Ash-Tree Press
P.O. Box 1360, Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada V0K 1A0
Tel: (250) 453-2045; Fax: (250) 453-2075



by A. F. Kidd

ISBN: 1-55310-009-3; xvi + 341pp
Published 17 October 2000

Price: Cdn$59.00 / US$45.00 / 28.00 (Postage Code B)

Crouched in the belfry, clustered like lions, inimical as scorpions, first one and then legion came into sight. Like her dream, they appalled her, but unlike her dream, she could see them clearly, and wished with all her soul she could not. The unkindly light showed her things she could never unsee.

Below, in the narrow space the bells would clear when in motion, a cluster of beasts sat thick as ticks on a hedgehog, and in turn they bent their horrid heads to whatever lay beneath them, dipping, dipping . . .

Few things evoke the timeless peace and charm of the English countryside as vividly as the sound of church bells ringing out across the landscape. In the stories of A. F. Kidd, however, this seemingly placid surface hides a world of demons and spirits, magic and mystery, malice and revenge. There is no telling what may be lurking amid the bells and peal-boards, watching and waiting, ready to exact payment for some misdeed of the past, or feast upon the body or spirit of the living.

The author, a mainstay of the British small press for over twenty years, who is herself an avid bellringer, has drawn on her own experiences for many of the incidents in her stories; yet another, stronger influence, the ghost stories of M. R. James, also informs and inspires many of the forty-seven tales in Summoning Knells. Here are the understated horrors, the elegance of tone, and the suggestion of another world whose rules we do not know and at which we can only dimly guess, that will be familiar to, and welcomed by, all enthusiasts of the classic English ghost story.

Contents: Introduction; GHOST STORIES OF A CAMPANOLOGIST: The Sins of the Fathers; Postman's Knock; And Turns No More His Head; The Grey Lady; The Plague Pit; Spliced Surprise; Great Emmanuel; In and Out of the Belfry; Flintstones; Stone Music; The Bellfounder's Wife; Alice; Water from the Well; Immortal, Invisible; Lords of Misrule; Memento Mori; Bread Eaten in Secret; Campanalogia; The Cankerworm and the Caterpillar and the Palmerworm; Don's Guest; OTHER JAMESIAN GHOST STORIES: An Incident in the City; Figures in a Landscape; Old Hobby Horse; Maresfield; The Vigil of St Oswald; Minter's Folly; In Quires and Places where they Sing; What of the Night; Poppy nor Mandragora; In the College Library; Deck the Halls; Turned into Corruption; OTHER GHOST STORIES: Night Piece; 'Vulpes Sapiens'; Real Ale; Black Dog; Cold for Evermore; The Howlet; Kenny in Limbo; Renaissance; St Sebastian and the Mona Lisa; Hunting the Wren; The Last Great Masterpiece of Andrea Giaiotti; Behold Now Behemoth; The Havildar's Grave; Claustrophobia; Green Hell.

Jacket art by Paul Lowe. Limited to 500 copies.

Return to Ash-Tree Press Titles in Print

Ash-Tree Press 2003