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Chronicles Of Castle Brass / Count Brass

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  • Chronicles Of Castle Brass / Count Brass

    Dear All,

    I've searched around on this subject without finding an answer to my questions. I'm pretty sure John Davey will know some/all of this, but rather than mail him direct, I thought I'd ask the questions here for the amusement and edification of the wider community.

    I have a trio of Mayflower/Granada (British) paperbacks (Count Brass, The Champion Of Garathorm and The Quest For Tanelorn) in a cardboard slipcase. The books are collectively known as The Chronicles of Castle Brass, but the slipcase bears the wrong title, “The Chronicles of Count Brass� on front, back and spine.

    John told me about this misprinted edition a couple of years ago, and I bought my set on eBay some time back.

    Before launching into my collector’s questions, daft and obsessive as they may be, I would like to add that I recently re-read this trilogy, and found that I liked it better than I did 25-30 years ago, when I first read it. So if my questions seem to reveal a collector’s mentality bordering on the lunatic (I’m not denying it!) please be assured that I do also read Moorcock’s books and continue to love and admire them as stories as well as collecting them (in my fairly haphazard way).

    Apart from my own collector’s fervour, I would like to see all possible factual information on the books available from a scholarly perspective.

    My questions are:

    (1) Was this set actually withdrawn from sale, as I remember hearing?

    (2) Was it reissued with the title corrected on the box?

    (3) What was the year of release of the boxed set (s)? 1977?

    (4) Should the books in the box form a uniform set?
    Mine don’t. All 3 have the price 60p. But Count Brass and Quest are Mayflower/Granada, both 1977 reprints. Champion is Mayflower, 1977 reprint. I assume the company changed its name, merged, whatever, between the 1977 reprinting of Champion, and before the 1977 reprintings of Count Brass and Quest. I further assume that the slipcase set is simply made up of the latest reprintings of all 3 books and not actually designed as a uniform set. However it is possible that owner(s) before me moved books in/out of the slipcase for reasons of their own.

    (5) Here’s where it gets odder…
    The 1977 Count Brass book in my slipcase set has the correct name of the trilogy, “(The First Volume of) The Chronicles of Castle Brass,� under the title (even though the slipcase, as you might remember from a few hours back, has the wrong title, The Chronicles of Count Brass).
    But I also have a 1973 reprint of the Mayflower paperback which calls itself, on the front and back covers, the first volume of the chronicles of Count Brass.
    Clearly this jinx first set in in 1973.
    But could 1973 have been the true date of the slipcased set? No, that can’t be the case, since Quest wasn’t published until 1975.
    Did the jinx just re-surface in 1977 when some hapless designer put the slipcase together?

    (6) Was the 1973 printing of Count Brass withdrawn from sale?
    Did the original, very first 1973 printing of the first Mayflower edition of Count Brass have the wrong or the right subtitle on the cover?

    If the distinguished readership of this forum can’t these questions between us, I fear perhaps no-one can. And what a terrible thing that would be.

    :O)

    Best wishes,
    Guy

  • #3
    Well, back then you were probably a little busy, so we'll let you off. Just don't do it again! :lol:

    Comment


    • #4
      Just to confuse things more, here are the editions I have:

      Champion of Garathorm
      (The second volume of the Chronicles of CASTLE Brass)
      Mayflower 1975

      The Quest for Tanelorn
      (The third and final volume of the Chronicles of CASTLE Brass)
      Mayflower 1976

      Comment


      • #5
        Hi, Guy &c.,

        Let's see if I can answer some, if not all, of your questions, in order:-

        1.) I don't believe the mistitled box set was actually withdrawn from sale, as such, but...

        2.) ... it was issued again the following year, under the correct title.

        3.) Talk of years, however, is always a little tricky with regard to box sets, as they're never individually dated (i.e. their slip-cases aren't). That said, as far as I can tell, the mistitled set first came out in 1977, the correct one in 1978.

        4.) My own '...Count Brass' set has the same editions as yours, so they're presumably the correct ones. Over the years, as you say, it's quite possible that owners and/or second-hand dealers have substituted volumes to suit themselves. (Yes, Mayflower became Mayflower/Granada became Granada became Grafton became, I think, HarperCollins.) M.M.'s box sets never contained anything unavailable elswhere. Just, as you say, whatever editions were around at the time.

        5.) I think you answered most, if not all, of this yourself.

        6.) I don't reckon anyone would ever have withdrawn mis-subtitled editions, certainly not on covers. (For example, the 1st. ed. of 'The Jewel In The Skull' has Count Brass's daughter named on the cover as "Iseulte", not Yisselda.) The 1973 1st ed. of 'Count Brass' has "The Chronicles Of Count Brass" on the cover, but "The Chronicles Of Castle Brass" on its title page, as I'm sure does your reprint.

        7.) Yes, I know you didn't ask a seventh question but, F.Y.I., my own '...Castle Brass' set has the same editions as the earlier mistitled one, so I guess there weren't any 1978 reprints of those titles.

        Can I go back to work, now...?

        Best,


        John.

        Comment


        • #6
          John, that WAS work.

          :O)

          Now I'll have to shop around for the corrected 1978 (ish) slipcase.
          Excellent! One must have goals in life!

          Thanks, as ever, for sharing your encyclopaedic knowledge.

          You're right, of course, my 1973 edition does say "Chronicles of Castle Brass" on its inside title page.

          I noticed the Yisselda / Iseulte mistake myself recently; wonder if Mike named her that in an early draft (if there ever was such a thing with the S&S novels of that era). Certainly the names are similar, but not so similar I would have spotted it on my own initiative. Was Dorian Hawkoon ever called Drysstan or something like that? (Rhetorical question.) Dorian sounds better (even if it does now conjure up unwelcome thoughts of one of the worst sitcoms in UK TV history).

          I also just got (via eBay) the Mad Dog book club edition of the collected Runestaff books. As I'm sure you know, John, it lists the second book as "The Mad Dog's Amulet" on the title page. Tee and, indeed, hee.

          Season’s greetings,
          (mid-winter that is)

          Guy

          Comment


          • #7
            That I CAN answer. The Iseulte name and storyline (you'll notice, I suspect, that that's different too) were taken from the outline I gave the publisher. The publisher had to have an outline in order to pay me my advance. I had no intention of following it (cf Borem of Purile as the original for Corum!) but did it for bureaucratic reasons.
            What an earth is the Mad Dog book club edition ? I don't think I've ever seen it. Or, indeed, heard of it!
            This isn't unusual -- i.e. sometimes I have had a copy but not noticed it at the time because I was working on another book. I take very little in when working on a book. But I don't think I've seen it anywhere.
            Maybe John could illuminate us!

            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

            Comment


            • #8
              Hey now, Mr M, why should John have all the fun? (Read: “do all the hard work�!)
              I have the book in front of me, Mike, so here’s the gen:

              It’s the 1979 Book Club Associates (London) hardback edition, collecting the four History Of The Runestaff books.

              The front cover (dust jacket) has all four titles correctly listed. The title pages to each of the four books themselves are correct.

              But the main title page, third page into the book, with the overall heading The History Of The Runestaff, lists the four book titles as The Jewel In The Skull, The Mad Dog’s Amulet etc.

              Now, isn’t that worth a place on any collector’s shelf? Aren’t you all kicking yourselves for not out-bidding my winning آ£1.99?

              Thanks for filling us in on the Iseulte mystery, Mike. I did wonder about the seriously skewed version of the plot contained in that back cover blurb.

              If poor Corum had been called Borem, his name wouldn’t have been an anagram of… but that’s another story.

              I think I've read some S&S stories set in the land of Purile, but they were written by other people.

              X
              Guy

              Comment


              • #9
                Yeah -- authors almost never get sent Book Club editions. The only reason I have a few of mine is because readers sent them to me!
                I think things might have improved a bit, since I did get copies of the last US Elric (Vol 3) book club edition. First time so far.

                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                Comment


                • #10
                  Dear Guy "Mad Dog" Lawley, et al.,

                  Time for me to wade in again...

                  The rather rare, first collected edition of 'The History Of The Runestaff' -- Granada hardcover, 1979 -- from which the B.C.A. edition was set, also has the "Mad Dog's" error, but you'd have to pay an awful lot more than آ£1.99 for a copy of that, these days.

                  However, the first time that the Hawkmoon books were actually gathered together under their collective title was in another box set: Mayflower, 1973.

                  There have only ever been eight Moorcockian box sets, as far as I know, with a ninth unseen and as yet unconfirmed, of the DAW edition Elric paperbacks. Does anyone have, or has anyone seen, this set? More importantly, does anyone have a spare copy...?

                  Best,


                  John.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Nice one, John. (I did try to save you the effort... should have known you'd have even more to tell us!)

                    BTW here's a coincidence; if anyone sees this in the next 4 days or so it might be worth looking at eBay, specifically here:

                    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...942330694&rd=1

                    The subtitle of the book is just about visible on my screen...

                    I've never seen the Granada hardback, needless to say.

                    Nor have I ever caught a whiff of the DAW Elric boxed set.

                    X
                    Guy

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      This prompted me to check my collection, as I didn't realise it was this particular cover series... Turns out I have the 'Count Brass' edition of Quest for Tanelorn.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Nice work, Rookie! Never seen that one. Thanks very much.

                        Since Quest is third in the series, this suggests there is very likely to be a "Count Brass" edition of Champion Of Garathorm, too.

                        Excellent! More to collect.

                        This also reminds me how Mike originally meant The Quest For Tanelorn to wrap up the Eternal Champion saga for good and all. And it was a highly satisfying conclusion in its own right.

                        Thankfully there are more planes in the Multiverse (and stories) than were dreamt of in 1975…

                        X
                        Guy

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Welcome. :D

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            I think the Elric I've just finished wraps the series once and for all -- and then begins it all over again. You'll see what I mean, I hope, when the book comes out in spring of 05!

                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                            Comment

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