The Quince Tree Press


The Quince Tree Press

The Quince Tree Press is the imprint established in 1966 by J. L. Carr to publish his maps, pocket books and novels. Carr, J.L. (1987) "An inventory and a history of the Quince Tree Press to mark its 21st year and the sale of its 500,000th small book. August 1987." Kettering: The Quince Tree Press ] It is now run by his son Robert Carr and his wife, Jane.

History of the press

When Carr took 2-year leave of absence from teaching in 1967 his aim was to see if he could make his living by selling decorated maps of English counties and small, illustrated pocket books of poets and idiosyncratic dictionaries. Rogers, Byron. (2003). "The Last Englishman. The Life of J.L. Carr". London: Aurum Press. ] These he published from his house at Mill Dale Road in Kettering, Northamptonshire under the imprint The Quince Tree Press. The quince is a fruiting tree native to the Caucasus and there was one in the front garden of Carr's house.

Carr's small books are typically 16 stapled pages, usually about 12.5 x 9.5 cm, with decorated card covers. A few are numbered; some are dated. Carr wrote: 'These books fit small envelopes, go for a minimum stamp and are perfect for cold bedrooms - only one hand and a wrist need suffer exposure'. Carr recorded in 1983 that sales of the small books reached a peak in 1980, when he sold 43,369 copies, Carr, J.L. (1983) A double life in literature. "The Author" Vol 44, No 4, pages 102 - 104. ] and by 1987 he had sold more than 500,000 in total.

At the age of 76 years and unhappy with the six different publishers of his six novels to date and with the advance that he had been offered for his seventh novel, Carr decided to publish the next book himself. "What Hetty Did" was published as a paperback by the Quince Tree Press in 1988 in an edition of 3,000 copies and was soon reprinted in the same number. Carr followed this novel four years later with "Harpole & Foxberrow General Publishers" in an edition of 4,000 copies. Carr sold his novels and small books published by the Quince Tree Press directly to booksellers and by mail order to readers, and offered copies of his other novels bought as remainders from his previous publishers. For example Carr obtained 900 remaindered copies of "The Harpole Report" from Secker and Warburg at 12 pence each and was able to sell them all at their full price of £1.75 after Frank Muir had named it on Desert Island Discs as the book he would take with him to the imaginary island .

In his life time Carr bought back the rights to the novels "How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the F.A. Cup" and "A Month in the Country" and published them under the imprint of the Quince Tree Press. Since Carr's death in 1994 the Quince Tree Press have reprinted all Carr's novels and continue to publish existing and new pocket books and maps.

In each of his novels published by the Quince Tree Press Carr cited words by Beatrice Warde, an eminent American typographer: "This is a Printing Office, cross-roads of civilisation, Refuge of all the Arts against the Ravages of Time. From this place Words may fly abroad, not to perish as waves of sound but fix'd in Time, not corrupted by the hurrying hand but verified in Proof. Friend, you are on Safe Ground: this is a Printing Office."

Novels by J.L. Carr published by the Quince Tree Press

*(1988) "What Hetty Did". First edition.
*(1991) "A Month in the Country". Revised reprint of novel first published by Harvester Press in 1980.
*(1992) "Harpole & Foxberrow General Publishers". First edition.
*(1992) "How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the F.A. Cup". Reprint of novel first published by London Magazine Editions in 1975.
*(1992) "The Battle of Pollocks Crossing". Reprint of novel first published by Viking Penguin in 1985.
*(2003) "A Day in Summer". Reprint of novel first published by Barrie and Rockliff in 1963.
*(2003) "A Season in Sinji". Reprint of novel first published by Alan Ross in 1967.
*(2003) "The Harpole Report". Reprint of novel first published by Secker and Warburg in 1972.

Illustrated Maps

Carr drew his first map in 1943, of England and Wales, while stationed in west Africa during the Second World War. Rather than being geographical, Carr's maps are of architectural and historical interest and give brief details, observations and quotations in a quirky style about buildings, historical events and people related to places in the old counties of England, before they were reorganised in 1974. The maps are meant to be read and framed and to stimulate conversation.

Carr's illustrated maps published by the Quince Tree Press were printed on single sheets of thick paper of various types and range in size from 50 to 65 cm high and 35 to 55 cm wide, depending on the shape of each county. The first four maps were of Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Kent and Norfolk and initially sold for £1. The early maps were in monochrome but some may be hand coloured; later maps were coloured. The number of different versions published as of August 1987 is shown in parentheses below and at least three new maps (Buckinghamshire, Westmoreland and Wiltshire) were added after then. There may be more maps and more versions. A new map of Northamptonshire was produced in 2005 by Bob and Jane Carr.

The versions of most county maps were not numbered or dated. Versions may be distinguished by the number of sheets printed, which was usually recorded on later maps, and assuming that the number was different for each version. Bob Carr has reported that some of the maps had editions related to the year in which they were printed. For example, an edition of 978 sheets was probably first published in 1978.

The first versions of maps seem to have been issued in editions of 250, 350 or 500 sheets. If the number of sheets issued was recorded on the version then each sheet was usually numbered by hand, although unnumbered copies are known. Some maps may be signed by Carr. The number of sheets of the versions recorded with an ISBN, seen or held in private or public collections are given below and range from 250 to 982 with an average of about 750.

The list below gives details where known of: the number of editions in parentheses as recorded by Carr in 1987 in his history of the Quince Tree Press; the date of publication with the ISBN, though such numbers seem only to have been given to maps published between 1968 and 1977; and the number of sheets, which may apply to maps published before or after 1977.

*England and Wales. Editions in July, 1972 (ISBN 090084731X) and May 1973 (ISBN 0900847344).
*Wales. Edition in March, 1969 (ISBN 0900847042). A version of 980 sheets.
*Bedfordshire. Edition in September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847522)
*Berkshire. Edition in December, 1974 (ISBN 0900847816). A version of 773 sheets.
*Buckinghamshire. Edition in September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847530). Version of 574 sheets.
*Cambridgeshire. Edition in 1974 (ISBN 0900847824). Version of 743 sheets.
*Cheshire (2). Edition in May 1974 (ISBN 0900847409). One version of 982 sheets; other unknown.
*Cornwall. Edition in September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847514). Version of 775 sheets.
*Cumberland. Edition in March, 1977 (ISBN 0900847778). Version of 777 sheets.
*Derbyshire (3). Edition in September 1975 (ISBN 0900847549). Versions of 773 sheets and 980 sheets; other unknown.
*Devon (2). Edition in May 1970 (ISBN 0900847263). Version of 500 and 978 sheets.
*Dorset. Edition in 1974 (ISBN 0900847263). Version of 773 sheets.
*Durham (2). Edition in 1974 (ISBN 0900847840). Versions of 773 sheets and 982 sheets.
*Essex (3). Edition in September 1971 (ISBN 0900847212) and September 1975 (ISBN 0900847425). Version of 500 and 775 sheets; other unknown.
*Gloucestershire (3). Editions in May, 1972 (ISBN 0900847166) and September 1975 (ISBN 0900847433. One version of 774 sheets; others unknown.
*Hampshire (3). Editions in December, 1968 (ISBN 0900847034) and September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847441). Versions of 500, 574 and 981 sheets.
*Herefordshire (2). Edition in September, 1972 (ISBN 0900847328). Versions of 981 sheets and 572 sheets.
*Hertfordshire. Edition in September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847557). One version of 980 sheets.
*Huntingdonshire (2). Edition in August, 1971 (ISBN 0900847220). Versions of 350 sheets and 980 sheets.
*Kent (4). Editions in September, 1969 (ISBN 0900847018) and September, 1975 (ISBN 090084745X). One version of 980 sheets; others unknown.
*Lancashire (2). Edition of April, 1971 (ISBN 090084728X). Versions of 777 sheets and 980 sheets.
*Leicestershire (3). Edition of April, 1972 (ISBN 0900847298). Versions of 982 sheets and 572 sheets; other unknown.
*Lincolnshire (3). Edition of October, 1970 (ISBN 0900647107). One version of 981 sheets; others unknown.
*Middlesex. Edition of September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847506). One version of 775 sheets.
*Norfolk (3). Editions of December, 1969 (ISBN 0900847085) and September, 1975 (ISBN 0900747476). Version of 500 and 705 sheets; other unknown.
*Northamptonshire (4). Editions of November, 1970 (ISBN 0900847123) and September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847468). One version of 980 sheets; others unknown. New edition in 2005.
*Northumberland (2). Edition of September, 1971 (ISBN 0900847204). Versions of 980 sheets or 502 sheets.
*Nottinghamshire. Edition of September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847565). Version of 774 sheets.
*Oxfordshire. Edition of December, 1969 (ISBN 0900847077). Version of 350 sheets.
*Rutland (3). Editions of April, 1972 (ISBN 0900847271) and 1974 (ISBN 0900847859). Version of 500 sheets and 978 sheets; other unknown.
*Shropshire. One version of 980 sheets.
*Somerset (2). Editions of May, 1971 (ISBN 0900847158) and September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847484). Version of 500 sheets, other unknown.
*Staffordshire (2). Edition of September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847573). Versions 982 sheets and 750 sheets.
*Suffolk (4). Editions of December, 1968 (ISBN 090084700X), May, 1971 (ISBN 0900847174) and September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847492). Version of 250 and 775 sheets; others unknown.
*Surrey (2). Edition of September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847581). Version of 774 sheets and 980 sheets.
*Sussex (2). Edition of June, 1969 (ISBN 0900847050). Version of 500 and 982 sheets.
*Warwickshire (3). Edition of November, 1970 (ISBN 0900847115). One version of 980 sheets; others unknown.
*Westmoreland. Edition of December, 1976 (ISBN 0900847751). Version of 776 sheets.
*Wiltshire. Editions of October, 1969 (ISBN 0900847069) and May, 1971 (ISBN 0900847182). Version of 250 and 981 sheets.
*Worcestershire (2). Edition of September, 1972 (ISBN 0900847336). One version of 776 sheets; other unknown.
*Yorkshire (6). Editions of September, 1969 (ISBN 0900847026), May, 1971 (ISBN 0900847190) and September, 1975 (ISBN 0900847417). Versions of 500, 982 and 773 sheets; others unknown.

Small books

Carr's small books are typically 16 stapled pages with illustrated card covers. A total of 105 titles are recorded, some produced after Carr's death in 1994 by Bob and Jane Carr. A few books are dated or can be dated by their publication to coincide with a particular event; some are numbered. At least four are numbered No. 71 (John Donne, Joan Hassall, Bryan North Lee and Geoffrey Chaucer) and two are numbered 99 (John Lawrence and G.K. Chesterton). Carr launched the series in 1966 with a books of poems by William Blake, Andrew Marvell and John Clare whose grandson, Albert, a retired co-op milkman, lived on the same road.

Poets

Most small books are of the work of a single poet, some are of two: Brooke and Owen, the Brownings, the Rosettis.

*Matthew Arnold. "The Scholar Gypsy" and from "Thyrsis". Cover by Christopher Fiddes.
*William Barnes. Ten Dorset dialect poems and Thomas Hardy's "Farewell".
*Hilaire Belloc. Twenty-eight poems published at his grandson's wish. Cover by Christopher Fiddes.
*William Blake. Fourteen poems. Cover by Christopher Fiddes.
*Robert Bridges
*Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen. Four sonnets and nine poems. Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Robert Browning and Elizabeth Browning. Six poems and four sonnets. Cover by J.L. Carr.
*John Bunyan. From "The Pilgrim's Progress". Cover by J.L. Carr. Woodcuts by Christoper Fiddes. No. 85.
*Robert Burns. "Love songs". Cover by Christopher Fiddes. No. 63. Dated March 1st, 1984.
*George Byron. Eight poems and from "Don Juan". Cover by J.L. Carr. No. 95.
*Lewis Carroll. "The Hunting of the Snark". Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Geoffrey Chaucer. "The Reeve's Tale". No. 71
*Gilbert Keith Chesterton. Twelve poems arranged by Heulwen Cox. No. 99
*John Clare. Sixteen poems.
*Arthur Clough and Coventry Patmore. Edited by Adam Crick.
*William Cobbett. Edited by Edmund Kirby. Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Samuel Coleridge. "The Voyage of Coleridge's Ancient Mariner" Drawn and written down by Christopher Fiddes. 1978.
*Abraham Cowley. "The Country Mouse" written out and illustrated by David Hopkins.
*William Cowper. Selected poems. No 84.
*George Crabbe. "Peter Grimes" (abridged). Cover by J.L. Carr.
*John Donne. Cover by J.L. Carr. No. 71.
*John Dryden. Twelve satirical portraits. Cover by J.L. Carr.
*James Flecker. Six poems and from "The Golden Journey". No. 92. Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Oliver Goldsmith. "The Deserted Village" (abridged). Cover by Christopher Fiddes.
*Thomas Gray. "Elegy in a Country Churchyard". Cover by Christopher Fiddes.
*George Herbert.
*Robert Herrick. "Parson and poet". 23 poems or extracts. No. 9.
*Tom Hood. Six poems. Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Gerard Hopkins. Fifteen poems edited and cover by Nina Steane. No 85.
*A.E. Housman. Poems from "A Shropshire Lad". No. 90. Cover by Christopher Fiddes.
*John Keats. Eight poems and extracts from letters edited by Elizabeth Farrer.
*Rudyard Kipling. Nine poems. Cover by William Strang. No. 92.
*Charles Lamb and Tom Moore. Essay "Dream Children" and nine poems.
*Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Extracts from "Song of Hiawatha". No. 18. Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Omar Khayyam. Extracts from "The Rubaiyat". Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Thomas Macaulay. Extracts from "Horatius". Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Thomas Malory. "Le Morte d'Arthur". Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Andrew Marvell I. Five poems. Contains: "To his coy mistress", "The Garden", "The Bermudas", From "An Horatian ode", from "Appleton House". 12pp. No. 3
*Andrew Marvell II. Contains: "To his coy mistress", "The Garden", from "Appleton House", "The Bermudas", "Cromwell's return from Ireland", plus 3 rhyming portraits for Henry Jermyn, Earl of St Albans; Ann Hyde, Duchess of York; and Charles II's mistress, the Countess of Castlemaine. 16pp.
*John Milton. "Il Penseroso" and "L'Allegro".
*William Morris. "The haystack in the floods" and four others.
*Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Christina Rosetti. Eight poems and nine poems. Cover by Nina Carroll.
*Walter Scott. "Poems". Seven poems.
*William Shakespeare. Sixteen sonnets. Cover by J.L. Carr. No. 50.
*Percy Shelley. Edited by Elizabeth Farrer. Eight poems and some letters. Cover by Christopher Fiddes.
*John Skelton. Five poems. Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Christopher Smart. Lines from "Rejoice in the lamb".
*Robert Louis Stevenson. Cover by Christopher Fiddes. Twenty one poems.
*Algernon Swinburne. Nine poems. Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Francis Thompson and Ernest Dowson. "The Hound of Heaven" and others.
*Alfred Tennyson. "Mariana" and eight poems. Cover by Christopher Fiddes.
*Edward Thomas. "Adelstrop" and eleven poems. Edited by Sally Muir, illustrated by Peter Newcombe.
*Henry Vaughan. Peoms. NO. 85.
*Oscar Wilde. Extracts from "The Ballad of Reading Goal". Cover by J.L. Carr.
*William Wordsworth. "Daffodils" and fourteen poems. Cover by Christopher Fiddes.

Collected Poems

*"The death of Parcy Reed. The Battle of Otterburn". Cover by J.L. Carr. No. 76.
*"A Christmas Book". An anthology of words and pictures. No. 52.
*"The Hearth and Home Reciter. Elizabeth Welbourn's Celebrated Reciter for all Occasions". Sixteen poems plus guidance for elocutionists. No 55.

Dictionaries

These small books are also 16 stapled pages with decorated card covers. The two dictionaries of extra-ordinary English cricketers were very successful and led to Carr's first and only order from the bookseller W.H. Smith, for 4,000 copies of an edition of 3,000. The dictionary of extra-ordinary cricketers was republished by Quartet Books in 1983 and jointly with Aurum Press in 2005.

*Ambrose Bierce. "The Devil's Dictionary". 223 entries selected by Mike Hill. No 85.
*J.L. Carr. "Gidner's Brief Lives of the Frontier". 88 entries. No. 77. Issued as a companion volume to "The Battle of Pollocks Crossing", published in 1985.
*J.L. Carr. "Carr's Dictionary of Extra-ordinary English cricketers". 126 entries. First published July 1977. Revised September 1977, January 1978.
*J.L. Carr. "Carr's Dictionary of Extra-ordinary English cricketers", Volume 2. 80 entries.
*J.L. Carr (2005). "Carr's Dictionary of Extra-ordinary English cricketers". Introduction by Matthew Engel. Aurum Press and the Quince Tree Press. ISBN 978-1845130817
*J.L. Carr (1977). "Carr's Dictionary of English Queens, Kings' Wives, Celebrated Paramours, Handfast Spouses and Royal Changelings". The Quince Tree Press. 91 entries. No. 84. First published to coincide with the Queen's Silver Jubilee.
*J.L. Carr. "Carr's Dictionary of English Kings, Consorts, Pretenders, Usurpers, Unnatural Claimants and Royal Athelings". The Quince Tree Press. 107 entries
*J.L. Carr. "Welbourn's Dictionary of Prelates, Parsons, Vergers, Wardens, Sidesmen and Preachers, Sunday-school teachers, Hermits, Ecclesiastical Flower-arrangers, Fifth Monarchy Men and False Prophets". 129 entries. No. 85. Welbourn was the family name of Carr's mother.
*A.J. Forrest. "Forrest's Dictionary of Eponymists". 135 entries. First published February 1978, revised April and November 1978.
*R.G.E. Sandbach. "Sandbach's Dictionary of Astonishing British Animals". 105 entries collected by R.G.E. Sandbach, edited by J.L. Carr. A later edition with a green, not blue, cover has an Appendix with another 37 entries.

Artist's picture books

*Thomas Bewick. Thirty-four prints and biographical extracts.
*Myles Birket Foster. Seventeen engravings
*Joseph Crawhall. "The Babes in the Wood" and 22 prints.
*George Cruikshank. "The Black Bottle". No 100.
*Clare Dalby
*Edwina Ellis. Twenty-seven prints.
*Hilda Frank. Nineteen prints.
*Marie Hartley (Published by Bob & Jane Carr)
*Joan Hassall. Thirty-two prints. No 71.
*John Lawrence's Picture Book. No 99.
*George Mackley's Picture Book.
*Săsa Marinkov. (Published by Bob & Jane Carr)
*Sarah van Niekerk. "Her Picture book".
*Hilary Paynter. Twenty-one prints.
*Monica Poole. Twenty prints.
*Gwen Raverat. (Published by Bob & Jane Carr)
*Yvonne Skargon. (Published by Bob & Jane Carr)
*Ian Stephens. Twenty-four prints.
*Margaret Wells Her Picture Book.
*Sarah van Niekerk. Ninenteen prints. (Published by Bob & Jane Carr)

Other picture books

*"A Little Book of Bookplates". Thirty-six bookplates selected by Bryan North Lee. No 71.
*"The Good Children's Book". Seventeen prints illustrating moral behaviour. A facsimile of an 1820 edition.
*"The Pleasing Instructor". Or, A Packet of Pictures for all good children with prose explanations and poetical applications embellished with numerous engravings. No 95.

Inflammatory evangelical tracts

This is the heading given by Carr to these books in "An inventory and history of The Quince Tree Press etc".
*"The Poor Man's guide to the Revolt of 1381". No. 50?
*"The Young Woman's Old Testament". Verbatim extracts from King James's version typical of their authors' attitude towards women. No. 85.

Others

*John Aubrey. Fifty-six brief lives.
*Jane Austen. "The History of England by a Partial, Prejudiced and Ignorant Historian". First published November 1977.
*Francis Bacon. Six essays as published contemporaneously. No 71.
*"The Song of Songs". Extracts from The King James's Bible.
* J.L. Carr, "Forefathers". A brief essay on Anglo-Norse carvings.
* J.L. Carr, "The Territory versus Fleming". Transcript of a murder trial edited from an 1887 Dakota newspaper.
* J.L. Carr, "An inventory and history of The Quince Tree Press to mark its 21st year and the sale of its 500,000th small book. August, 1987" pp 24.
* J.L. Carr, Poems, extracts from novels, pictures. (Published in 1994 by Bob & Jane Carr)
*Edward Gibbon. "The Fall of Constantinople". Cover by J.L. Carr.
*Samuel Johnson. "The Sayings of Chairman Johnson". One letter and various pronouncements edited by Edmund Kirby. No. 71.
*Alexander Pope. Extract from an essay on "Man" and "On Criticism". Cover by J.L. Carr.
*John Ruskin writings and illustrations. Edition in 1997, 2000, 2003.
*Sydney Smith. Biographical and conversational extracts. Cover by Sally Carr.
*Duke of Wellington. "What they said and what he said".

Notes

External links

* [http://www.quincetreepress.co.uk Quince Tree Press]


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