Thursday 16 January 2014

Blocking on the boards of Tartarus Press books

Following the publication of Strange Tales IV, a few customers have asked about the blocking of the cloth on Tartarus Press books. Underneath the uniform yellow dustwrappers, quite a few Tartarus books have fairly austere boards, with the title and author in a frame, and the blocking inset in a cusher panel, as with Nightmare-Touch by Lafcadio Hearn:

Some have simple one colour blocking, such as The King in the Golden Mask by Marcel Schwob:

While others have a design and lettering in one colour, like Clarimonde by Theophile Gautier, The Snow-Image by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herald of the Hidden by Mark Valentine:

The nine Aickman volumes all have similar typography in gilt and silver. Here are Night Voices and The Attempted Rescue:


Rupetta by N.A. Sulway had a very restrained little silver clockwork key device:

While Star Kites by Mark Valentine had two colours with more exuberant silver, and ocassional little stars added in gilt:

Dear Dead Women by Edna Underwood had gilt and silver blocking, but with a more traditional, ornamental design:

We went for three matt colours for Darkscapes by Anne-Sylvie Salzman:

And then, of course, we went to town with three colours on Sourdough and Strange Tales IV

The Tardebigge Myth

The only known photograph of Robert Aickman and Tom Rolt together ( Yorkshire Post , 31st August 1948) Robert Aickman’s primary ambition w...