To celebrate twenty years of Trent Editions we are offering a discounted bundle of our mid-century modernist titles. In this bundle we have:
Impromptu in Moribundia by Patrick Hamilton, with a critical introduction by Peter Widdowson
Hamilton is best known for his theatrical thrillers, Rope and Gaslight, and for his mordant novel, Hangover Square (1941). Unlike much of his other fiction, Impromptu, whilst still concerned to depict the raddled English Bourgeois ideology of the inter-war years, belongs to a non-realist mode of thirties novel-writing, contriving ‘parallel’ worlds through fable, allegory, satire and dystopia to excoriate contemporary social and political tendencies. Hamilton exploits the boldly simplified, cartoon-like methods of fabulation to make his fictive Moribundia a concrete realization of the stereotypes and myths of English middle-class culture and consciousness.
First published in 1939 and never reprinted until now, Impromptu in Moribundia remains at once a fascination relic of the 1930’s, an innovative piece of fiction-writing – especially typographically, and a novel which will strike a chord with contemporary readers. This re-publication allows readers access to one of Patrick Hamilton’s rarest texts, an absorbing example of his work, too little of which has surfaced through the mists of oblivion surrounding this now much neglected writer.
Poems by Nancy Cunard, with an introduction by John Lucas
Nancy Cunard (1896 – 1965) was a renowned beauty and remarkable woman who used her inherited wealth to aid various radical causes. Cunard is most famous now perhaps for the vast anthology Negro (1934), which she put together with her sometime lover, the jazz pianist, Henry Crowder, and for the pamphlet she edited in 1937, Authors Take sides on the Spanish War. In 1928 she set up the Hours Press in France. Among its earliest publications was a small collection of poems, Whorescope, by the then unknown Samuel Beckett.
She published four collections of her own poems and in 1943, at the suggestion of Edward Thompson (father of the historian E.P Thompson, and poetry editor for the publishers Benn), she began to assemble all the verse she wished to preserve, for an intended edition. Thompson died in 1944 and the typescript of the poems was left among his papers. These were eventually deposited at the Bodleian, and Cunard’s poems have been retrieved from this typescript by the kind permission of Dorothy Thompson, to form the text of the present edition.
Selected Poems by Randall Swingler, with a critical introduction by Andy Croft
Randall Swingler (1909-67) is the missing lyric poet of the 1930s and 1940s. Swingler's poetry provides a unique record of his times, from the romantic Communism of the early thirties and the campaigning years of the Popular Front, through the war in Italy and the anti-Fascist victory of 1945 to the disappointed hopes of Cold War Europe. Bringing together his poetry for the first time, Selected Poems is an introduction to the work of an undeservedly-forgotten figure and a challenge to our understanding of a remarkable period of English literary history.
In the Second Year by Storm Jameson, with a critical introduction by Sam Smith
In the Second Year, originally published in 1936, offers a vivid premonition of a British fascist regime only five years in the future, modelling its narrative on the events of Hitler’s second year in power and his Night of the Long Knives. As much a critique of Britain in 1936 as a warning of what might still be averted by determined action, the novel is not however a political tract but an eminently readable work of fiction. Its subtle characterisation and dramatic plotting distinguish it from left-wing formula novels of the 1930s, and underpin the shrewd analysis of contemporary states of mind left, right and centre, all of which are found wanting. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the interwar years, it is also, in the sheer power of its story-telling, an enthralling novel for the general reader, meriting comparison with such dystopian fictions as Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World, and Rex Warner’s The Aerodrome. Considered by Jameson to be her best work, In the Second Year is, quite simply, a very good novel.