The Peacock Escritoire
Escritoire is a full-colour illustrated sewn hardcover book of 218 pages with dust-jacket, silk ribbon, endpapers and a full-colour
frontispiece. Finely illustrated by Santiago Caruso. Collector's edition limited to only 100 hand numbered copies.
The Peacock Escritoire is less a simple gathering of fine stories and more of an homage to the many different copes, dalmatics and mosaics of the Old World. Think about it as a fabulous wayward Exposition Internationale catalogue of epiphanies, wonders, sacred mysteries and veiled heresies. If St. Petersburg had survived civil war and become an international city where trafficking in holy relics drew certain powers in; if the soothsayers of Prague saw the truth in the fortunes of a young street artist; if the author of Dr Saprophyte knew what his friends thought of his books; if a dream museum released its dreams; if a dying Russian futurist knew more than he could say; if an Alexandrian jasper held the clue to serpentine secrets; if a stranger returned a Judas coin; all these possibilities and more are to be found in the latest collection of short stories by Mark Valentine. Seven fantastic new stories and six published but hard to find, they follow the admired work in his previous collections, The Nightfarers and The Mascarons of the Late Empire & Other Studies.
The Ka of Astarakhan
The Late Post
A Revelation of Cormorants
The Amber Cigarette
Sime in Samarkand
The Antioch Imperial
A Certain Power
The Tontine of Thirteen
The Second Master
The Autumn Keeper
The Days on Castel Rosso
Echoes of Saumurz
The Return to Trebizond
The Old Light
The Peacock Escritoire Box Set contents:
i. The Peacock Escritoire volume collection
ii. Shards & Plumes: Journal Notes; over 70 single pages with Notes, Unfinished Stories, Journal Entries and more, printed on thick paper; coming in a special made envelope
iii. three large postcards
iv. an old map of Trebizond
v. the Santiago Caruso Portofolio. 11 amazing illustrations done especially for this edition. Paintings printed on deluxe paper, very large format
vi. a heavy clothed box with sigil and silver lettering on the spine and the front cover, to hold the book and all the many extras
Mark Valentine is an English author, biographer and editor.
Valentine’s short stories have been published by a number of small presses and in anthologies since the 1980s, and the exploits of his series character, "The Connoisseur", an occult detective, were published as The Collected Connoisseur in 2010.
As a biographer, Valentine has published a life of Arthur Machen in 1985 (Seren Press), and a study of Sarban, Time, A Falconer (Tartarus Press), is published in 2010. He has also written numerous articles for the Book and Magazine Collector magazine, and introductions for various books, including editions of work by Walter de la Mare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Saki, J. Meade Falkner and others.