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CATALOGUE

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Works

Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula
Towards 'An English Fourth'
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text
Paperback edition
'The Mint' and Later Writings About Service Life
Boats for the R.A.F. 1929-1935
reports and correspondence

Translation

The Forest Giant

Letters

Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw
Correspondence with E. M. Forster and F.L. Lucas
More Correspondence with Writers
Correspondence with Edward and David Garnett
Correspondence with Henry Williamson
Translating the Bruce Rogers 'Odyssey'
Correspondence with the Political Elite 1922-1935

FULL CATALOGUE

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Finely produced editions of important new texts


Our aim at Castle Hill Press is to publish high-quality editions of important literary and historical texts by T. E. Lawrence that a trade publisher would not find commercially viable. We aim to publish one or two volumes a year.

We plan to issue some of the texts we have published in cheaper paperback format, under our J. and N. Wilson imprint. The paperback texts of Lawrence's works will be complete, but the Letters volumes will be abridged. 

In recent years general publishing has focused ever more strongly on profits - in an increasingly competitive environment. Even the great university presses, which should be the natural outlet for important non-commercial texts and the bastions of high-quality book production, have had to cut costs. At the same time, major retailers seeking to increase their market share have used their buying power to drive down supplier prices. In combination, these forces have eroded most writers' incomes and lowered editorial and production standards.

As a result, published texts are frequently marred by inadequate research, poor copy-editing and amateurish indexing. Electronic typesetting - which provides almost unlimited scope for fine typography - is simply used to reduce costs.

Meanwhile digital publishing has made it easy for writers with no editorial or publishing skills to sell books via major online retailers. The results are often appalling. In particular, reprints based on OCR scans often contain punctuation errors and OCR mis-reads. It seems that online retailers don't examine such books before offering them for sale.

At the other end of the spectrum the private-press movement is flourishing; but its strength lies in small, short-run illustrated books. The results are a pleasure to handle and own; yet, in this environment, text has become secondary - in large quantities, a handicap. When working with text, only the most dedicated letterpress printers can achieve results that bear comparison with the best electronic typesetting and offset printing. If the aim is to publish long texts in editions that are beautifully typeset and printed - and to do so at a price anyone can afford to pay - then true letterpress is no longer a viable solution.

We hand-typeset Castle Hill Press editions on a computer in-house, paying attention to every line, paragraph and page. The setting is then printed by quality-conscious printers on good quality papers and bound to high standards in strong traditional sewn bindings.

The cost of preparing the text for our editions is high - we are creating new texts not reprinting old ones. The Letters series volumes in particular involve extensive and costly research  (if you doubt that, take a look at 'Thirty-nine [or so] steps: how we assemble a volume of T.E. Lawrence letters'). Books requiring so much work could never be cheap, unless they sold in huge editions; but the market for scholarly publications is small. Most Castle Hill Press editions are produced in print-runs of 225-475 copies.

Short-run high-quality book production is expensive, but our overheads are lower than those of a city-centre trade publisher. That is why we are able to publish small, scholarly, fine-press volumes at prices unthinkable elsewhere (at least, wthout subsidy). We believe, and are frequently told, that our books are excellent value for money.

We sell directly to private collectors, scholars and libraries, initially on advance subscription. Afer publication we also sell through a small number of specialist dealers and library agents.

 

Unsolicited manuscripts

Please do not send us manuscripts for possible publication.

 

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