Sunday, December 30, 2018

Dime novel sequel & year-end recap

We're closing out 2018 with one last new title... 

The Prisoner of the Mill (1864) is a sequel to The Border Spy by the same author (Lt. Col. Hazeltine). It picks up where Border Spy left off, in November 1861. 

Union forces have just retaken Springfield, Mo., when their commander, Gen. John C. Fremont, is removed. His replacement immediately orders a retreat, leaving Confederate bushwhackers free to prowl the countryside the Federals have abandoned. When a Union soldier vanishes under suspicious circumstances, his sister and his best friend undertake a dangerous quest to determine if he is dead or alive, and who is responsible for his disappearance. 

We've made Border Spy and Prisoner available as separate paperback editions as well as in a combined hardcover edition. All three titles are available at our website. 

Looking back on 2018, it proved to be a year of change and transition for Monroe St. Press. Shifts in the independent publishing industry prompted us to reevalulate our mission, try out new marketing and publishing approaches, and expand into other venues, including music. Expect more changes in 2019 as we participate in new events and new ventures. 

Our sincere thanks to all who visited our website or our vendor booths this year. Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!

Friday, December 7, 2018

New fantasy and dime novels

Monroe St. Press' two newest vintage titles are the fantasy novel The Wood Beyond the World and the Civil War dime novel The Border Spy

The Wood Beyond the World (1894) by William Morris was written in a style reminiscent of medieval romances. It was among the first modern novels to blend an imaginary world with elements of the supernatural, and influenced later writers such as Lord Dunsany, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. 

Morris (1834-1896) was a British novelist, poet, artist, textile designer and social activist who was part of the Pre-Raphaelite circle and exerted significant influence on the culture of Victorian England. He helped revive traditional textile arts as well as interest in ancient and medieval epic tales. 

Morris' best known literary works include The Defence of Guinevere and Other Poems (1858), an early example of Pre-Raphaelite poetry; The Saga of Gunnlaug Worm-Tongue (1869), a translation of an Icelandic myth; News from Nowhere (1890), his utopian vision of a kinder, gentler and more pastoral 21st-century London; and The Well at the World's End (1896), a fantasy-adventure epic with some parallels to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

Turning to American literature, The Border Spy; or, The Beautiful Captive of the Rebel Camp (1863) by Lt. Col. Hazeltine is a Civil War dime novel written during the war by a veteran of the conflict, and was among the earliest dime novel titles released by Sinclair Tousey's American News Company.  

The book depicts Union Gen. John C. Fremont's campaign to drive Confederate forces from southwest Missouri, culminating in the First Battle of Springfield (Mo.) in 1861. 

The author is not clearly identified, but may have been a Col. Harry Hazelton of the Benton Cadets, Missouri Infantry, who served in the campaign depicted in this book and its sequel, The Prisoner of the Mill. Some later editions of Prisoner are attributed to Hazelton. Both books combine historical figures and details of real-life military actions with a popular, dramatic dime novel storyline. 

Both titles are available through the Monroe St. Press website.