Tartarus Press

As part of the What are Words Worth? Sedbergh's Festival of Writing and Ideas, we enjoyed a talk by Ray Russell of Tartarus Press.

I’ve only recently been introduced to Tartarus Press. Although I had previously heard about this small publishing house, based in Leyburn, I had always assumed that their catalogue of Horror, Gothic and Supernatural books wasn’t for me. How wrong was I! The friend who introduced me to Tartarus Press helped me to appreciate the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, differences between the horror novels I’ve always disliked, and the gentler Ghost and light Gothic novels I’m now very much enjoying.
The talk was excellent and gave us much food for thought. I particularly enjoyed the distinction which Ray Russell drew between literary fiction and genre fiction. He very succinctly described something I have been wrestling with for many years. His description was, I think, once you've taken away all the genre fiction ie Gothic, Horror, Romance, Mystery, Crime, Historical etc, what you are left with is Literary Fiction (I feel this description does deserve capitals!) Chris and I have chatted about this a great deal since the talk. Sometimes agreeing with the premise, other times finding reasons, and novels, to cause us to disagree with the premise.

So, a really enjoyable evening, with much to think about. And, more importantly maybe, lots of new books to collect! I'm particularly interested in reading the authors I know well from their other fiction (literary?) but not their Ghost and Supernatural writings. Some good examples are Edith Wharton, Henry James and Hugh Walpole. We added a beautiful edition of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Suicide Club and Other Dark Adventures to our growing collection of Tartarus Press books.