Monday, February 27, 2023

Ramsey Campbell's Box

So, sometimes what is collectable and what isn't can be a bit murky. A case in point wd be Ramsey Campbell's box.

This is a somewhat battered cardboard box*, on one side of which British horror writer Ramsey Campbell** has written his return address (the top flaps have the recipient's address).

How I got this is fairly straightforward. My friend Doug Anderson was in town, on a book tour promoting his new book THE ANNOTATED HOBBIT, second revised edition.*** While he was in the neighborhood we (Janice, Doug, myself) went over to Bremerton to see Jessica Amanda Salmonson.**** Being bookish people, during our visit we looked over books she had for sale. I don't remember any specific book I bought, only that it must have been enough of a pile that she gave me a little box to put them in rather than a bag.  I don't think I noticed the writing on the side until later, but I may be misremembering there.

So there it is: I have provenance (assuming it's actually his handwriting and not that of a secretary), right down to the 20pence piece that fell out of it while I was measuring the dimensions last night. To put it another way, I think it's authentic but any value it might have wd be only for fans and come only through its associational value.

Still, it makes for a fun conversation piece. Especially considering how many Mythos tales begin with the arrival of some unexpected parcel . . . 

--John R.

--current reading: ALWAYS COMING HOME by U. K. Le Guin

*8 1/2" high, about 12" long, and 8 inches wide 

**best known, to me anyway, for his Severn Valley Mythos tales, which made him the first of a new generation of Cthulhu Mythos writers who had not known Lovecraft himself.

***a v. gd bk, which you shd pick up if you're interested in JRRT.

****and also, at some point during Doug's trip, we got together with John Pelan, who sold me a copy of Leiber stories. 


David Bratman said...

My local bookstore's website says the new edition of the Annotated Hobbit is not yet published and will be out in 2050. That's 2050. Amazon and Barnes and Noble don't list the new edition at all.

John D. Rateliff said...


There are two separate books concerned here: Doug Anderson's THE ANNOTATED HOBBIT and my HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT. I don't have any publication data on when Doug's third edition is due out.

The amazon entry for my book didn't distinguish very well between the various editions of H.o.H. I'll make a short post tomorrow with the goal of straightening thins out a llittle.

--John R.