In October 1986, three books appeared in trade paperback in the UK, inaugurating the "Allison & Busby Fantastic Fiction Library." Each gives unadorned texts, without any extra matter such as informed introductions or interior illustrations. Each of the three books uses a piece of art (or a portion thereof) from the previous century as cover art. The art is not especially compatible with the book on which it appears, but it isn't horrendously incompatible either. The books are:
Lilith, by George Macdonald, with the cover art from "Pandora" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Purple Cloud, by M.P. Shiel, with cover art from"The Scapegoat" by William Holman Hunt
A Voyage to Arcturus, by David Lindsay, with cover art "The Glacier of Rosenlaui" by John Brett. Sadly the text of the novel, though re-set, follows that of the corrupt 1963 Macmillan edition, which was line-edited by the publisher, resulting in literally thousands of changes—some merely punctuational but a large number are word changes and rephrasings that alter Lindsay's text.
And with these initial releases, the series died. Alas. Allison & Busby had been founded in 1967 by Clive Allison and Margaret Busby. In 1987 the firm was acquired by W.H. Allen, Ltd. According to Margaret Busby this represented "finally succumbing to the exigencies of being penniless." Whether the fantasy series died before or after the acquisition is not known.
Dorothy Macardle (1889-1958)
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