Friday, September 28, 2018

PREVIEW: Covers and introduction authors for the new Furrowed Middlebrow titles, coming in January 2019

I posted last month about the long-awaited new batch of Furrowed Middlebrow books from Dean Street Press, set to be released in January. I was busting to tell you more at that point, and now I finally can. Yay!

First, the new books will, like their predecessors, contain newly-commissioned introductions, and I'm excited to announce who will be writing them. 

For the Elizabeth Eliot books, I'm very happy to say that scholar and researcher Elizabeth Crawford will once more be taking the reins. Elizabeth previously wrote wonderful intros for our editions of Rachel Ferguson, Winifred Peck, and Elizabeth Fair, and I can't wait to see what new information she is able to unearth about the elusive Eliot, about whom very few details are available. She's a somewhat mysterious figure at this point, but if anyone can shed light on her, Elizabeth will! Thank you to Elizabeth for her willingness to do the honors again.

And for the D. E. Stevenson titles, most of you will immediately recognize our illustrious intro writer. I still can't quite believe it, but worldwide bestselling author (more than 40 million books sold in 46 languages according to his Wikipedia page!) Alexander McCall Smith will be doing the honors for DES. For those who have been living under a rock, McCall Smith is the author oThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, as well as numerous other titles for both adults and children. Check out his website here. I'm very much looking forward to reading his intro!

But now, on to the covers!

First off, as an aficionado of classic dustjacket covers, which you know I am, I'm particularly excited that all three of our Mrs Tim titles, by the inimitable D. E. Stevenson, will make use of cover art from earlier editions of the books. (Thus, you actually had a sort of preview of our new covers in my previous post without knowing it!)




I think Dean Street Press did a beautiful job with all three of these, don't you? And a renewed thanks to Jerri Chase, whose scans of covers of her copies of these books provided us with the images in the first place!

Then we have the two additional D. E. Stevenson titles, with wonderfully evocative images that feel like they should have been used on previous editions:



Those are both from vintage travel posters of Scotland, and I'd happily walk right into either image if I could.

For our Elizabeth Eliot titles, we drew from more disparate sources.

When I was searching for cover images for some of the titles from our last batch of books, I came across several breathtaking portraits by Rex Whistler of Lady Caroline Paget. They didn't work for any of the titles I was working on at the time, but I remembered them when I was looking for something appropriate for Eliot's novels. And thus we got our rather gorgeous cover of Alice—elegant, melancholy, and yet somehow playful (look at that dog!).


I love our other Eliot covers too, which include a striking interior by Francis Cadell and two lovely period illustrations that Rupert at Dean Street Press discovered:




The ambivalence between the two women in that last image simply oozes off the page—as it should for the cover of a novel focused largely on the fascinatingly ambivalent relationship between two women.

So what do you think? Did we do these books justice? I hope you like the covers as much as I do!

35 comments:

  1. They look great Scott, can't wait to read them, only a few months to go!

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  2. All of this is beyond exciting, but that Alexander McCall Smith is doing the DES intro is so wonderful I can't find words to thank you enough!

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    1. I'm still pinching myself that we have McCall Smith doing the intro!

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  3. And these were great choices for the Stevenson titles. Praise to you and Jerri.

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  4. Brilliant covers, so looking forward to reading

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  5. Talk about temptation! January is going to be a VERY happy month for me!

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  6. Well done, Scott! Congratulations all around!

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  7. Well done, Scott! ( and well done, Jerri ) This DESsie is looking forward to having copies she doesn't need to worry about falling apart as they are re and rerere-read!

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    1. Thanks Perry! Hard to believe these have been out of print so long, isn't it?

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  8. Wow what a great collection. More for the wishlist. Congratulations.

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  9. How delicious they look, Scott! And it's lovely to hear the news about Alexander McCall Smith writing new introductions to the DES Mrs. Tims. I'll be eager to see what he has to say. Thank you for thanking Jerri Chase. That woman is a gold mine of information.

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    1. Thanks Karen! Yes, these would likely never have happened if it hadn't been for Jerri!

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  10. And the Mrs. Tim cover art has been taken from the UK first edition art work, cropped and sized to work in the Furrowed Middlebrow framework. Some of you might have seen the lady walking through the trees on the covers of other DES novels published by Collins, but I believe the first time it was used was on the first edition of Mrs. Tim Flies Home. Why they used it on reissues of other titles I have no guess. And Alexander McCall Smith! I remember when Virago got him to write introductions for High Rising and Wild Strawberries by Thirkell, and his name on the intro brought some new attention to the author's works. I certainly hope he enjoys the books, although I would guess he wouldn't agree to write introductions for books he didn't enjoy.

    Great work, Scott. Can't wait till January.

    Jerri

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    1. Thanks Jerri, I forgot to add those specifics about the covers, so I'm glad you jumped in. It would indeed be great if McCall Smith is able to expand DES's readership even more!

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  11. I wisih I could add something new and different, but I will say I am all agog with excitement! McCall Smith, thosoe covers! You should see me sitting here with my mouth dropped open and my eyebrows way up! SCOTT - thrilling news for us fans! WELL WELL DONE! Love it!
    Tom

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  12. I am delighted to hear this news! I'm very much looking forward to spending the money from my Christmas stocking on your Stevenson reissues -- and what excellent cover choices! Well done all around!

    I have always thought of Alexander McCall Smith as a sort of heir of Stevenson's. As a librarian, I remember making (and reading!) those "If you like this author, you'll like that author" lists, and tend to put McCall Smith on the list for those who like DES -- the books themselves may not always be "like" but his gentle, humorous, decent outlook on life is very much like hers, and it comes across in their writing for both of them.

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    1. Thanks Jeanne, glad you like the covers. Yes, I can quite see why McCall Smith would be a DES fan, and I imagine the reverse would be true as well!

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  13. Yes, lovely covers. Really looking forward to them all.

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  14. I love these covers and can't wait for them to come out!

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  15. Well done all round, Scott, Jerri, DSP, Alexander. I may have to buy more hard copies of them all, not just ebooks.

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  16. Scott, I've just had notification from the Book Depository that the 4 DES titles I preordered have been made available. On the BD site, the pub date is still January but it says they'll be dispatched in a couple of days. I've had this happen before & usually BD then cancels my order & gives me a refund. I'll just order again closer to the pub date but it may put some people off, they may think the books have been cancelled. Maybe Dean Street Press should query this with them?

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    1. Thanks for letting us know this Lyn. I followed up with DSP and it seems the issue was a glitch with a distributor. It should be resolved now, but let me know if you have any other issues.

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  17. 4 of the 5 DES titles are available for preorder on Amazon US. Available date says Jan 7, 2018. Hopefully "Mrs Tim Flies Home" will get a preorder button soon.

    Jerri

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  18. Just love the covers and can't wait for the books to appear. I have devoured all the others with delight!

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