Sunday, September 23, 2012


At Valancourt Books, we are big fans of horror flicks as well books! There are a lot of lesser known classics that were adapted from books we carry and by authors we publish. We've put together a Movie Adaptations channel on our YouTube page for you to check out some great trailers and a few full-length films. We will continue to add to the playlist as we discover more flicks so feel free to subscribe to our channel! Also, if you find something that you think we should add, just drop us a line on our Contact page and we'll check it out.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

We have a ton of new releases due out soon that we thought we'd update you about.  

Ernest George Henham's Poe-influenced 1898 tale of Gothic horror and insanity, Tenebrae, will feature a new introduction and notes by Gerald Monsman and the gorgeous cover art of the original edition.  The novel concerns the narrator and his brother, both in love with the same woman.  They live on a remote estate in a large old house with their insane uncle, driven mad by abuse of alcohol and drugs.  When the narrator discovers his brother's affair with the girl he himself loves, he brutally murders him.  After the crime, he begins to see a giant spider, haunting him.  Is it the spirit of his murdered brother, or just a hallucination?  

Most Valancourt readers are by now familiar with Richard Marsh, most famous for his tales of mystery and the supernatural, such as The Beetle (1897).  But with our new volume of The Complete Adventures of Sam Briggs (1904-15), Marsh fans will discover a new side of this fascinating writer.  The Sam Briggs stories originally appeared in Strand Magazine, where they ran alongside A. Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.  The first 11 stories in the collection reveal Marsh at his comic best, as Sam, a young, lower-middle-class clerk of 19, experiences a variety of adventures and misadventures, usually in hilarious fashion.  The second 12 stories show Sam enlisting in the British Army and serving in Flanders in the First World War, and chart his improbable adventures as he rises through the ranks and eventually earns the Victoria Cross.  The volume features many of the original illustrations and a new introduction and notes by Minna Vuohelainen.

Francis Lathom's The One Pound Note and Other Tales (1820) is a collection of three long stories or novellas that capitalized on two major trends of the moment: the increasing appetite for shorter fiction as opposed to four or five-volume novels, and the incredible popularity of Sir Walter Scott's Scottish fiction.  The curious title story, "The One Pound Note," contains very obvious and very surprising gay subtexts in a tale of two young men who form an intense friendship that ends in tragedy.  "The Prophecy" is a Scottish adventure-romance story, heavily tinged with Gothic elements; a third story rounds out the volume, along with a new introduction and notes by Max Fincher.

Finally, we are hard at work on G.W.M. Reynolds's The Mysteries of London (1845), a wonderful penny dreadful that is a real page turner.  And it's a good thing, since it runs to 1,200 pages, not a single one of them dull (we promise!)  This was perhaps the bestselling novel of the mid-Victorian era, much to the chagrin of the literary establishment and rivals like Dickens; it sold 50,000 copies a week and well over a million in all, but has been out of print for over a century.  Fans of Dickens's Bleak House and the works of other mid-19th century adventure novels by authors like Dumas and Sue will not want to miss this one.

And lastly, we'll be headed to Madison, Wis. for the North American Victorian Studies Association conference later this month, so if you're there, stop by our table and say hi!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New and forthcoming titles

We're working overtime here at Valancourt Books to bring you some great new books!

Newly available is Wolfram Setz's edition of The Sins of the Cities of the Plain (1881), a very scarce book originally privately printed in two volumes and which can be found nowhere on earth besides the British Library.  A couple of other spurious reprints appeared in the 1990s, but were, in fact, completely rewritten versions of the book; ours is the first-ever republication of the original text.  It's now up for order here: for the low price of $14.99, and is also out for Kindle for only $4.99!

Ryan is hard at work typing Francis Lathom's wonderful Romance of the Hebrides, an 1809 Minerva Press Gothic that features everything Gothic lovers could want, including spectres, castles, caverns, and a hideous hag!  Prof. Carol Margaret Davison, a scholar of Scottish Gothic, will provide an introduction.  Next up will be The Children of the Abbey (1796) by Regina Maria Roche, which might be the best-selling Gothic novel of all time.  Between 1796 and 1920 it was never out of print in the U.S. or U.K. and was beloved by generations of readers.

We've received Minna Vuohelainen's edition of Richard Marsh's The Complete Sam Briggs Adventures (1904-15), which will be out this month.  It contains all 20 Sam Briggs stories, which were originally published in The Strand Magazine, the same publication that hosted Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and many others.  Dr. Vuohelainen's much-anticipated edition of Marsh's Judith Lee stories will also be out soon.

A couple other bits of news, in brief:  Starting with our next rare Gothic release, we're going to begin issuing them in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle.  We know some collectors only purchase hardcovers, while many prefer the low price of paperbacks or the convenience of Kindle, so we decided to do all three! And finally, in 2007 and 2008 we issued slim volumes with rare stories as Halloween specials, and in 2012, we're resuming the practice....and we've got a special treat in store for you, which will be available October 1.  In the meantime, check out our FREE serialization of The Banditti of the Forest, or, The Mysterious Dagger (1811-12), originally published in Ladies' Monthly Museum, here.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Greetings, all, and a belated welcome to our new website! We hope you like it.

Well, as you can see, after a long hiatus spent jousting at windmills (or practicing law; I forget), we're back from the dead and extremely busy.

The past month has seen four new titles. First, an annotated edition of Bram Stoker's The Lady of the Shroud (1909), a book surprisingly hard to find in its original unabridged form, edited with a new introduction by Prof. Sarah E. Maier, and featuring a stunning original cover by award-winning fantasy artist Jef Murray, who had previously illustrated our gorgeous deluxe edition of The Magic Ring. Also new is Charlotte Smith's The Story of Henrietta (1800), a book-length Gothic-style tale set amidst turbulent conditions in colonial Jamaica, originally published as the second volume in her five volume set of Letters of a Solitary Wanderer. Previously available only in one of those $800 Pickering & Chatto sets (yes, $800!), Henrietta is now available in our affordable scholarly edition, featuring a new introduction and notes by Janina Nordius. Finally, for all the Gothic lovers out there, we've just released newly typeset paperback copies of Henry Summersett's Mad Man of the Mountain (1799) and Grenville Fletcher's Rosalviva, or, The Demon Dwarf! (1824).

Also, we've been busily making our books available as e-books for download from We now have 82 of our 120 titles available for the Kindle and iPad, with almost all titles priced at $2.99 to $6.99. Although we'll always prefer the printed books, we had gotten a lot of requests for Kindle editions, and we recognized that the Kindle books fill an important niche for those who want the book instantly, don't have room in their collection for more printed books, or want a less-expensive alternative to the cost of some of the more pricey hardcover volumes. Each of the Kindle editions is checked by us for its compatibility with Kindle and iPad before being published, but if you find any weird glitches as you're reading, please let us know. We're still pretty new to the Kindle thing and while we're doing our best, it is possible that readers may have suggestions for improvement.

What we're working on now: First, we are trying to clear the backlog of manuscripts here that have been waiting in some cases quite a long time for publication. So by the end of the year expect to see our Victorian Werewolf Anthology, Barbara Tilley's edition of Emma Frances Brooke's A Superfluous Woman, Wolfram Setz's edition of Sins of the Cities of the Plain, and Caspar Wintermans' volume on French writer Baron Fersen. We also hope finally to see the long-awaited and long-delayed The Burnaby Experiments (1952) by Stephen Gilbert and Prof. Devoney Looser's edition of Jane West's A Gossip's Story (1796), thought to be an influence on Jane Austen.

Speaking of gossip, here's some of what's in the pipeline for down the road. Way back in 2005, we advertised Carl Grosse's Horrid Mysteries (1796) as forthcoming. Well, now it is! Ryan has nearly finished typing the four volume text, and Prof. Allen Grove, who did such an excellent job with our editions of The Witch of Ravensworth, The Italian, and The Cavern of Death, will be contributing an introduction. Horrid Mysteries will appear as the sixth volume in our collection of the Northanger 'horrid novels.' Maria Purves is at work on an edition of the very scarce Minerva Press Gothic The Monk of the Grotto (1800), set to be out next year. Jacqui Howard has contacted us about preparing editions of two other rare Minerva titles by the same anonymous author, Lusignan, or, The Abbaye of La Trappe (1801) and The Orphans of Llangloed (1802). Dr. Howard previously edited Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho for Penguin and has published an article in which she argues that Lusignan and The Orphans of Llangloed bear striking similarities to the writing of Ann Radcliffe, who mysteriously dropped out of sight and apparently stopped publishing after The Italian (1797).... or did she? Our old friend Francis Lathom makes another reappearance, with The One-Pound Note and Other Tales (1820), which will feature an introduction by Max Fincher, who previously introduced our edition of The Fatal Vow (1807). The title novella, “The One-Pound Note,” is an extremely curious text with fairly explicit gay subtexts involving the relationship between two young men, both pathetically ineffective in their relationships with women but both apparently quite happy in each other's company while holed up in a hotel room together for a couple weeks.

In the non-Gothic realm, Minna Vuohelainen, who has done excellent editions of Richard Marsh's The Beetle and The Goddess for Valancourt Books, is preparing editions of Marsh's Judith Lee and Sam Briggs stories, which should be appearing soon. We've had a ton of inquiries about Judith Lee in particular, so these should be excellent and popular volumes. Michael Matthew Kaylor, who has prepared several really wonderful scholarly editions for Valancourt Books, is working on an edition of The Amazing Emperor Heliogabalus (1911) by John Stuart Hay, which those who enjoyed Prof. Kaylor's previous editions will surely welcome. Gerald Monsman, who has prepared editions by Bertram Mitford, Walter Pater, H. Rider Haggard, and John Trevena for Valancourt Books, has prepared an edition of Trevena's Sleeping Waters (1914).

More exciting updates in the next blog post. In the meantime, keep up to date with the latest Valancourt releases and news by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter!