sometime early next year - which is why it was such a suprise today to get my copies.

Userlands Web Page

Introduction to Userlands

Akashic books

Dennis Cooper's Blog

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

FOUR New Publications

It has sometimes felt a little like wading upstream through a river of treacle whilst balancing a bee's nest on my head but I have finally managed to finished a group of projects which had all been nearing completion but needed one final push to get them to this stage. The four new books are shown below with their respective publicity 'blurbs'. Obviously, the most ambitious and most original of my publications remains the Raven Series of monographs about Frederick Rolfe Baron Corvo. This is the second in the series and I think marks another triumph of detailed and inspired research by Robert Scoble.

Of the other three I think each has something to recommend it. St Petersburg Boys has a very sophisticated and simple look to it which I am rather proud of. The Poetry of the Rose is the first time I have worked with an illustrator and the first time that I have printed directly from a block onto the cover of a book. Three Boys' Authors is a very intriguing document I think, which gives a real insight into three rather different personalities and, I believe, a rare thing to have an personality 'interview' in a form approaching what we know as interviews today, at this date.

There are, of course, many other projects on the go at various stages. My hope is, in the near future that I will be able to make a final push on two projects which have become WAY overdue. One is a book of poems by Alex of
Porcelain Skull fame. The other is a couple of poems by Roden Noel - of whom more another time - however, I was inspired by a recent meeting with a grand-magus of printers to think a lot more carefully about the layout of pages and the selection of materials and I hope to be able to produce both of these two as 'flagship' publications, as it were, which reflect in some way just a very little of what I have learned from him.

Of course, in the unlikely event that readers of this blog should want to purchase any of these then my
website is always open for business or you can email me directly using the link to the right of this page.

Raven Two: Alfred James Rolfe: The Real Sebastian Archer
by Robert Scoble

Following the outstanding success of The Quest for Cockerton, the first in the Raven Series of original essays on the life and work of Frederick Rolfe, 'Baron Corvo', I am now pleased to announce the publication of the second in the series.

The protagonist of Rolfe's novel of Venice, The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole, is a struggling writer named Nicholas Crabbe,whose tribulations mirror those suffered by Rolfe himself in that sparkling city. Crabbe is eventually saved from his troubles by an unexpectedly generous offer from his publishers for a novel he has been writing, entitled Sebastian Archer. The Corvine scholar Robert Scoble has tracked down the real person upon whom the hero of Sebastian Archer was based - Frederick Rolfe's younger brother, Alfred. In a life full of incident, Alfred spent his childhood at a prestigious London school, emigrated at an early age, met with misfortune in the Australian outback, but ultimately carved out a successful career nurtured by a happy marriage.

The Raven Series has been planned as a set of scholarly essays which will add substantially to our knowledge of the life and work of Frederick Rolfe. Each essay will be published in a strictly limited edition, and there is little doubt that complete sets will be sought after by collectors in the years to come.

Of a full edition of 70 the first twelve are case bound in dark green paper-covered boards with gilt titles, signed by the author, and include photographs of Alfred and the places and people associated with him. Numbers 13-70 form the ordinary state of the edition and are sewn into blue card covers with a paper label and glassine covers and contain fewer illustrations.

St Petersburg Boys
by Rev Edwin Emmanuel Bradford

This booklet contains two stories about boys by the Edwardian Anglican priest and Uranian poet, E. E. Bradford. Both stories are set in St Petersburg where Bradford served for a time as an assistant priest.

'Boris Orloff' is a tender tale of romantic affection between three schoolboys. And 'The Fete at Peterhof' is a short moral tale for boys about the dangers of selfishness. To my knowledge, this is the first publication of the latter since its original publication in 1906.

It should be noted that, the first publication by callum James Books was an edition of 'Boris Orloff' in 2005. Technical issues prevented the completion of this edition and only a few were ever produced. This is therefore a new edition with the added story.

Includes a brief checklist of Bradford's books as well as a short biographical note.
20pp. sewn into card covers. Protected in glassine wrappers. Edition limited to 50 numbered copies.

Three Boys' Authors
George Manville Fenn, G. A. Henty & H. Rider Haggard

This booklet contains contemporary interviews with three authors who, between them, produced the most popular boys' fiction of their age and made a huge impact on the young men of an entire century.

Orginally published in a Boys' Magazine at the end of the nineteenth century, it is extremely unusual to find interviews of this sort at this time, the cult of celebrity as we know it now being only in its infancy. Each author is asked about their life, their books and writing methods and about their contact with their readership and letters they have received from boys who have read their work. A fascinating and probably unique insight into the lives of these authors.

22pp. sewn into card covers. Protected in glassine wrappers. Edition limited to 50 numbered copies.

The Poetry of the Rose
by Forrest Reid

Reid was respected not just for his fiction but also for his literary criticism. This short piece was written for the lay person and offers a brief sketch of the place of the rose in poetry. Not reprinted since its original publication in 1929.

10pp. sewn into card covers with hand printed design on the front. Cover and interior illustrations by S. Martin. Protected in glassine wrappers. Edition limited to 50 numbered copies.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Door Knockers of Rabat

I know, it's a strange thing to take photos of on holiday but I thought they were sufficiently quirky. I recently went to Malta for a long weekend - I know Malta quite well, a previous boyfriend (many years ago now) was half Maltese and we travelled there a number of times. But that was more than a decade ago now. This time, a different travelling companion (not R) and a different feel to the trip.

Rabat (simply the Arabic word for 'city') is the ancient Capital of Malta, the former seat of the Maltese ruling classes before the arrival on the islands of the Knights of St John. Now it is rather romantically known as 'the silent city' and, ironically for a place with very few inhabitants, it's major architectural feature is its door knockers - a sample here for your delication...

R's Five Pound Challenge Update

Those of you with reasonable memories will recall that I set my partner a challenge in September to see if he could turn £5 into £500 using Ebay. On his first attempt (see this blog: 21st September) he managed to raise his £5 to £7.35. This time, after a trip to an antiques and collectables fair in Fareham he found three items totalling £7 - a high risk strategy because if one of them fails to sell then he will be down and if they all fail to sell he's going to have to start from 35p!! Still, the three items are due to finish on Ebay in a couple of days and here they are below for those who are interested in seeing how he does...

Tin Type photo of man with his Jack Russell

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