Monday, April 23, 2007

Forrest Reid Rides Again

Forrest Reid is perhaps an acquired taste. His novels are almost exclusively stories of the 'sensitive' boy, usually set in an Irish landscape where the supernatural world of pagan Greece is only just below the surface of things. Reid's early novels are heart-stoppingly expensive and difficult to find. I still weep every now and again when I think of my copy of Pirates of the Spring, which in a moment of madness I sold a few years ago for a a stupid price. So, obviously, some of Reid's shorter works have been a serious target for my publishing enterprise - I currently have two titles by him and this above, is the third Reid related item. This time about Reid, not by him. These two short pieces were written at the time of Reid's death, one as a Radio talk (by Stephen Gilbert, long-time friend and still literary executor of Reid) the other, by Robert Lynd the essayist and critic, as a more conventional obitury piece. I toyed with the idea of attempting to get permission to add E. M. Forster's memoir of Reid as well but decided in the end that it would lengthen the process to much and the piece is still relatively easily available as it was anthologised in a couple of Forster's books. It would have only been for the pleasure of publishing a 'big name' - which is only vanity not good publishing.

I'm pleased with this design, the use of a victorian printers ornament in such a large and prominent way is probably something I'd not have dared a year ago now I think, blended against the green of the cover, it looks rather snappy!

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