Tartarus Press


The Peacock Escritoire with At Dusk is available as a paperback of 243 pages.


Please note, the hardback is now out of print.


Paperback: £17.95 inc p&p worldwide


If you would like to receive your order by way of a tracked postal service please contact us directly at ray@tartaruspress.com


Ebook: £7.99

(Please note that the ebook will be sent manually, so there may be a short delay in receiving it.)


The Peacock Escritoire


At Dusk


Mark Valentine


The Peacock Escritoire

A stranger returns a silver coin; a dream museum releases its dreams; a dying Futurist knows more than he can tell; the author of Dr Saprophyte has plans for his last volume; a park-keeper makes his books from autumn leaves; an Alexandrian jasper gem holds clues to serpentine secrets; in Prague a street artist meets fortune-tellers in a tower above the city. All these possibilities and more are to be found in Mark Valentine’s sought-after collection, The Peacock Escritoire.

    This new Tartarus Press edition offers three previously uncollected stories: ‘Wine of the Serpent’, ‘So, About Hats’ and ‘That Nothing Human Scorn’. The long story ‘The Return to Trebizond’, about the lost heir of a Caucasian principality and the last echoes of the Byzantine Empire, is also included.


At Dusk

Previously only available in a long out-of-print, highly limited edition, At Dusk is a book of brief vignettes of interwar European writers and visionaries, described by Michael Schmidt of PN Review as ‘a very interesting set of cameo meditations’.



The Peacock Escritoire: ‘The Ka of Astarakhan, ‘The Amber Cigarette, ‘The Wine of the Serpent, ‘A Revelation of Cormorants, ‘A Certain Power, ‘Sime in Samarkand, ‘Morpheus House, ‘The Antioch Imperial, ‘The Tontine of Thirteen, ‘The Second Master, ‘The Autumn Keeper, ‘So, About Hats, ‘Cedar is the Firewood of Kings, ‘The Late Post, ‘That Nothing Human Scorn, ‘The Return to Trebizond, ‘The Old Light’.

At Dusk: ‘Cavafy: His Visiting Cards Are Faded, ‘Bacovia: Always the Crows, ‘Kerestedjian (Lubin): Among Strange Streets, ‘Kolmar: Their Strange Beasts, ‘Milov: A Lantern Head, ‘Czechowicz: The White Dust, ‘Reverdy: This Subtle Impress, ‘Dizdar: A Searcher of Stones, ‘Paavolainen: Ensombred, ‘Radnoti: A Sly Angel, ‘Desnos: The Hatless Strangers, ‘Antoniou: The White Chariots, ‘Veli: Some Mustard, ‘van Ostaijen: Gnostic Comedian, ‘Saba: A Boy on a Gate, ‘Pessoa: Black Lilies, ‘Ulinover: Sabbath Candles, ‘Espanca: She Called Saudade Her Sister, ‘Machado: These Footfalls, ‘Nezval: The Umbrellas of Prague, ‘Jacob: The Rose Chasuble, ‘Munch-Petersen: Pagan Vagabond, ‘Marsman: The Black Boat, ‘Antonych: The Other Tongue, ‘Kosovel: No More Need Be Said, ‘Zollinger: The Incense of Artemis, ‘Talvik: The Blighted Leaves, ‘Nastasijević: The Epitaphs of Moments, ‘Riff: Chanted by Azariah, ‘de L. Milosz: The Sunset is a Salamander, ‘Meerbaum-Eisinger: She Walked in the Twilight of Czernowitz, ‘Galaktion: He Consorted with Seraphs, ‘Char: To Respire is to Revolt, ‘Onofri: Exquisite Orphist, ‘Ziemelnicks: Poppy-haunted, ‘Notes and Acknowledgements.’



'In whatever he writes, Mark Valentine draws on his extensive reading in forgotten authors and books. Consider the 17 stories and 35 prose poems in The Peacock Escritoire, packaged in this volume with At Dusk. In “Sime in Samarkand,” for instance, the celebrated fantasy artist Sidney Sime reluctantly agrees to illustrate James Elroy Flecker’s “The Golden Journey to Samarkand.” It turns out that Sime, like the protagonist of Lovecraft’s “Pickman’s Model,” doesn’t imagine unearthly beings; he copies them from life.' Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

'The book is lavishly fitting for eccentric readers of varying persuasions. . . . The accompanying At Dusk is a titbit alight with fiery spectres of the macabre, dark armoires tongued with light, and crows skulking over horizons." Aurealis 167


Paperbacks and ebooks available by Mark Valentine

The Peacock Escritoire with At Dusk

Sphinxes and Obelisks (essays)

A Wild Tumultory Library (essays)

Haunted by Books (essays)

A Country Still All Mystery (essays)

The Fig Garden and Other Stories (short stories)

The Nightfarers (short stories)

The Herald of the Hidden (short stories)

Secret Europe (short stories, with John Howard)

Inner Europe (short stories with John Howard)The Collected Connoisseur (short stories, with John Howard)

The Collected Connoisseur (short stories, with John Howard)


See also:

Phantom Cities by The Sodality of the Shadows



An interview with Mark Valentine


Copyright Tartarus Press 2024