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Romancing the Rails

As publishers of a new book on railroads, we were delighted to hear of a sparkling new exhibition celebrating the golden age of US rail travel. Romancing the Rails tells how the New York Central confronted competition from automobiles with visually stunning advertising, luxurious dining cars and sleek streamlined trains.

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From The Bookshelf

From The Bookshelf

Gary Shapiro hosts the radio show From the Bookshelf, broadcast from the KSCO station in Santa Cruz. He has just interviewed Ian Logan and Jonathan Glancey about Logomotive, their new book on railroad logos and locomotive design. The podcast is up. Board now for a trip back in time.

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Wall Street Journal Review

Wall Street Journal Review

Last Saturday the Wall Street Journal Review ran a piece on railways and design and how the two intertwine in our book Logomotive. ‘The design of the locomotives themselves may have left the deepest impression,’ writes Peter Saenger, ‘especially the sleek, art deco-influenced “streamliners”.’

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Red Carpet at Grand Central

Red Carpet at Grand Central

They rolled out a red carpet at Grand Central when you boarded the overnight train to Chicago. Those were the days, says Jonathan Glancey, when rail travel was romantic. Hear this and other stories from the last days of steam by watching his Father’s Day interview, now available on YouTube.

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America Comes to Stafford

America comes to Stafford this weekend. Where Andrew Carnegie once poured in his steel fortune, Ian Logan and Jonathan Glancey open their great big American train show. Sound far-fetched? It’s not.

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You Can Do It, America!

In a rousing talk given recently in Madison, Wisconsin, Ian Logan and Jonathan Glancey recalled the triumphs of American railroad engineering and design in the 1930s. American railroads absolutely had it all, they told their audience. ‘We hope they’ll do it again in the future. Come on, you can do it, America!’

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Talking Trains This Weekend

Ian Logan and Jonathan Glancey are talking trains this weekend. They are putting on a double act in Madison, Wisconsin, telling the story behind their new book Logomotive. What took them to Grand Central Terminal or the West 60th Street freight yard? What foot plates did they ride?

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Publishing Traineeships

Are you looking for a way into publishing? Our publishing traineeships introduce recent graduates to every aspect of the industry. We give you the opportunity to work in the editorial, sales and marketing, production and foreign rights departments. We are recruiting now.

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Gem in the English Countryside

A small town in the English countryside with a population of 6,000 does not immediately conjure up images of metropolitan buzz, but on closer inspection the historic market town of Oundle in Northamptonshire proves to be a real gem in the cultural life of the country, not least because of the Oundle Festival of Literature. […]

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Entertain Your Friends at Christmas

Do you need a bit of help going uphill? Ideas for presents this Christmas? Take a few tips from the master contraptioneer Heath Robinson, who has a solution to every problem.

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Sheldrake Membership Scheme for Readers

We invite you, our readers, to join our new membership scheme. We publish books not because we want to make money, though obviously we must, but because we’re excited and enthralled by the idea of creating something new and shining light on subjects that may have been overlooked or under-appreciated. As a Sheldrake Member you […]

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Yeovil’s Literary Scene

If you had to name places with literary associations, you might say Haworth, Stratford, the Lakes and Knole, but hardly Yeovil. If anything, the town is known for making gloves, helicopters and Yeo Valley yoghurt. But at the end of October a thriving literary festival takes over the Georgian Manor Hotel, built of local Ham […]

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Literature and Landscape in Shute

Chances are the name Shute will not ring a bell, but the Shute Festival of Literature and Landscape is here to change that. Offering a diverse range of talks on writing, film-making, exploration and landscape, the festival will whisk you away to East Devon for a weekend retreat in late September.

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Festival on the River

Say Henley and you think rowers, blazers, boaters, marquees and boat houses, Leander Club and Enclosures. But alongside the 179-year-old Henley Royal Regatta there is a stripling challenger, now in its twelfth year, the Henley Literary Festival.

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Writers and Readers Gather in Devon

Discussions in the garden, talks in the Great Hall, the Barn and the Dukes Room, word schools, poetry breakfasts, story-telling, comedy events, theatrical performances: words and ideas in all their forms and combinations are on offer at Ways With Words, the literary festival that’s held this July in the idyllic setting of Dartington Hall.

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Taking Flight in Penzance

Let your imagination take flight this summer by going to the Penzance Literary Festival. Between 4th and 7th July writers will be talking about their latest books, focussing on flights literal and metaphorical, in the friendly setting of this fishing port and holiday resort on the Cornish coast.

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Man Humour for Father’s Day

How do you seduce a most attractive ‘beaut’ in a one-piece bathing suit? And how do you lure a mermaid on to the beach at Margate? For the answers, take up our two-for-one Father’s Day offer and follow the page references.

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Heath Robinson’s Birthday

On 31st May 1872 William Heath Robinson was born in Hornsey Rise, north London. Over the next 72 years he made a huge name for himself as a humorous illustrator. He was as well known as Picasso. Going one better, he got his name in the English dictionary as both a noun and an adjective. […]

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Competition Winner Announced

Thank you to everyone who entered the Heath Robinson Caption Competition, organized with Gullivers Bookshop and the Wimborne Literary Festival. And congratulations to Nerys Hucker who was declared the winner by the panel of judges led by Adam Hart-Davis, seen above signing copies of his Heath Robinson book. The challenge was to caption a family […]

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Caption This!

Heath Robinson’s Weekend All-Weather Tandem makes family excursions possible. Equipped with a horn, twin umbrellas and anti-lock braking system, it can cope with every eventuality. We’re running a competition to caption this picture. Send us your best idea for a chance to win a Very Heath Robinson De Luxe Edition.

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Au Revoir Douglas Botting

Au Revoir Douglas Botting

We are very sad to announce that Douglas Botting has died at the age of 83. Author of Wild Britain: A Traveller’s Guide and General Editor of the Wild Guides series, he is a towering figure in the literature of wild places. To him we owe an eternal debt for capturing in beautifully chosen words […]

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Boxed Up

Nested head to toe in this box are De Luxe wooden cases ingeniously designed to preserve the limited edition of Very Heath Robinson. Folded over the waiting hardback books and tied Heath Robinson-style with knotted string, they become rare woodbacks. The first 20, batch produced and finished by hand, go on sale today.

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Here’s a Festive Thought!

Need a bit of light relief at Christmas? Our pack of eight Heath Robinson cards will waft you away on a magic carpet of absurdity.

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Now You Can Mow in Comfort

Now You Can Mow in Comfort

You can also dance with robots, date by slot machine and boil an egg straight from the chicken, thanks to Heath Robinson. Helpful devices to do all these things are now on view in the big new book we publish today, Very Heath Robinson. The author is Adam Hart-Davis, presenter of What the Romans Did […]

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Philip Pullman Writes on Heath Robinson

Philip Pullman Writes on Heath Robinson

Philip Pullman has written the Foreword to Adam Hart-Davis’s new book Very Heath Robinson, celebrating the work of one of Great Britain’s best-loved artists.

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Text, Pix, Action!

Text, Pix, Action!

Adam Hart-Davis has delivered the text for our spring book Very Heath Robinson, the pictures have been laid out and the colour proofs approved. In a few days we’ll be ready for press.

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Contraption Cuts the Ribbon

Contraption Cuts the Ribbon

The Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen used a Heath Robinson contraption to cut the ribbon when he opened the Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner.

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A Very Heath Robinson Birthday

A Very Heath Robinson Birthday

On 31st May 2016 Heath Robinson would have been 144. Artist, humorist and Contraptioneer Extraordinary, he satirized the technical advances and social pretensions of three generations, from the 1890s to the 1940s. To celebrate a birthday blow-out, we are proud to announce that the well-known television presenter and author Adam Hart-Davis will write a new […]

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Ablutionary Mystery

Ablutionary Mystery

We are running a mini-quiz in The Oldie magazine. What is the etymology of ‘crap’, we wanted to know. Curiously, the answer is to be found in The Victorian House Book.

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Home for Heath Robinson

Home for Heath Robinson

We would like to congratulate The William Heath Robinson Trust on passing their fund-raising target of £32,500 on Kickstarter.

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The Wonderful World of Heath Robinson

The Wonderful World of Heath Robinson

We support The William Heath Robinson Trust in their plan to build a Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner, north London. Their fund-raising campaign on Kickstarter is 93 per cent funded. They need help to get to 100%.

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Keeping the Heat in an Old House

A Technical Advice Paper by Denis Meehan A lot of damage is done to Victorian houses in the name of energy conservation, most frequently by replacing original sash windows with inappropriate double-glazed units. As Denis Meehan explains in his report on Energy Conservation in a Victorian House, changing the windows is one of the last […]

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Sheldrake Press on Pinterest

Sheldrake Press on Pinterest

Our new Pinterest page will help you to explore some of the topics that we specialise in: Victorian restoration, wilderness travel, traditional children’s illustration and quirky design.

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We Put the Stock in Stocking

We Put the Stock in Stocking

Get a free copy of When Grandmama Fell Off The Boat when you buy The Victorian House Book. This should help fill the stockings and provoke a few cheeky giggles.

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Gangsters, Goats and Greek Mythology

Gangsters, Goats and Greek Mythology

What brings a smile to the face of this cigar-toting stranger? Rubber feet, it turns out. Gangster Pete has rubber feet. If this sounds faintly ridiculous, you are at one with the judges of the Ruthless Rhyme competition. Some of the entries, they decided, while not ruthless, were memorable for their oddity or absurdity.

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Laugh for Less than a Fiver

To celebrate the solstice and all things summery, head to the Riviera ‘And there upon the sunny sands’ relax with a good old laugh, courtesy of Harry Graham. We guarantee the health benefits of When Grandmama Fell Off The Boat. As luck would have it, it’s 50 per cent off this month.

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Political Incorrectness for Father’s Day

Political Incorrectness for Father’s Day

If you admit that men should be permitted to be men, at least on one day of the year, we suggest a late lie-in for the head of the household and a politically incorrect gift: a volume of humorous verse by the charmingly callous Harry Graham.

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Can You Trump Our Bunting?

Can You Trump Our Bunting?

We are running a bunting competition to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. All you have to do is take a better bunting picture than ours and post it on our Facebook wall, tweet it to @SheldrakePress or e-mail it to . Add an innovative caption with the word bunting in it, and you’re done!

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Red, White and Blue

Red, White and Blue

Our resident poet, Angela Perkins, has written some Ruthless Rhymes to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The first, entitled Royalist vs Republican, is now published on our Blog.

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Spiky Plight

Spiky Plight

The judges in the Ruthless Rhyme Competition were surprised to see illustrations accompanying some of the entries, including one of a man with knitting needles through his head. What could have led him to such a plight? Was this a case of true ruthlessness?

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Wild Escapades

Wild Escapades

In our Wild Escape Competition, Liz Cleere described a trek in the eastern Himalayas to visit a slice of wild India that people rarely see and Helen Moat recounted the magical night she and her young son Jamie spent in the company of glow worms in Britain’s Peak District. Liz Cleere is the winner.

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Ruthless Rhyme Competition Result

Ruthless Rhyme Competition Result

The judges have announced the 12 poems short-listed in the Ruthless Rhyme competition. All are now published, along with audio readings, profiles of the writers and judges and a selection of rhymes that deserve mention for being creative or ridiculous.

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Morbid Resolutions

Morbid Resolutions

The runner-up in the Ruthless Rhyme Competition is Rosemary McDougall with her Good Intentions. She scored 20 points, just one behind Angela Perkins with George’s New Year’s Resolution. In third place is Elizabeth Francis with A New Year’s Hobby and a score of 13 points. You can read all three rhymes in our Blog.

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A Franglais Dream

A Franglais Dream

The winner of the Ruthless Rhyme Competition is George’s New Year’s Resolution, written by Angela Perkins. George’s dream was to buy a little place in France, but Mavis stood in his way. A coup de something or other was required. To see how George resolved this petit problème, click here.

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Ruthless Rhymers at Last Fence

Ruthless Rhymers at Last Fence

The contestants in our Ruthless Rhyme Competition have reached the last fence. After a process of ruthless elimination, ten judges have reduced a big field down to a short list of 12. Only the finishing post lies ahead.

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Sixty-Five Rhymes Written

Sixty-Five Rhymes Written

For the past two months we have been running a competition to find the best short poem in the style of a Ruthless Rhyme, a humorous verse form invented by Harry Graham. By the time the competition closed at midnight GMT on Sunday 4th March, we had received 65 rhymes from nine countries, including Australia, […]

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Wild Escape Competition

Wild Escape Competition

Sheldrake Press, publishers of the Wild Guides, are running a travel writing competition this month. Share one of your wild travel experiences with us for a chance to be published on our web-site and win a set of guides to Italy, Britain and Ireland.

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The January Wild Sale

The January Wild Sale

All this month, Sheldrake Press is offering you a 50% discount on Wild Italy.

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Brooking Collection Finds Temporary Home

Brooking Collection Finds Temporary Home

Charles Brooking’s major collection of architectural detail, referred to in our earlier news item, has been written up in The Financial Times, along with this griffin and other illustrations. The collection has now been moved to temporary storage, but is still under threat and needs a permanent home and financial assistance. To read the article […]

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Can You Write a Ruthless Rhyme?

Are you a budding writer or a keen poet? Would you like to see your work published on-line? We are running a competition to find the best short poem in the style of a Ruthless Rhyme, a humorous verse form invented by Harry Graham.

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Help for the Brooking Collection

Help for the Brooking Collection

Since the age of two, Charles Brooking has been collecting architectural detail. He has amassed 250,000 items of salvage, which have just been moved into temporary storage following the withdrawal of support from the University of Greenwich. The collection urgently needs a new home and funding to preserve it for the future. Can you help? […]

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Weft and Warp

Weft and Warp

Among our Christmas Gift Ideas are a pashmina shawl from Global Nomadic Carpets, noted for their hand-made Kashmiri carpets.

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Presents for Gardeners

Presents for Gardeners

If you’re looking for a present for an avid gardener, visit our Twitter page to see the latest of our Christmas Gift Ideas.

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Our Christmas Gift to You

Our Christmas Gift to You

This month, Sheldrake Press is offering you a 50% discount on The Victorian House Book.

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Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932)

Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932)

On this day in 1843, the garden designer Gertrude Jekyll was born in London. She created over 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and America, and is particularly noted for her collaboration with the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.  Her design style employed cottage-garden motifs to make her meticulous arrangements of plants appear effortless and uncontrived. […]

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Seven Billionth Human Born

Seven Billionth Human Born

Congratulations to all those special seven-billionth babies out there! To mark the occasion, we are giving our readers a 45% discount on The Kate Greenaway Baby Book, a baby journal for the first five years, and The Kate Greenaway First Year Baby Book. Simply write to us at to get a copy.

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Free Downloads

The following are now available as downloads:

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Plans for London Bridge Station

Plans for London Bridge Station

Network Rail have unveiled their plans for the redevelopment of London Bridge station. The aim of the new design, by the architectural firm Grimshaw, is to make it easier for passengers to enter and exit, but the scheme has drawn controversy due to the proposed demolition of the buildings at 64-84 Tooley Street.

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The Great Exhibition

The Great Exhibition

Today is the 160th anniversary of the closing of the Great Exhibition. In the five months since it opened, over six million people had visited and viewed the 100,000 objects on display, including exhibits from France, America, Canada, India and Russia. To the surprise of many, the exhibition made a profit of £186,000, most of […]

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Membership Area

We publish books not just because they contain a good idea, but often because they advance a cause: for example, better home improvement, environmental conservation or literary revival.

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