REV. BROCARD SEWELL, 0.CAIRM., Saint Albert's Press Ltd.:
John Gray (1866-1934) flashed across the 1890's I.ondon scene as a dandy, poet, playwright, friend of Wilde and Beardsley. Ordained in 1901, he took charge of a new parish in Edinburgh where he remained until he died. After his ordination, letters took second place in his life; occasionally he issued a small volume of poems. In 1932 Eric Gill printed 250 copies of Gray's novel Park, today a rare book, much sought for. To mark the centenary of Gray's birth, we are issuing a new edition of 350 copies with an introduction by Bernard Bergonzi.
CHARLES MONTEITH, of Faber & Faber Ltd.:
I select The Seven Reductions by Paul Bourquin. The signing of the Treaty of Madrid in 1750 by Spain and Portugal presents the Jesuits in Paraguay with an agonising dilemma. The Guarani Indians living in seven "reductions" or missions east of the Uruguay River are completely loyal to Spain; yet, under the terms of the Treaty, the Fathers who have administered them and looked after them for a century and a half are obliged to hand them over to the Portuguese— whom they detest. To Miguel 011oca in particular--the priest in charge of one of the affected reductions—the resulting situation presents an appalling conflict of loyalties; and the novel is the story of how he resolves it.
MAURICE TEMPLE-SMITH, of Eyre & Spottiswoode Ltd.: The most important book on our list is certainly Patrick White's The Solid Mandala. This is the first full-length novel by Patrick White that we have published since Riders in the Chariot and it is a most subtle and powerful piece of work. It tells the story of two brothers completely opposite in almost every way who live together all their lives. There is a horrifying climax to the book, but underneath it all there is a sense of wholeness which the symbol of the mandala points towards. JOHN KNOWLER, of HartDavis Ltd.:
I am particularly keen on Francis Huxley's new hook The Invisibles, which is a wonderfully personal account of several months spent in Haiti researching into voodoo. Mr.
Huxley is an anthropologist, and he combines his scholarship and a rare knowledge of plants with a vivid and lively style.
MARJORIE VILLIERS, of Harvill Ltd.:
A book we are much looking forward to publishing is a new edition of Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France and Spain, translated and abridged by John Jolliffe. In the introduction to the 1855 two-decker edition, the editor wrote that these chronicles, ever since their first appearance in the 14th century, have been "deemed worthy presents for Kings and Princes". In elegant contemporary English, we believe that the stories have retained their fascination and will be accessible to a much wider readership.
WILLIAM KIMBER, of Kimber Ltd.:
Undoubtedly the most unusual book We shall be publishing is one entitled British Agent by John Whitwell, and I cannot do better than quote what Captain Henry Kerby, M.P., has to say about it: "This is a piece of publishing history. For the first time ever, a former senior member of the service which officially does not exist
tells the true facts of life as a secret agent. For security reasons the author has adopted an assumed narrie, but he is an old friend of mine and I can vouch for the valuable work he carried out for Britain in his highly skilled and dangerous, and in many ways thankless, missions. The glut of fiction written on this theme has tended to take the work of such men into the realm of the fairy tale. I am delighted that at last a factual account is to be published, for 1, believe that the public are entitled to know something of the realities of this splendid service—after all, they pay for it."
WILLIAM HOLDEN, of Heinemann Ltd.:
I think that Anthony Burgess' very wide public will be delighted to hear that we will be publishing a novel by him in June. It is called Tremour of Intent, and it is a marvellous, funny, and at the same time serious send-up of the spy novel.
RALEIGH TREVELYAN, of Michael Joseph Ltd.: very much like Priscilla Napier's A Late Beginner, which is due out in February. This is a witty, unsensational. but wise and civilised memoir of childhood, set mostly in Egypt before the first world war. As a picture of pro-consuls just before sunset, it possesses a merit quite beyond the old-style memoirs of General X and Dowager Y.
JOHN GUEST, of Longmans Ltd.: In his now famous anthology The Other Face, Fr. Philip Caraman, S.J. gave a vividly detailed view of Elizabethan Catholic life seen entirely through contemporary writings. In April, we will he publishing a sequel, The Years of Seige,, which carries the story, with explanatory notes by Fr. Caraman, from the accession of James I to the death of Cromwell. The book is a mag. nificent contribution to the largely uncharted Catholic history of the period, and a moving tribute to human faith and courage.