The Mascarons of the Late Empire & Other Studies
The Mascarons of the
Late Empire & Other Studies is a sewn hardcover book of 82 pages
with dust-jacket, silk ribbon, endpapers and a full-colour frontispiece. Edition limited to only 100 hand numbered copies.
i. A Walled Garden on the Bosphorus
ii. The Mascarons of the Late Empire
iii. A Lantern for Carpathia
iv. The Atelier in Iasi
v. About the Stories
In the afterglow of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, in a city at its furthest edge, a young scholar hopes to finish his study of the mascarons, the stone masks, carved on its grand buildings. His tired eyes seem to see features from his sketches in the faces of some of the passers-by in this liminal place. In a story of transition and loss, we share in the strange visions and new tensions of a forgotten era. When an artistic Englishman receives an invitation to a private view at an atelier he does not know, on a card marked with a stark symbol, he decides he will investigate. What he finds introduces him to an art he had never imagined, and the experience of a lifetime. This enigmatic story is likely to resonate in the reader’s mind. And in a walled garden on the Bosphorus, a League of Nations official meets a Frenchman who devotes his time to studies of all the sects of the old Ottoman Empire. Through the streets of Constantinople, he searches for evidence of their beliefs. At last, he introduces his acquaintance to those he has found the most elusive of all. A new collection from Mark Valentine is always a good reason for celebration. Just think how lucky you are - the first person you come across with a Passport Levant in his pocket is also the only one who matters.
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.