Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula
Towards 'An English Fourth'
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text
'The Mint' and Later Writings About Service Life
Boats for the R.A.F. 1929-1935
reports and correspondence
The Forest Giant
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
Check for programme updates on our News page
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.
Please do not send us manuscripts for possible publication.
|To ask us a question, click here >>|
About four times a year we send an email newsletter to subscribers
For prices see Online Shop
Some opinions of our work:
Considering the tastefulness of the physical design of the Castle Hill volumes - which undoubtedly would have pleased Lawrence, who was a devotee of William Morris's idea of 'the book beautiful' - and the spare tastefulness of their editing, and especially their making available important but otherwise hard-to-access texts, this is a project for which Lawrence scholars will indeed be grateful now and in years to come. [Professor Stephen E. Tabachnick, reviewing Castle Hill Press books in English Literature in Transition]
. . . I couldn't be more pleased. The attention to detail, and conception of this edition, are wonderful . . .
I cannot praise too highly the quality of the production, with exceptional clarity and beauty of print, the erudition of editing, and the excellent on-line service. Important correspondence in beautiful books - the perfect combination.
. . .Excellence in research and editing, and magnificently produced books in superb bindings. Last but not least, efficient and friendly service, with books posted in rock solid packaging.
. . . These books are a pleasure to own and read . . .. . . a quite invaluable job in publishing (very beautifully . . .) many of the writings of TEL which hitherto have been available only in manuscript form in museums, libraries or private collections, or in out-of-print books which are very hard to obtain.
An excellent set of publications that are beautifully edited and produced. A wonderful addition to my library and to any library.