Handheld Press

This is just as note to say that I’ve heard from Kate Macdonald that her new venture Handheld Press is about to begin publishing. The first titles are reprints of Ernest Bramah’s 1907 political thriller What Might Have Been  ( a fantasy of what life might be like under a Labour government) and John Buchan’s The Runagates Club, a collection of short stories that shows Buchan at his (sometimes unexpected) best.

As well as reprinted novels, Handheld Press will also publish books based on research. Coming next year are an interesting pair. The Akeing Heart is billed as ‘the story of the deep and tormented relationships between the British novelist Sylvia Townsend Warner, her lover Valentine Ackland, and the American who invaded their happiness, Elizabeth Wade White.’ Sylvia Townsend Warner is an author I want to know more about, so I’m looking forward to reading this one when it’s published in January.

In June they will be publishing The Conscientious Objector’s Wife, 1916-1919, a collection of letters edited by Kate Macdonald.

Frank and Lucy Sunderland, English pacifists and fervent supporters of Labour politics and the New Town movement, were separated in 1916 when Frank was given his prison sentence as a conscientious objector. They wrote to each other from November 1916 until April 1919, while Frank was in prison at Wandsworth and at Bedford. Their letters record how Lucy kept their family going with the support of their predominantly pacifist and Quaker circle in Letchworth, contrasting with the attitude of their own London families. This unique collection of letters is important as a working-class record of wartime experience.

Should be worth reading.


  1. Roger
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Is “What Might Have Been” another title for “The Secret of the League”?

    • Posted October 26, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      ‘The Secret of the League’ was a later abridged edition of the book. This edition restores it to its original length, apparently.

  2. Bill
    Posted November 24, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Sylvia Townsend Warner is a fascinating writer, but I’m doubtful of something that approaches her relationship with Acland as “tormented” and takes a title like that one. I have always been a little surprised by their apparently being brought together by T.F.Powys.

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