Violet Books

Special Interests


In addition to the subjects mentioned on my welcoming page (H. Rider Haggard, lost race novels, & all ghost story writers), I have a large number of other special interests. They include:

Rex Cole, Jr. & the Grinning GhostJuvenile Series Books & other vintage young adult & children's books & literary fairy tales frequently duplicate themes in adult fantasy literature. At least once a year I do a special juveniles catalog. The most recent one included Irving Crump's rare "Og" books about the adventures of a "missing link" cave youth; Tom Swift senior & junior science fiction adventures; Rick Brant electronic adventures; Roy Snell fantasies of jungle & polar journeys; Tahara, Boy Mystic series of Lost Race novels; Tarzan & other Edgar Rice Burroughs books; Bomba the Jungle Boy early editions in dustwrappers; the Great Marvels series by Roy Rockwell; sea adventures & fantasies by the Scottish naval surgeon Gordon Stables; Thornton Burgess & other "beasts in britches" authors; Carl Cloudy's rare "adventures in the unknown" series; early Girls Adventure books; & too many others to fit into this small paragraph.

Marie Corelli "Marie Corelli," Henry Miller once said, "makes of you either an addict or a sworn enemy." Violet Books actively purchases & sells the works of Marie Corelli & all similar occult or theosophic romancers & ghost story writers. There are a growing number of articles on Corelli at the website, beginning with my essay, Marie Corelli & her Occult Tales.

Oscar WildeYellow Nineties Decadence overlaps fantasy literature in so many places that it is often difficult to distinguish fantasist from nonfantasist, probably because Poe was such an intense influence upon the Aesthetes. Oscar Wilde, Vincent O'Sullivan, Baron Corvo, Laurence Housman, Marie Corelli, Max Beerbohm, Richard LeGallienne, Arthur Machen, Count Stenboch, M. P. Shiel, & so many others who excelled in the composition of supernatural tales & poems. Even Aubrey Beardsley wrote a fantasy novella (albeit unfinished). It's natural enough Violet Books buys & sells these authors. So, too, the French Decadent writers from Charles Baudelaire & Theophile Gautier onward, & authors of the San Francisco fin de siecle highlighted by Ambrose Bierce, W. C. Morrow, & Emma Frances Dawson – each & every one a Violet passion.

Julian HawthorneJulian Hawthorne the only son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, stands among my favorite weird writers, & I've an article on-line about his childhood & youth Julian Hawthorne's Beginnings & Beliefs including three photographic portraits revealing what a handsome devil he was. I am in the process of editing a multi-volume set of his supernatural tales for Ash-Tree Press in finely made limited editions. The first in this series, The Rose of Death & Other Mysterious Delusions is already published, with my major monograph on Julian's life & works. This is available autographed from Violet Books for $65, not cheap but pretty reasonable for such a fat hardcover limited to only 500 copies. The second volume will appear as The Laughing Mill & Other Absolute Evils, & you may reserve this through Violet Books.

Classic Detection overlaps the macabre so thoroughly that Poe himself is regarded as the father of the detective story. I've a fondness for early detectives such as Gaston Leroux's magician-detective Cheri Bibi, Chesterton's Father Brown, Jacques Futrelle's "Thinking Machine," E. W. Hornug's Raffles, R. Austin Freeman's Dr. Thorndyke, Melville Post's Randolf Mason, Arthur Reeve's Craig Kennedy, Louis Tracy's Inspector Furneaux, Emile Gaboriau's Monsieur Lecoq, anything by pulp-poet Cornell Woolrich, & on & on, besides all "occult detectives" as mix crime & the supernatural: Sax Rohmer's dream-detective Morris Claw, Agatha Christie's rainbow-hued Mr. Quinn, John Dickson Carr's Dr. Gideon Fell, Marjorie Lawrence's Dr. Miles Pennoyer, Dion Fortune's Dr. Taverner, Jack Mann's "Gees," William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki & many such, a few of whom have exciting jackets & bindings displayed in the Weird Detective Gallery.

Marjorie BowenMarjorie Bowen was one of the great weird writers of the first half of the 20th Century, yet her books have become among the rarest sought by collectors. I edited a fat selection of Bowen's short stories, including previously unpublished works, for Ash-Tree Press in Canada. You should quickly obtain Twilight & Other Supernatural Romances (which does not not duplicate any stories in the Arkham House selection of her stories) as the edition is limited to 500 copies & already out of print, though I have a few cpies for Violet Books customers. It includes my 12,000 word monograph on all her supernatural works; 16 short stories plus a novella; a memoir of Bowen by her son; & an unpublished essay by Bowen "On the Existence of Evil". You may right now read my essay on The Life of Marjorie Bowen, based on the censored portions of my monograph & not published elsewhere.

Heroic Fantasy & High Fantasy constitutes, perhaps, the guiltiest of my pleasures. I have written often on such topics as Heroic Fantasy Amazons, quite apart from my own novels in that vicinity; Clark Ashton Smith makes me swoon; James Branch Cabell is a marvel; & whatever others think, I regard Robert E. Howard a great writer.

Swashbucklers, pirate romances, & the like, are much more thrilling to me than "serious" historicals, so I am also continously buying & selling pastmasters of that genre, including Jeffery Farnol, Marjorie Bowen, Robert Neilson Stephens, Rafael Sabatini, Baroness Orczy, Stanley Weyman & other greats of this underestimated literary form. And there are pages devoted to swashbucklers & historicals in the extensive dustwrapper Art Gallery.

Emma-Lindsay Squier is a forgotten author of heroic fantasies & swashucklers, most active in the 1920s. I'm very fond of her body of work hence have begun building the Emma-Lindsay Squier Pages which will eventually cover all aspects of her life & career.

Vintage Westerns are the swashbuckling historicals of North America, & what wonder, since the original cowboys themselves tended to be Sir Walter Scott fans & to pattern their images of themselves after the likes of Rob Roy. I am building a series of Westerns Dustwrapper Galleries with authors' biographical sketches of permanent reference value

Fantasy in Translation. Whether Magic Realists of South & Central Americas, great Yiddish fantasists from I. L. Peretz to Isaac Singer, the great Poe- & Kafka-inspired Japanese authors such as Akutagawa Ryunosuke & so many others, the original German Romanticists, & weird fiction from the Polish, the French (see for instance Honore de Balzac's Weird Tales), the Russian (see Mikhail Bulgakov's Satanic Fantasy "The Master & Margarita,"), Viennese fantasist Ilse Aichinger, or check out my article Some Ghost Tales from South America.. You name the language, if it's been translated, & it's assuredly supernatural, I cannot resist.

H. P. LovecraftH. P. Lovecraft & other Weird Tales & Arkham House writers such as Robert Bloch, Joseph Payne Brennan, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, Walter de la Mare, August Derleth, William Hope Hodgson, Carl Jacobi, David H. Keller, J. Sheridan LeFanu, Frank Belknap Long, H. Warner Munn, E. Hoffman Price, Seabury Quinn, Evangeline Walton, Henry Whitehead – plus so very many others who are actively bought & sold on a daily basis. Expect increasing numbers articles about such writers coming to the Violet Books website!


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