Sunday, September 20, 2009

Raven 9 Flies the Nest

One of the things that made the period before the wedding a little hectic was the desire to get Raven 9 published. I just made it. All the orders which came in immediately after the announcement have now been sent out. The blurb follows:
Raven Nine: A Genius for Inaccuracy
by Robert Scoble

When in the early months of 1903 Frederick Rolfe decided to seek financial help from the Royal Literary Fund, he was unaware that the most influential of the Fund's committee members was determined to thwart him.

Edmund Gosse was one of England's foremost men of letters, despite his reputation for literary criticism which was distinctly careless with the facts. At times his mistakes were so egregious that Henry James was moved to lament Gosse's 'genius for inaccuracy'.

When Rolfe's case came before the committee, Gosse urged its rejection, embroidering his remarks with gratuitous exaggerations. He was a man used to getting his own way, and having come to the view that Rolfe was undeserving, he took his 'genius for inaccuracy' to the Committee table and ensured that Rolfe's long struggle against dire poverty would continue.

The inside story of this cruel reverse is here told for the first time, using holograph letters newly discovered in several great libraries and in the archives of the Royal Literary Fund itself.

The Raven Series has been planned as a set of scholarly essays which will add substantially to our knowledge of the life and work of Frederick Rolfe. Each essay is being published in a strictly limited edition, and there is little doubt that complete sets will be sought after by collectors in the years to come.

Of a full edition of 70, the first 12 copies of A Genius for Inaccuracy constitute the special state, case bound in coffee-coloured paper-covered boards with gilt titles, and signed by the author. Numbers 13-70 form the ordinary state of the edition, and are sewn into coffee-coloured card covers with a paper label and acetate wrappers.

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