Friday, May 17, 2024

R.I.P. Frank Kibblewhite and the Sundial Press

For many months, some friends and I have worried over the disappearance of Frank Kibblewhite, the proprietor and force behind the Sundial Press of Dorset. Alas, our fears were well founded. Frank died on 16 December 2023 at the age of 72 after what appears to have been a lengthy stay in hospital. He reportedly had a large tumor on his lung.

Sundial Press published many titles by or to do with the Powys family. But Frank had branched out to do other associated authors, like Phyllis Paul, whose novels were favorites of John Cowper Powys. Sundial did A Cage for the Nightingale, with an introduction by Glen Cavaliero, and  Pulled Down, with an introduction by David Tibet. He had plans to do more Phyllis Paul titles.

Sundial also did some elegant editions in a series of  Sundial Supernatural. These include:

Christopher Woodforde. A Pad in the Straw

A.N.L. Munby. The Alabaster Hand   

Richmal Crompton. Mist & Other Ghost Stories  

Rosemary Timperley.  From another World [a second volume   had been announced but was never published]  

W.J. Wintle. Ghost Gleams

He announced an edition of F.M. Mayor’s The Room Opposite and Other Tales of Mystery and Imagination, believing it to be in the public domain, but as a posthumously published book, the life plus 70 years rule did not apply, and he never did come to an agreement with the author's estate.  

Sundial did other works of interest, like H.A.Manhood's Life, Be Still and Other Stories, introduced by Mark Valentine.  Doubtless I am forgetting others at present. 

The Powys Society is selling off some of the remaining Sundial stock.  See here (there is one Phyllis Paul title at the very bottom of the list).



  1. A sad confirmation, thanks Doug. I treasure my Sundial hardcovers of Paul's Cage for a Nightingale, Crompton's Mist, and Munby's Alabaster Hand. I also got the paperbacks of Woodforde, Wintle, and Manhood (I look forward to reading the Manhood as Mark is such a champion).
    -Jeff Matthews

  2. I have some of the Sundial supernatural titles. Thanks for the explanation of the non appearance of the Mayor book as I've seen a lot of online speculation about that. I wondered for some time why Frank seemed hard to contact and sad to hear the reason.

  3. Very sad to hear. The Manhood collection has been revelatory and inspirational to me. Also Sundial's publication of T.F. Powys' "Unclay" is another treasured edition. I thought at one time there were plans to republish all of Manhood's short story collections? Unlikely now, I suppose. Thanks and condolences to Frank and his family.
    - Kevin

  4. For those who were awaiting the Mayor, there's a lovely new edition from Nezu Press. I have 3 of their books and the covers are beautiful, the production value is solid but affordable, and there are scholarly academic introductions. Recommended:

    There's also a newer paperback edition from Solar Press:

    -Jeff Matthews

    1. The two new editions from Nezu and Solar do not appear to have been contracted with the Mayor estate.