Friday, July 24, 2009

Forthcoming titles, and an old book gets a makeover

I've finished compiling an update to the forthcoming books list on the Historical Novel Society website. It's only July, but a few publishers have their Winter 2010 catalogs out already. The main page lists titles through December, while those for January and forward appear on a separate page. Info on titles from US publishers was provided by me; Sarah Cuthbertson compiles the UK listings.

One of the new books on Sarah C's list, Mary Jane Staples's The Summer's Day is Done, caught my attention because the title seemed so familiar. A little googling revealed it was a reissue of a novel from 1976, one that I happen to own. The new and the old:

Mary Jane Staples and Robert Tyler Stevens were both pseudonyms used by Reginald Thomas Staples. He's best known for the Adams Family series of cockney wartime sagas written as Mary Jane Staples. Although he died in 2005, some of his older, non-series books are being reissued under the more familiar Mary Jane Staples name, which has been confusing some readers.

The novel's about a secret (fictional) love affair between Grand Duchess Olga and British agent John Kirby, who meets her at the Tsar's ball in 1911. The original edition was also published in the US, in paperback. Has anyone read it? Kind of a similar plotline to Catherine Gavin's The Snow Mountain, which a while back I mentioned as a favorite of mine.

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