THE BOOKS: Page the First

 

What we have published; what we are about to publish. Fiction first; then our Annotated Classics, followed by the Bapton Books History Selections; then essays and criticism; and, at the last, what is to come.

Cross and Poppy: a village tale

 

ISBN-13: 978-1493746705

ASIN: B00GMW1F3G

The first novel in GMW Wemyss’ Village Tales series, Cross and Poppy takes the villagers of a thousand cosy English novels, Wodehousian gentry and peers, and Trollopean clerics, and sets them adrift in our own, very modern world.

  The duke of Taunton is more than the light comedy turn he affects. The new Anglo-Catholic rector, a devastatingly handsome widower, is deeper than he looks. Teddy Gates, the celebrated ‘Hipster Chef’ who runs The Woolford House Hotel with its galaxy of Michelin stars; his partner the outed former footballer Edmond Huskisson; Irish-born England wicketkeeper Brian ‘The Breener’ Maguire (retired hurt, as Wisden puts it); and Sher Mirza, the Muslim expert on English church music, are the incomers who have become pillars of the community ... before the new Rector, Fr Noel Paddick, arrives. And the Woolfonts – Magna, Parva, Crucis, and Abbas – are the most chocolate-box of West Country villages. Getting in a new rector oughtn’t to melt the chocs and shake the Woolfonts to their pillars and foundations: but it does. Violence, anguish, and sacrifice all descend upon the quiet villages; but between the good rector’s arrival and the crosses and poppies of Remembrance Sunday, all things come together for good at the last, to the strains of Stanford, Howells … and a little Northern Soul.

 

‘It is not often that a reader is treated to a story so utterly well-conceived or so perfectly set down … inimitable voice … a real treasure … wonderful and wondrous tales.’

– from a five-star Amazon US review.

‘A love story, a funny book, an interesting plot that’s not really a plot, a book of faith, a Very British book. Read it, it’s worth it’.

– from a five-star Amazon UK review.

‘Reading Cross and Poppy, I was reminded of books I read in childhood. This is not a childish book, but like the best of those, it gives the reader an entire world. I wanted to go there. I wanted to be friends with the kindly intelligent people there. They live in me now, and I want to see what will happen to them next.’

– from a five-star Amazon US review.

 

Fans of the Woolfonts who wish to follow the daily lives of the community between books will be rejoiced to know that The Woolfonts are on Tumblr.

 

Claymore: a story of Texas

 

Kindle only; ASIN: B008EM0I4E

 

A Western of the old breed, the only work D. V. Pyle was given time in his retirement to finish, Claymore includes in one volume the eponymous novella, a short story, and four unfinished works. This is Reconstruction Texas in all its grit, gore, and grandeur, its sorrows and its squalor, and in its hints of redeeming grace, after the manner of the old-time trail drivers’ memories, Dobie, and Webb.

  Gruff, sharp-tongued Houston Chattan runs the Claymore Ranch in far West Texas in the way in which he ran his Confederate cavalry command. Terrible experiences have shaped him – and impelled him far from the Piney Woods of his native Deep East Texas. He respects the Yankee colonel at the nearby fort … grudgingly: any man who can command on this frontier merits respect, and a Yankee colonel who can bait Houston Chattan with a beef contract to obtain his services as a scout deserves wary admiration. He respects the NCOs and troopers far more. But it is when he stumbles upon a deadly secret that leads him across the Rio Bravo and into bleeding, war-torn Mexico that he realizes that, perhaps, all Americans are brothers once more.

  Edited – deliberately lightly – by historian and Bapton Books partner Markham Shaw Pyle, son of the late author.

 

‘Interesting collection … compares very favorably with [Louis L’Amour]. Recommend this to anyone who likes good western stories.’

– from a five-star Amazon US review.

 
The Annotated Wind in the Willows, for Adults and Sensible Children (or, possibly, Children and Sensible Adults) (3d edition)

 

 

ISBN-13: 978-1481134484

ASIN: B00JAPP8JY

Kenneth Grahame’s classic tales of the middle Thames, of Riverbank and the Wild Wood, of Mr Toad, Ratty, Mole, and that greatest of country squires Mr Badger, are published here in an annotated and critical edition, enriched by two historians – one American, one British – who grew up with the source text.

  This third edition of the well-loved classic, with almost 350 footnotes, tracks its literary allusions, influences, and legacies; identifies the river of River Bank and the canal into which Toad is thrown, and every plant and animal in the text; offers insight into Grahame’s life and losses (including the suicide of his son to whom these tales were first told); and furnishes to a new generation the references and assumptions that any Edwardian parent and child should have known without thinking. Annotated lovingly but critically, this volume contextualises, and explains with humour and insight, a classic of the genre – and why it is a classic. From railways to classism to nursery suppers, the editors place the text before a new generation with the knowledge that its first audience should have had – and what we have learnt since, giving the modern reader all the information that was familiar to its Edwardian audience but is now lost, and delineates its literary influence since its publication.

  Some 345 annotations include the source text’s literary echoes from the Authorised Version, Classical literature, Kipling, and Shakespeare; Grahame’s literary technique; the ecology of the middle Thames; and what canals, rivers, and railways were Grahame’s inspiration.

 

‘The copious annotations of this version enrich the story. There are explanations of which species are being referred to in the text. The history and definition of some of the terms. Plus the two editors show a great deal of whimsy and humor in their explanations, though they can be quite serious when warranted.’

– from the five-star review at Barnes & Noble

 

The Complete Mowgli Stories, Duly Annotated (2d edition)

 

ISBN-13: 978-1481149204

ASIN: B006H9NPEQ

 

Rudyard Kipling’s tales of Mowgli, the Man-cub, raised by wolves, are not for children only. They have never been out of print, and they have shaped the English language and the British (and American) psyche to an extraordinary degree.

  The stories that concern Mowgli’s adventures, from his adoption by Mother and Father Wolf to his marriage and taking service in the Indian Forestry as an adult, have been collected, placed in their internal chronological order, and annotated in this volume by the historians GMW Wemyss and Markham Shaw Pyle, the celebrated chroniclers of the Titanic enquiries, the rise of Churchill, and how the US Congress, four months before Pearl Harbor, kept the draft – by one vote.

  As in their previous noted annotation of The Wind in the Willows, Mr Wemyss and Mr Pyle, the first a British historian, the second, an American historian, have ranged widely in annotating this classic work. It is prefaced with essays on imperialism, dryland farming, the climate and geography of Madhya Pradesh, Kipling’s tribalism and his opposition to the Kaiser’s nascent imperial adventurism, and the image of the Mother-figure.

  Over 350 footnotes accompany the text in this second edition, delving into ecology; irrigation; literary echoes from Bunyan, the Authorised Version, Milton, Blake, Chaucer, and Shakespeare; Kipling’s literary influence upon Tolkien and Lewis; wergild; snake-cults and Greek oracles; ethnology; mana and tapu; Anglo-German and Anglo-Russian relations; forestry; and any number of subjects with these, Uncle Tom Cobleigh and All. They have given a new generation the knowledge that the initial Victorian and Edwardian reader should have had ... and much more.

  If you wish to enjoy these tales with deeper understanding; if you wonder what Buldeo has to do with Mr Sherlock Holmes’ antagonist Dr Roylott; if you have ever wondered just why a Gond hunter reminds you of the frontman of Jethro Tull; or if you simply want a cracking good read of stories you but half-remember: here is your book.

 

‘I love this particular edition because of all the background information given about Kipling and his writing of the story. this particular e-book should be on the Kindle of everyone with a love of classic literature. I wish these writers would do more books like this one....’

– from a five-star Amazon US review.

‘If You Only Know Mowgli from the Movies or the Jungle Books, You Owe Yourself Some Edition of All the Mowgli Stories: … The stories are helpfully arranged by internal chronology … [i]n addition to 350 very useful footnotes, the purpose of which is “to make familiar to a new generation all the things that were understood as a matter of course by the Victorian and Edwardian reader – and some that weren’t”, this edition contains three prefatory essays: “Kipling and the Kaiser” (Which reveals that the infamous Bandar-Log are a parody of Wilhemine Germans, not native Indians); “Mr. Pyle on Dry-Land Farming” (Which reveals that the Jungle of the stories is more dry-land forest than rain forest); and “Mothers’ Sons and Motherlands” (Which reveals that Kipling was a tribalist rather than a racist, he judged men by the kind of work they did, rather than what race they were)....’

– from a five-star Amazon US review.

Fiction:

The Annotated Classics:

Crafts and Assaults: Two Uncanny Tales for the Season

 

ISBN-13: 978-1503017443

ASIN: B00OZ4BZBU

 

The 2014 All Hallows-and-Christmas ghost stories, one from Mr Wemyss and one from Mr Pyle, written on a wager and published just in time for Mr Pyle’s heart attack and subsequent triple bypass.

  Mr Wemyss recounts an uncanny event in the District ’round the Woolfonts, in which the Rector – and the irrepressible Charles duke of Taunton, with all his old, Int Corps-honed cunning –, and Mgr Folan, with The Lads in tow, put paid to dirty dealings and dire doings at an old tumulus in Pebdown Wood near to the old Pebbury Rings hill-fort.

  Mr Pyle, with a lawyerly rationalism, tells a very different tale: of a feral and inbred set of outcasts, marked by hypertrichosis and descending into delusional zoanthropy: lycanthropy, in the psychological sense. And organizing, in packs rather than in the tribes and troupes of primates. As he says, ‘West of One Hundred –’ the 100th Meridian – ‘anything can happen’.... ‘When does the beast crowd out the man?’

  Here are tales to read by daylight, in a secure room.

Catalogue continues on next page....

New Fiction by George Knight:

The Wreck of the Lodewijk and Other Ghostly Stories

What lurks in the crypt of the church of St Oswald? What goes walking in the dark of night along a lonely Hebridean strand? What is the secret of the wreck of the Lodewijk? And what awaits the unwary traveller seeking to find his way home on a rainy London night?

In this collection of ghostly short stories, author George Knight tells the misadventures of four people who come closer than is comfortable to the supernatural.

George Knight lives and works in Gloucestershire. He has long been an enthusiast for the ghost stories of M. R. James and still remembers the effect of first reading the Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories and the work of Jorge Luis Borges. This is his first published work of fiction.

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