Tartarus Press


The hardback limited edition is now out of print.


The first edition of A Country Still All Mystery is a paperback of 306 pages.


Paperback: £17.95 inc free p&p worldwide


If you would like to receive your order by way of a tracked postal service please contact us directly at ray@tartaruspress.com


Ebook: £7.99

(Please note that the ebook will be sent manually, so there may be a short delay in receiving it.)


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A Country Still All Mystery


Mark Valentine


‘The English landscape was made . . . not just for food and shelter and pleasure, but also for the journey of the soul. There is a field of supernatural stories set in this “other” country, the country of the spirit . . .’


In A Country Still All Mystery, Mark Valentine explores how certain writers have used their fiction to convey the idea of numinous terrain, places where we might at any moment stray into the realms of the unearthly and uncanny.


These essays continue similar literary and antiquarian themes to his well-received earlier volume, Haunted By Books (2015). When and where was the last wolf seen in England? Why were certain lonely houses left beyond parish boundaries? Is there a missing book by T.E. Lawrence? What was the secret history of Cope & Fenwick, liturgical publishers? What became of the original Tower of Moab?


A Country Still All Mystery will be read with pleasure by those who enjoy the out-of-the-way, the obscure, the eccentric and the outré. It will appeal to anyone who has ever strayed into remote country which seems to be not quite fully in this world.


Cover image taken from Tristram Hillier’s Shell Oil poster of Jezreel’s Temple, Gillingham, Kent.




‘A Country Still All Mystery’: Machen, Sarban and Otherworldly Landscapes

‘An Atlas of Unknown Worlds’: Mary Butts, John Metcalfe and Stories of Strange Regions

‘A Landscape of the End of the World’: The Supernatural Terrain of Francis and Eric Brett Young

Borderland Mysteries: The Thrillers of R.C. Ashby

The Islands Beyond: The Books of Robert Atkinson

Half- Seen Shadows: C.R.J. Carstairs and the Great

Crying For Elysium: The Pagan Fantasies of Forrest Reid

Courted by an Orchid: The Mystical Fantasies of Ronald Fraser

The Singer of Samarkand: James Elroy Flecker

The Third Alias: A T.E. Lawrence Mystery

The Roads to Shangri-La: James Hilton and the Mysteries of the East

The Ceremony at Arnsburg: Playing the Glass Bead Game

In an Unresting Land: Randolph Stow’s The Girl Green as Elderflower

Towards Tir-Nan-Og: Lord Dunsany’s The Curse of the Wise Woman

The Last Wolf in England

Beyond the Boundaries: Extra-Parochial Districts

The Wind in Their Faces: The After-Life of Becket’s Assassins

Inheritance of Shadows: John Meade Falkner’s Other Novels

Written in Smoke: Oliver Onions’ The Hand of Kornelius Voyt

Against the Abyss: Carnacki the Ghost-Finder

Gentleman Renegade: A.J. Raffles, Cricketer and Crook

Teaching Yourself to Think: Eric Ambler’s Spy Stories

Holy Treasures: Three Arthur Machen Mysteries

‘This Cackling Old Gander’: The New Age and Arthur Machen

Gentle Mephistopheles: The Fiction of Frank Baker

Cope & Fenwick: A Reminiscence, and a Checklist

The Amber Chapel

The Original Tower of Moab

‘Who Could Damn Hardest’: A Muggletonian Influence upon ‘Casting the Runes’?

The English Catalogue





'The four collections of essays by Mark Valentine published by Tartarus Press in Yorkshire contain some of the best writing on books of the last twenty years. It is unsurprising that his name is not cited alongside Basbanes, Dirda or Gekoski, for Valentine’s chosen subject is, more often than not, the rediscovery of a neglected author or lighting a candle at the shrine of an author who had no wide audience in life.' Peter Cooper, The Book Collector, Summer 2022


'Mark's easy, elegant and erudite style, and his vast knowledge of books, places, forgotten legends and folklore, ensure that every single essay is an enjoyable read.' Rosemary Pardoe, the Ghost and Scholars Newsletter 32


'A Country Still All Mystery is a delightful and fascinating collection of essays about books, landscapes, writers, publishers, and the pleasures derived therefrom. Mark Valentine introduces us to his passion for old books, and recounts some of the pleasurable zig-zags this has sent him on. Readers of Machen and Hodgson will find much of interest in each article.' Jay Rothermel, Easily Distracted


'A hugely recommended read for anyone with an interest in the roads less travelled and in the words spoken with a quieter resonance." Wyrd Britain



Limited edition hardbacks available by Mark Valentine:

The Peacock Escritoire with At Dusk

Time, A Falconer: A Study of Sarban (biography)


Paperbacks available by Mark Valentine

Sphinxes and Obelisks (essays)

A Wild Tumultory Library (essays)

Haunted by Books (essays)

A Country Still All Mystery (essays)

The Fig Garden and Other Stories (short stories)

The Nightfarers (short stories)

The Herald of the Hidden (short stories)

Secret Europe (short stories, with John Howard)

Inner Europe (short stories with John Howard)The Collected Connoisseur (short stories, with John Howard)

The Collected Connoisseur (short stories, with John Howard)


Ebooks available by Mark Valentine

Sphinxes and Obelisks (essays)

A Wild Tumultory Library (essays)

A Country Still All Mystery (essays)

Haunted by Books (essays)

The Fig Garden and Other Stories (short stories)

The Nightfarers (short stories)

The Herald of the Hidden (short stories)

The Collected Connoisseur (short stories, with John Howard)

Secret Europe (short stories, with John Howard)

Inner Europe (short stories with John Howard)


See also:

Phantom Cities by The Sodality of the Shadows



Copyright Tartarus Press 2023