- Hardcover: 120 pages
- Publisher: Subterranean; First edition (June 30, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596062509
- ISBN-13: 978-1596062504
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,926,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Women of Nell Gwynne's Hardcover – June 30, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
This steampunk novella, set in 1844 London, follows the exploits of the harlots of the exclusive establishment known as Nell Gwynne's, where they gather intelligence for the shadowy Gentlemen's Speculative Society, a predecessor to the Company featured in several of Baker's novels (most recently 2006's The Machine's Child). Lord Basmond hires the ostensibly blind madam, Mrs. Corvey, and some of her girls to entertain his wealthy foreign guests at an odd party, where it quickly becomes clear that Basmond is selling a mysterious item to the highest bidder. Things heat up when someone goes missing and two people end up dead. The beautifully drawn Victorian era is neatly spiced up with futuristic technology such as mechanical eye implants. Baker's fans will delight in this slight, bawdy and funny confection. Illus. by J.K. Potter not seen by PW. (July)
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The one thing other reviewers haven't spent enough time on is the absolute beauty of these Subterranean Press Deluxe editions. This particular publisher regularly issues short run novellas, as well as reprints of full size novels, in a higher end format. They pull out all the stops, thus the generally higher prices. For example, the artwork on the cover and in several interior illustrations is gorgeous, and so detailed you'll spend time trying to decide if they somehow involve photography. The end papers are quality linen, and in my case, I received a signed issue. (I don't believe that's guaranteed, though, as Subterranean issues a specific number of signed copies and then that's it.)
In summary, with stellar writing, illustrations that could be mounted on the wall, and print quality you don't often see anymore, this book is a keeper. It made me very happy in a kid with a new toy way, as well as a dedicated fan of Subterranean Press. So, if you are in the mood to treat yourself to a collectible book you'll keep forever, the extra bucks are highly worth it.
Tragically, with the death of Kage Baker we must hope that others will pick up the banner & run with it. Both of the current books are more than worthwhile reads. I eagerly anticipate someone offering to continue this line.. please?