|Arctic Tern flies
After the astronomical prices reached by first editions of the Harry Potter
novels, hyper-modern dealers and collectors - always on the look out for
next big thing - may well be charting the course of The Voyage of the
Arctic Tern by Hugh Montgomery.
story, told in verse that is perfectly accompanied on each page by the haunting
and atmospheric illustrations of Nick Poullis, follows the adventures of
the ship Arctic Tern and its ghostly skipper Bruno who must sail the high
seas making amends for his misdeeds in life.
book's progress into print is almost as tall as the tale it tells. After
rejection by the publishing world it was self-published, costing the author,
Hugh Montgomery, two years and a reputed £40,000.
Voyage of the Arctic Tern went on to win Book of the Year and Poetry Book
Of The Year at the David St.John Thomas Charitable Trust Self Publishing
Awards for 2000.
first print run of 2,000 books was sold to friends and relatives and by word
of mouth - only 8 bookshops stocked it. It was reprinted by Walker books
in June this year to rave reviews, and has taken flight as rumours of Harry
Potter size sums are linked to the sale of film rights.
trade editions are relatively common on the net but the true, self-published,
first is elusive. Anyone with a copy to sell should contact
|First edition is
Python star-turned-travel writer Michael Palin is to be the first
British author to release a new work as a talking book before it comes out
Palin has published Sahara, which recounts his travels across the
Sahara Desert, as an unabridged talking book at the end of August. The hardbacked
version will not be available until later in September.
described the release as 'fantastic'. 'It means the blind and partially sighted
will have access to the book at the same time as those who can see.'
Fraud on the internet
are currently finding themselves the victims of fraudulent credit card
transactions. A spate of orders appearing to emanate from the former Yugoslavia
has been used to attempt to 'buy' over $100,000 worth of books rom different
book dealers with stolen credit card numbers. In some cases the person or
persons have succeeded in defrauding booksellers for thousands of dollars.
situation has become so serious that the Antiquarian Bookdealers Association
of America has warned all members to avoid selling books to the former Yugoslavia
and other Eastern Block countries.
fraudulent orders are usually for high value books - and must surely lead
to speculation about a 'black market' in hyper-modern first editions and
antiquarian books. Is this the new currency of criminals?
|from Peakirk Books
|Antonia Forestís writing career spans more than 30 years with
13 books written between 1948 and 1982. There are 4 school stories (the genre
with which she is most associated) and 6 home stories which make up the series
about the Marlows; a pair of historical novels which follow a Marlow
ancestorís apprenticeship to Shakespeare; and a stand alone book written
for a competition about a family in Hampstead.
|Her first book, Autumn Term, was published by Faber in 1948. She says
that this was written as a deliberate attempt to find a publisher, but although
the intent may have been formulaic, the result is far from unoriginal. The
book starts with Nicola and Lawrie Marlow heading off to Kingscote with their
elder sisters, anxious to echo their successes, and if possible, surpass
them. One does not have to be well versed in school stories to discover that
all does not go to plan. Where Miss Forest differs from most other authors
in this genre is that the plan never gets back on track. The twins end the
book with their own victory, but academic, sporting and guiding achievements
have been necessarily shelved.
||The Marlow sistersí existence at school was followed by End of
Term (1959), Cricket Term (1974) and Attic Term (1976). The wide gap between
Autumn Term and Attic Term leads to strange chronology in the books. Although
Nicola, 12 years old in 1948, only ages 2 years between then and Attic Term
in 1976, the outside world has changed dramatically. One father warns against
getting involved with drugs, and the fashions are distinctly 1970s.
|Despite that, the plots and background remain consistent throughout,
with the characters seeming to fit in at any time. The Marlows and the Traitor
(1953), Falconerís Lure (1957), Peterís Room (1961), The Thuggery
Affair (1965), The Ready-Made Family (1967) and Run Away Home (1982) fill
in the gaps left by the school stories, although many readers donít
get to read this part of the story, as the other Marlow books are far harder
|These stories, although here dealt with as a group, are nothing if
not varied in their subject matter. Falconerís Lure is subtitled ďThe
story of a summer holidayĒ, and depicts falconry, horse riding, swimming
and sailing, while Peterís Room has a Bronte theme, with the children
becoming entrancing with their game of Gondal.
The school stories are the easiest books to find, all four were reprinted
as Puffins, and Autumn Term was republished by Faber in 2000. Paperbacks
of the holiday stories often sell for between £20 and £30 pounds,
and even ex-library hardbacks can fetch over £100. Perhaps the hardest
of these to find is The Marlows and the Traitor despite being published in
paperback at least once, followed by Falconerís Lure and Run Away Home,
both of which were only published in hardback, as were the two historical
books and The Thursday Kidnapping.
| There are two Antonia Forest websites, containing bibliographic
information, articles and story summaries:
Gone by Press (http://www.rockterrace.demon.co.uk/GGBP/titles.htm) are
republishing Antonia Forestís books, beginning with Falconerís
Lure, due out at the end of this year. Each book will contain a new foreword
by Miss Forest, all original illustrations and the unabridged text.
|Thieves have escaped with three
first editions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in a daylight
raid on a London museum. The books were stolen as visitors looked around
the Dickens House Museum during opening hours on Thursday, 15 August and
it is estimated that they are each worth between £20,000 and £30,000.
museum is at 48 Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, where Dickens lived from 1837
to 1839. During his time there he worked on The Pickwick Papers, his first
full-length novel, and Oliver Twist. The museum houses various other exhibits
including the hall clock from Dickens's last home, Gad's Hill Place and family
portraits. Now owned by the Dickens Fellowship, it also contains many of
his letters and his velvet-topped desk.
October 2002 Philip Lund Theological Books will provide the featured