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A Festival By The Quay

A Festival By The Quay

Adam Hart-Davis, author of Very Heath Robinson, will be speaking at Exeter’s second Literary Festival at 3.30 p.m. this Sunday, 10th November. You will find him at the magnificent 17th-century Custom House by the quay, where Adam will take you on a journey through the Weird and Wacky World of Heath Robinson.

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Think of a Cracking Joke

Think of a Cracking Joke

To celebrate our 40th Christmas, we are holding our biggest competition yet. We would like you to think of an original joke to go inside a Christmas cracker – something so dry and witty that it would have impressed Heath Robinson himself. The winner gets a limited-edition book worth £300.

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Your Wildest Travel Story

Your Wildest Travel Story

Continuing our 40th anniversary celebrations, this month we want to hear your wildest travel story. Funny, exciting, romantic, we’re all ears. Win this competition and we’ll give you a copy of Wild Italy: A Traveller’s Guide by the intrepid hiker Tim Jepson.

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The Man Who Had Everything But

The Man Who Had Everything But

After sifting through a whopping 114 entries, the judges of our Summer Caption Competition have chosen their favourite rib tickler. It’s a whimsical take on the male condition.

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We Celebrate 40 Years of Publishing

We Celebrate 40 Years of Publishing

We have matured! From the figment of an idea tossed about while walking the dog on Clapham Common, we have become a publishing house with finished books on the shelves, each with its sales history around the world, each with Herculean labours, and a few jaw-dropping moments, behind it. To celebrate 40 years of publishing, […]

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Pullman Wins J. M. Barrie Award

Pullman Wins J. M. Barrie Award

Sir Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials, will receive the J. M. Barrie Award to mark a lifetime’s contribution to children’s literature, it has been announced. We salute him for delighting children and adults with alternative worlds and fictional characters. Less well known, though no less masterfully expressed, is the delight he himself takes […]

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Words by the Water

Words by the Water

What better place to hold a literary festival than the Lake District, with its magical scenery and literary associations? This month nearly 100 writers, broadcasters and other national figures will arrive in Keswick for Words by the Water, a ten-day event held on the sylvan shores of Derwentwater. The Theatre by the Lake, where they […]

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Publishing Traineeships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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!

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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Beer and Books in Taunton

Beer and Books in Taunton

At the back of an old brewery in Taunton’s historic Bath Place lies Brendon Books, an independent bookseller that specializes in maps and travel. Every November the bookshop hosts the Taunton Literary Festival, now in its seventh year. Literary festivals like this are a sign of the new energy in the world of independent bookselling.

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Very West Country Event

Very West Country Event

The picturesque town of Looe, on the South Cornwall coast, is having a very West Country event this week. Local writers, historians, naturalists, photographers, even fishermen, are gathering at the annual Looe Literary Festival to speak on their latest books, tell tales of historic smuggling, exhibit photographs of the beautiful Cornish landscape and journey into […]

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Truth and Beauty in Architecture

Truth and Beauty in Architecture

The Minister of State for Transport has spoken powerfully about the importance of beauty in architecture. Addressing the Advisory Panel of the Railway Heritage Trust on Monday, the Right Honourable John Hayes MP said that most of what we had built since the war should be demolished. A stunned silence descended.

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National Bookshop Day 2017

National Bookshop Day 2017

Publishers, booksellers and authors today celebrate the UK and Ireland’s second national Bookshop Day. To mark the occasion, we announce a series of bookshop interviews that we will publish over the next three months as the days draw in and you long for a good book to read by the fire.

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A Lovely Way to Say Hello

A Lovely Way to Say Hello

More babies are born in late September and early October in England and Wales than at any other time of the year: nearly 2,000 a day. If you need a gift to greet one of these new arrivals, we’re offering a book and card with illustrations by well-known artists.

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Art Cards Now Available

Art Cards Now Available

You can now buy six unusual greetings cards drawn by the satirical artist William Heath Robinson, famous for his funny contraptions and ingenious solutions to common problems. We are making them available exclusively through our website. They are not in the shops.

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From the Smoking Room

From the Smoking Room

Congratulations to Chris Schüler, senior editor of some major Sheldrake Press books, who has published a highly readable history of the Authors’ Club. You can now watch a video of him talking about it in the Smoking Room of the National Liberal Club in London.

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Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas

Sheldrake Press are looking for a volunteer graduate with bright ideas to tweet, post and generally promote our major new title Very Heath Robinson.

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What the Papers Say

What the Papers Say

Book of the Month. Coffee Table Choice. Brilliantly executed. A delightful visual feast. Marvel of bookmaking. Hilarious! These are some of the things people are saying about Very Heath Robinson.

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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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