Perhaps it is a side effect of being around books all day, but about as often as I find myself falling for a particular author’s style or voice, I become fascinated with a particular publisher or imprint. I’m especially fond of re-print houses that specialize in bringing back into print those lost treasures and hidden gems that we librarians strive to preserve and protect for readers.
Hesperus Press is a great example of what I mean. Publishing attractive paperback editions of lesser known classic shorter works—stories, essays, poetry and novellas by a wide range of authors, with enticing introductions by contemporary writers. For example, Wilkie Collins’ A Rogue’s Life is a delightful little picaresque relating the jaunty misadventures of charming ne’er-do-well Frank Softly, an artist who careens from job to job in pursuit of his fortunes, and of the beautiful Alicia Dulcifer. Collins wrote this during a fun vacation in Paris with his friend and associate Charles Dickens, who also employed Collins’ in several special Christmas issues of his magazine Household Words, where the duo, together with other writers such as Elizabeth Gaskell, would write collections of themed stories united by some clever conceit, such as the tenant’s stories collected under the titles Mrs. Lirriper and A House to Let, or the travelers’ tales collected Continue reading “Publisher Crush: Hesperus Press”