Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Peter Haining

Amidst the great and the good of the publishing world, there are none so important nor as unassuming as those who make their living by producing good books for good publishers. These as distinct from writers, although they may indeed be talented writers, because rather than starting out from their own peculiar interests, they start out looking for a book that a publisher will want to sell, and that readers will want to read.

For very many years now we have had one of the best of these noble souls as a regular collaborator - Peter Haining. His speciality is fascinating collections of short prose - either little known pieces by famous writers or collections based around a theme. So we get:

Hunted Down: Detective Fiction by Charles Dickens
(The Web page seems to have disappeared for this one, back up soon but in the meantime here's the amazon page)

The Ghost Feeler and The Demanding Dead by Edith Wharton

Supernatural Tales by Vernon Lee

Sensation Stories by Wilkie Collins

The Adventures of Hunter Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard


The Hashish Club volumes one and two - various authors write about drugs
(Sadly out of print)

A Thousand Afternoons – An anthology on bullfighting


Lassie - the extraordinary story of Eric Knight and the world's favourite dog
(Bizarrely this one has disappeared too.)

A Cat compendium, – the world of Louis Wain

More often than not with an excellent introduction or more by the man himself. I imagine him sitting in a remote cottage somewhere with wild hair, a comfortable armchair, obscure but comprehensive encyclopedia and a gigantic blackboard marked 'ideas!'

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