Thursday the 29th March saw the presentation of our most recent non-fiction title: Alfred Douglas: A Poet's Life and His Finest Work by Caspar Wintermans at a venue that could hardly have been more appropriate.
The Phoenix Arts Club, tucked snugly underneath the Phoenix Theatre is a haven for many from the hustle and bustle of Charing Cross Road and its environs and with good reason. Once inside one is enveloped by the sort of comforting atmosphere that can only be found in a place with a good line in velvet curtains and low lighting. Caspar, whose sense of excitement had been tangible from as far away as the Hague, was charm personified when we met him (for the first time) at the office, and of course later on. He later explained in his short but excellent speech that this publication was the culmination of twenty years work and was extremely special for him.
The general feel of the evening was that of a strange kind of reunion, many of the invitees were people who had helped Caspar with his research over the years - but had never met in person. It was a procession of well dressed Wildeans, and indeed Bosieites wandering into the back room and looking around hopefully before being grabbed by the improbably youthful Caspar and engaged in energetic talk about all things Wilde/Douglas. Special mention should also go to the excellent Blackwells staff who, by virtue of The Phoenix being a regular Blackwells watering hole, were co-opted at the last minute into being the official booksellers of the evening, a role they played with skill and patience.
So, a success all round then! I leave the final words to Caspar himself (from his speech):
'God save our queens'