Tartarus Press


Haunted by Books is a paperback of 296 pages.



The hardback limited edition is now out of print.


The paperback and ebook editions can be ordered direct from Amazon:



and other Amazon websites


Alternatively, the book is available direct from Tartarus:

Paperback: £14.95

Ebook: £4.99

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


Haunted by Books


Mark Valentine


In Haunted by Books Mark Valentine explores the more curious byways of literature. He presents the author who was always being told he had nearly written a masterpiece, and the genius of the short story who brewed his own cider and lived in a railway carriage.


Then there’s the figure of the 1890s, praised by Max Beerbohm, who liked to wander around London wearing horns and chewing railings, and the young man in the 1930s who tried to sell his poetry door to door.


There are also new angles on key figures: the strange case of Robert Aickman, sailor and philosopher; the book that Sax Rohmer really wanted to write; the enigma of Walter de la Mare’s ‘Seaton’s Aunt’.


And there are literary mysteries; what was the MS in a Red Box? Who wrote Shakespeare’s Gunpowder Plot? What became of Dr Ludovicus? Other essays celebrate neglected writers worth discovering, such as Mary Butts, Claude Houghton, and Vernon Knowles, or offer fresh perspectives, looking at Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s fantasies, Malcolm Lowry’s reading in occult fiction. There are even studies of books that were never written.


Haunted by Books will delight all readers and book collectors who like to leave the beaten path and wander in the wild woods, forgotten lanes and lonely houses of literature.




Studies of Sad Beauty: Robert Aickman, Philip Steegman & Arthington Worsley

A Dandysme of the Soul: Michael Arlen

Inner Bohemia: The Mystical Fiction of Mary Butts

With Whisperings and Mumblings: Walter de la Mare’s ‘Seaton’s Aunt’

The Stranger Who Opens the Door: The Novels of Claude Houghton

Goodbye, Mr Fothergill: James Hilton’s Knight Without Armour

‘A Demon in Reverse’: Cosnahan’s Magical Influences

Under This Strange Grey Sky: The Fantasies of Vernon Knowles

The Writer in the Railway Carriage: H.A. Manhood

And I’d Be The King of China: The Strange Life of Charles Welsh Mason

Masks in Flanders: Major Morris’ Lost Classic

Offerings to Mercury

Viper in the Temple: The Novels of L.H. Myers

Lost Radiance: The Fiction of Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Jerusalem in England: A Note on the Work of L. Furze Morrish

‘I Walk Through the World’: The Writings of Geoffrey Pollett

Mr Shakespeare’s Gunpowder Plot

The MS in a Red Box

The Mysteries of the Pomegranate: Sax Rohmer’s The Orchard of Tears

Possible Masterpieces: The Novels of J.C. Snaith

The Ultimate Oddness: A Book of Whimsies

Secret Names: The Hermetic Fiction of Peter Vansittart

‘Or Opaline Algol’: A Lost Edwardian Poet

A Small Place of Worship: The Last of the Johnsonians

What Became of Dr Ludovicus: Ernest Dowson & Arthur Moore’s Lost Shocker

Wraiths: Some Lost Poets of the 1890s

The Piccadilly Goat

Reviews of Unwritten Books




Limited edition hardbacks available by Mark Valentine:

A Wild Tumultory Library (essays)

Inner Europe (short stories with John Howard)

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


Paperbacks available by Mark Valentine

Haunted by Books (essays)

A Country Still All Mystery (essays)

The Herald of the Hidden (short stories)

Secret Europe (short stories, with John Howard)

The Collected Connoisseur (short stories, with John Howard)


Ebooks available by Mark Valentine

A Wild Tumultory Library (essays)

A Country Still All Mystery (essays)

Haunted by Books (essays)

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)


Copyright Tartarus Press 2020