Up to date news will soon be uploaded
We’re pleased to
announce the forthcoming publication of MIST and Other Ghost Stories by Richmal Crompton
in October. This collection of Crompton's sole volume of supernatural
stories, first published in 1928, is exceedingly scarce and highly
sought after; perhaps not surprisingly, Sundial's new edition has
already attracted considerable interest. We will post further updates
as they become available.
THE ALABASTER HAND is currently No
41 in Amazon’s Top 100 Best Sellers in their Classic Horror category 15 August 2014 21:13 (‘updated hourly’) .
|As publishers of four members of the remarkable Powys
family (Theodore, Llewelyn, Philippa and Littleton), plus books by several
authors with strong Powysian connections, Sundial will have a presence at the annual
Powys Society Conference this coming weekend (15 — 17 August), conveniently being held here in Sherborne: |
THE SUNDIAL PRESS
Last few copies of Gamel Woolsey’s PATTERNS ON THE SAND available.
THE SUNDIAL PRESS
Parker signed copies of THE
at WATERSTONES in Yeovil
on Saturday, 9th Aug from 11am—1pm
Peter Tait will be the
speaker on the subject of ‘Thomas Hardy’s
Women’ at a Sherborne Literary Society event in September. Tickets cost £5 and are available through the website www.SherborneLiterarySociety.com
A drink and light buffet supper are included in the
cost of the ticket.
In October Sundial will issue a
new edition of Flora Mayor’s exceptionally rare supernatural novel The Room Opposite.
Currently being read
by Juliet Stevenson on Radio 4 Extra (8th—18th July in 10 episodes) is Mayor's 'unfairly neglected classic' The Rector's Daughter
much praised on
publication by Rebecca West, Rosamund Lehmann, E M
Forster, Virginia Woolf and, more recently, Susan Hill (no mean
writer of ghost stories herself!).
published in 1935, Flora Mayor’s THE ROOM OPPOSITE and Other Tales of
Mystery and Imagination is decidedly scarce and thus commands a
high price when tracked down. Excellent traditional ghost stories after the
manner of M. R. James, who opined that those pieces "which introduce the
supernatural commend themselves to me very strongly." James did not hand
out such compliments freely. Sundial’s new edition will feature a highly
informative Introduction by Richard Dalby. (For a list of the sixteen tales, please click here.)
|THE SUNDIAL PRESS|
Slight delays with our
next two publications; we hope to announce revised release dates very soon. |
|SELECTED STORIES by Elizabeth Myers, realeased in digital format last year, will be issued in paper formats in August. |
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS TO ONE & ALL!
Rich in imagery and anecdote, woven
through with local lore and personal reminiscence, these Yuletide essays bring
vividly alive the customs and characters, the sounds and tastes, of earlier
generations, and are informed by the lively curiosity and deep nostalgia that
typify Powys’s best work. They encapsulate, too, his unerring vision of
humanistic values and the delight in the pleasures and comfort of good
fellowship that Powys so greatly prized.
|A talk on|
West Of Wessex
followed by a book signing at
WINSTONE'S in Sherborne
on Thursday, 14 November,
|Enjoy a glass of wine with |
Tait who will talk on Thomas Hardy's relationships with his two wives with particular reference to
EMMA West Of Wessex
at WATERSTONE'S in
on Wednesday, 6 November,
followed by a book signing.
|THE SHERBORNE LITERARY FESTIVAL (16—20 October)|
authors appeared at
The Sherborne Literary Festival.
Brenda Parker and Peter Tait had individual stands at the Author
Showcase event on 20 October in the Digby Hall from 10.30—2.00 and gave short talks about their new novels.
Further information here
|Order a signed copy here||SOLD OUT |
within six weeks of publication.
Available Jan 2014
THE ALABASTER HAND by A N L MUNBY is
reviewed in the current issue of The Times Literary Supplement (27 September
2013) by Peter Bebergal
A review article by Professor Charles Lock on PATTERNS ON THE SAND by Gamel Woolsey and A CAGE FOR THE NIGHTINGALE by Phyllis Paul in this year's Powys Journal Volume XXIII, just pubished.
For 21 October publication,
the prequel to FLORENCE Mistress of Max Gate:
EMMA West of Wessex Girl by Peter Tait
Was there ever such
a one as Emma Gifford, the high spirited and timeless West of Wessex girl that Thomas
Hardy created in his poetry of 1912-1913? And if she indeed ever existed, what
then became of her, from the glorious chrysalis of their first meeting to the
dried husk of their later marriage? What sequence of events, what deceptions,
what unravelling led to the state of affairs whereby she became his muse only
in death, yet while she lived was his antagonist and his antithesis?
In this biographical novel Peter Tait explores
the complex, often turbulent relationship between Emma and Thomas Hardy and, in particular, the
psychological make-up of Emma, her attitudes, feelings and personality. It is a
[Peter Tait is Headmaster of Sherborne
Prep School, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a long-time
devotee of the writings of Thomas Hardy.]
ON THE SAND by GAMEL WOOLSEY is reviewed in the 19 July issue of THE
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT by Lucy Carlyle.
Summer reading at Sundial
24 June — THE ALABASTER HAND published!
14 June The abrupt demise of our printers for seven years, Biddles of King's
Lynn and Bodmin, in tandem with its parent company the MPG Printgroup, caused a serious delay with the publication of
ALABASTER HAND. We're now delighted to report that our new printers,
CPI, have confirmed delivery of this title is set for 24 June. Customer orders will be dispatched by First Class Post within the UK and by
Airmail to destinations outside the UK.
that go bump in the night by Michael Caines on the TLS blog
HAND by A.N.L MUNBY
the field of supernatural fiction, it is fair to say no author casts a
shadow than M R James. It is arguable, however, that no author has come
to inheriting the mantle of the great James than ghost story writer
Latimer Munby (1913-74).
Alabaster Hand was
largely written to pass the time away while Munby was a German POW at
in Upper Franconia from 1943-45.
N. L. MUNBY centenary
King’s College, Cambridge, on 28-29 June 2013
|On the website of King’s
College, Cambridge: Librarian's ghost stories re-issued|
A. N. L. Munby, I am . . .
An article on the upcoming Munby
Conference in Cambridge on the TLS blog here
Listen to Chapter One of SHADOWBORNE by Roger Norman on the author's Sundial homepage here
Library at 7.30pm on the 21st May
An illustrated talk by Peter
Tait on ‘The Two Wives of Thomas Hardy:
Emma and Florence’
|Roger Norman’s ALBION'S DREAM,
& SHADOWBORNE on display in April
at Winstones Bookshop.
review of A PAD IN
THE STRAW by David Harris in the
current issue (March 2013) of The GHOSTS & SCHOLARS M.R. James
Newsletter (No: 23).
to see that Amazon is buying Goodreads (the
largest site for the online reading community and book recommendations)
always thought of Goodreads as a nice place for indie store readers.
domination of Jeff Bezos continues apace! Don’t need to be a
know where it will all end.
PATTERNS ON THE SAND by GAMEL
|“Maybe I write in hyperbole here;
certainly, it’s not
Jane Eyre (but what is?). But Patterns
on the Sand is an incredibly
lovely book, written in sparse, dreamy
prose, with a plot that moves along so smoothly, so perfectly, you
but continue reading, can’t help but be hypnotized by its
beauty. I read
it in a sitting. And then I read it again a few days
later. It is
just that kind of book.”
For publication in 2013, the
prequel to Peter Tait's FLORENCE Mistress of Max Gate:
of Wessex Girl
in life Hardy, "would recall seeing the silhouette of her riding along
of Beney Cliff. He
would remember with a
feeling of agitation the scene that lay before him, stripped bare of
but the most elemental. A bent tree, doubled up by the westerlies; an
sky exploding in a fiery tempest; and, set against it all, a horse and
rider. She looked magnificent, like Boadicea, thick auburn hair
behind her, standing high in the stirrups. He watched her as she fell
edge of his view into a furze covered gulley and disappeared. Yet it
in his mind, the picture of the high-spirited and unsettling young
he could recall at will for the rest of his life.
can give a gentle wash to memory, that he knew. It can smooth out the
edges and make mellow the astringent, destroy the glass cage. But Tom knew that what he
had seen, in that
one vivid snatch, was real and that whatever else changed in time, that
would remain unshakeable. A rider on a horse skirting a cataclysmic
heart aloof and vagrant, one and the same. His West of Wessex girl! He
first drops of rain. What had become of them? What had happened to pry
the grip that once held him so tightly?
had led him to betray her?"
CHRISTMAS LORE AND LEGEND
Yuletide Essays by Llewelyn Powys
ISBN 978-0-9551523-9-9 in
paperback at £6.99
in imagery and anecdote, woven through with local lore and
personal reminiscence, these Yuletide essays bring vividly alive the
and characters, the sounds and tastes, of earlier generations, and are
by the lively curiosity and deep nostalgia that typify Powys’s best
encapsulate, too, his unerring vision of humanistic values and the
the pleasures and comfort of good fellowship that Powys so greatly
Yuletide essays; ten previously uncollected.
IS THE WORD is featured in the December issue of DORSET
TWENTY-TWO TALES by ELIZABETH MYERS
Introduced by Anthony Head
of A Well Full of Leaves, The Basilisk of
St James, and Mrs
Christopher (subsequently made into the film 'Blackmailed'
starring Dirk Bogarde) also
published two volumes of short stories. This new selection gathers
best of these as well as a number of previously uncollected stories.
began writing stories in her teens and continued doing so throughout
producing more than 60 in all. Several of them appeared in prominent
periodicals and journals of the day, including The Aldephi,
Countryman, John O’London’s Weekly, The
Listener, The New
English Weekly, Catholic World, and The
A handful were gathered into three thin stapled booklets that were
by Todd Publishing – five in Lost in London in
1942, six in The
Donkey and the Stars in 1943, and another half-dozen in The
Entertainer, also in 1943. But these now rare items can
hardly have had a
wide readership and it was not until after her death that her main
Chapman and Hall, published a first significant collection of
stories, titled Good Beds - Men Only (1948),
following this with a
further selection by Littleton Powys under the title Thirty
(1954). Powys also edited a volume of her letters that appeared in 1951
wrote at length about their life together in his second volume of
autobiography, Still the Joy of It, published in
then, despite Myers' first novel A Well Full of
going into several editions and translations, and a U.S. edition of
third novel Mrs. Christopher appearing in 1959,
her work has been
allowed to fall by the wayside and has largely remained out of the
This new Sundial Press collection of Twenty-Two Tales
aims to remedy
Date: March 2013
Launch and Talk
Norman and SHADOWBORNE
The Sherborne Literary
publication, launch, talk and book-signing of SHADOWBORNE
plus new paperback editions of ALBION'S DREAM
and RED DIE
Roger Norman's RED DIE,
SHADOWBORNE and ALBION'S DREAM published this monthAL
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
of ‘A Cage For The Nightingale’ on The Nemonicon website beginning here "that may take me days,
weeks, months or years to
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Three New Titles:
The prequel to
FLORENCE Mistress of Max Gate:
EMMA West of Wessex Girl
there ever such a one as Emma, the high
spirited and timeless West of Wessex girl that Thomas Hardy created in
poetry of 1912-1913? And if she indeed ever existed, what then became
from the glorious chrysalis of their first meeting to the dried husk of
later marriage? What sequence of events, what deceptions, what
to the state of affairs whereby she became his muse only in death, yet
she lived was his antagonist and his antithesis?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Gamel Woolsey's 'long-lost' second novel now published for the first
opportunity to discover one of the great
neglected writers in English literature.
Dorset, a debut novel of exhilarating freshness from
a contemporary writer.
17 September 2012: All three titles now in stock and available direct
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~
ON THE SAND by Gamel
CAGE FOR THE NIGHTINGALE by
FATHER LIKE SON by
are now at our printers
Tait delivered a talk to the Thomas Hardy Society Conference afterwards
taking questions and signing copies of his book.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Powys and The Paradox of Immortality
BBC Radio 4: Sunday 29
July 2012 08:50
philosopher John Gray
reflects on the nature of immortality as
expressed by the writer Theodore Powys, 'The longest life may fade and
perish but one moment can live and become immortal.' "Powys captures a
paradox at the heart of our thinking about death and the afterlife:
there's a kind of immortality that only mortals can enjoy."
John Gray has written a superb
to Sundial’s edition of UNCLAY
by T. F. POWYS
Introduction by JOHN GRAY
"The last full-length novel of T.
F. Powys, Unclay is the summation of his life’s
work. Though not without
precedents, the manner and the substance of this strange, compelling,
always comfortable book are uniquely his own. Written in his inimitable
poetic and aphoristic, pared down and at the same time highly allusive
was published in 1931. It has remained one of the least read books of a
English writer, and one reason for this strange state of affairs may be
of human life it offers."
MISTRESS OF MAX GATE
Tait gave a well received talk on Florence Hardy and her relationship
with Thomas Hardy at Max Gate, Dorchester, on Sunday afternoon 8 July.
review by Mario
Guslandi of Sundial's new edition of A
PAD IN THE STRAW posted at THIRTEEN O'CLOCK.
a legal requirement, which came into force on the last weekend of May
that visitors should have the option to consent or opt-out of accepting
from a website.
Sundial Press wishes to make in known that it has never used cookies on
website and therefore the legislation aforementioned does not apply.
||17 May 2012.
As a guest, I attended a most enjoyable meeting of the Society of Women
Journalists (South West Branch). Quite wonderful for a publisher to be
in a whirlpool of such fecund creativity! Meeting and chatting with
former Blue Peter presenter
Singleton (here holding copies of FLORENCE and A PAD IN THE STRAW) was
a particular pleasure but there were many, many pleasures and meeting
such an eclectic cluster of writers in a few short hours was a heady
5 May -- A PAD IN THE STRAW is now
available for immediate dispatch.
GHOST GLEAMS to follow (we will keep you posted).
in jacketed hardbacks with coloured endpapers, head and tail bands,
limited to two hundred copies at £17.50 each.
(Pre-publication orders reserved.)
Publication Date: 05 May
News of NEW DORSET AUTHOR signings to follow soon.
BOOK CLUBS: We
offer a discount to Book Clubs buying five or more copies of
our titles. Please contact us if your group is interested.
Potts meets Frank Kibblewhite of The Sundial Press a former lecturer, record and
bookshop owner and one-time literary cataloguer, who is now carving out
A two page spread in Dorset's leading glossy
magazine (pages 34 & 35)
April 2012 (£2.50)
Mistress of Max Gate Kindle Ebook edition now
available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.
The hardback edition available
at the Dorset County Museum, Hardy's Cottage, Clouds Hill and, most
appropriatly, Max Gate.
Peter Tait will
talk on the relationship between
Florence and Thomas Hardy as well as
sign copies of FLORENCE Mistress of Max Gate
at WINSTONE'S, Sherborne's new bookshop, on 22 March from
6.30 p.m. All welcome!
further information about Winstone's please click here
will open in a new window)
~ 8 Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3PX
Recently announced, news
of the formation of the Sherborne Literary Society and
the FIRST Sherborne
Literary Festival (18
to 21 October). This wil be
a major three day event with nationally-acclaimed writers, poets,
local authors; workshops, poetry and short story readings; competitions.
Norman's next novel, SHADOWBORNE, will be
published by The Sundial Press.
writes: “Shadowborne will be a
thoroughly Sherborne book, in a sense like no other
John le Carré’s A Murder of Quality.
The title is based on a quite interesting etymology for the town's
name which you will learn in due course. With Shadowborne on
the cover it
will be a Sherborne book in a quite unmissable
be published in tandem with new editions of Albion's
THE AUTHOR: Next month PETER TAIT will be giving a talk about Florence
Hardy at Winstone's, Sherborne's new bookshop and
signing copies of FLORENCE Mistress of Max Gate
afterwards (date to be confirmed)
very successful, well-attended and immensely
launch party at WINSTONE'S Bookhop on Tuesday evening, 21 Feb.
JOHN GRAY, who provides the illuminating Introduction to Sundial's
edition of UNCLAY,
is a speaker at this year's OXFORD LITERARY FESTIVAL (Saturday, 24 March
thirty-five years BOOKLORE,
The Sherborne Bookshop, closed its doors for the last time on Friday, 3
February. Founded by Sundial author Roger Norman in 1977, this
popular and well patronized store with endless delights and discoveries
on its shelves was run by the highly efficient, immensely knowlegeable
and ever helpful Gill Capel and her band of obliging staff.
simply, it was one of the very best independent bookshops that one
could ever hope to step into (and without parallel in a small town). A
magnificent range of stock intelligently selected by its owner
which was always guaranteed to surprise the casual book buyer. But all
good things come to an end eventually and, after twenty-one years,
retirement beckoned. Gill, unable to find a buyer for both the
business and the freehold in these challenging economic times, had
option but to sell the freehold and will retire to Bath. The shop will,
of course, be both remembered and missed by many but the good
news is that Winstone's Bookshop will be opening at the top end of town
on 21 February.
|Draft front cover designs for our
forthcoming edition of short stories by H. A. Manhood
prolific writer of short stories, Manhood was widely acclaimed and
admired in the thirties and forties. Since then, he has fallen into
almost complete and undeserved obscurity. A short storyist who is
individual, quirky and utterly unique, this selection of his
work makes the strongest case possible for his rediscovery and
Tait has accepted an invitation from The
Thomas Hardy Society to give a presentation on FLORENCE Mistress of Max
the 2012 Thomas Hardy Conference & Festival in Dorchester (18th
Mistress of Max Gate A
small number of copies signed
by Peter Tait are currently available from our Webshop
|Peter Tait signing copies of FLORENCE at a very
enjoyable and successful pre-publication book launch
pleased to announce the pre-publication Book Launch for FLORENCE
Mistress of Max Gate by Peter Tait.
05 November 2011 from 11.30
a.m. - 12.30 a.m.
Sherborne Prep School, Acreman Street, Sherborne DT9 3NY
the author: signed copies and light refreshments will be
(For directions. please click here and scroll to the
bottom of the page.)
We’re delighted to
welcome Peter Tait as a new author. Headmaster
of Sherborne Preparatory School, Peter has been a long-time devotee of
writings of Thomas Hardy as well as the Powys brothers. His first
on the complex relationship between Florence and Thomas
Hardy and, in
particular, the psychological make-up
of Florence, her attitudes, feelings and personality. It is a
compelling read and will be published next month by Sundial on
article on David Garnett in the July/August 2011 issue of STANDPOINT prompted
the following letter published in the current issue (September/October
interesting piece on the young David Garnett as would-be terrorist
2011), Lesley Chamberlain says none of his later novels stands out like
first published work Lady Into Fox. But The
published three years later in 1925 and widely praised by reviewers,
does – another ‘beautiful piece of English pastoral’ that powerfully
fact and fiction and shows Garnett’s continuing interest in the idea of
assassination and terrorism. Susceptibility to terrorism may often be,
Chamberlain suggests, the product of parental upbringing, but it also
from unthinking acceptance of prevailing social mores, and this is what
Sailor’s Return – a story of the
terrorizing of an African woman and
her English husband in a quiet Dorset village in the 19th century –
devastatingly. The point about Garnett not really hating
anyone as a
possible reason for giving up his terrorist inclinations and the need
parents not to produce haters is well made, yet in The Sailor’s
Return Garnett shows that whatever else motivates his
villagers in their
mob mentality, it isn’t actually hatred. Rather it is the lack of
courage in going against the grain of a simplistic mass mentality.
protagonist, the aptly-named Targett, and his wife Tulip, a princess
Dahomey, both become the object of suspicion and distaste despite
initial popularity and the success they make of running the local pub
gives the novel its title (inspired by the real one of that name in
Chaldon where Garnett used to visit T. F. Powys). Assassination is not
necessarily a hit by a single individual, and what Garnett reveals in
is the latent collective violence in ‘civilised’ communities – all the
for the story’s sleepy rural setting and the fact that he makes his
accomplished pugilist. The extraordinary savagery of Tulip’s own
culture is a
distant backdrop to a seemingly harmless fondness for fisticuffs, which
seems to be showing as the extent of ‘violence’ acceptable in civilised
(as with today’s media coverage of boxing). But the fight that provides
climax of the novel gets out of hand, with its tragic consequences.
Return also has claims to be the first modern British novel
to have a black
heroine, and as with Lady Into Fox it too was
danced by the Ballet
Rambert (as well as being made into a film). Much of this is expounded
Prof. J. Lawrence Mitchell in an excellent introduction to a recent
the novel by the Sundial Press that also includes as an Appendix one of
variant endings Garnett wrote, which he apparently abandoned because
arrival of prize-fighting damaged the unity of his story. I would
this of all Garnett’s novels to anyone interested in his work – not to
terrorism and assassination.
~ ~ ~
are pleased to announce we will be publishing Roger Norman's
spell-binding novel for adolescents and adults alike.: ALBION'S DREAM (see
bottom of page).
such a brilliant concept, and the writing luminous.” – Dr Susan Ang
of English Language & Literature, National University of
Peter Ursem, with a copy of SORREL BARN by Philippa Powys whose
painting provided the striking cover image.
further paintings by Peter Ursem.
“On Monday August 29 much
acclaimed British author
(RED DIE and ALBION’S DREAM) will be
with our expatriate community
in order to read from his previous works. The event in the format of a
‘Literary Team Time’ kicks-off at 1700 hours and will be held at the
‘Yoran Bar and Restaurant’ in the historical part of town close to the
publishing house Faber
& Faber took
Roger on board with his first two books, ‘Treetime’ and ‘Albion’s
most recent work ‘Red Die’ was published by The Sundial Press. A new
book is in
the making and perhaps Roger will tell us all about it while he is with
who like to attend may
drop me a line
or text to 0555 493 6829; pre-registration appreciated.” READ MORE HERE
meeting at The Sailor's Return around noon.
lunch, a walk to the coastal headland passing
with Llewelyn Powys' memorial stone as destination
magnificent views of the English Channel and The Isle of Portland.
The Sailor’s Return
outside The Sailor’s Return
East Chaldon (Chaldon Herring) 2011
(Copies of the novel are now on sale in the pub.)
Sundial titles in counter display boxes for bookshops