Liberties Press was set up in 2003. Eighteen years on, we thought it was time for a fork in the road. We’re delighted to be launching a new imprint, Ely’s Arch, as the new home of fiction at Liberties Press.
We’ve been publishing fiction at Liberties for more than a decade, beginning with Leland Bardwell’s classic coming-of-age novel Girl on a Bicycle. From now on, all our new fiction, as well as reissued backlist titles, will be published under the Ely’s Arch name. As ever, we’re looking for the best manuscripts we can find, and bringing our expertise to bear to publish them as books – in print, electronic and audio forms – to the highest editorial, design, production, promotion and sales standards. We love books in all their forms, but we think putting print on paper, and wrapping the whole thing in a beautiful jacket, is the best way to do it. Like the public, we have broad tastes. While we may not know exactly what we’re looking for, we know it when we see it. And we’re not afraid to take risks. None of the best things in life come easily.
Information about the first heresy is secreted out of Jerusalem after its fall in AD 70. It reaches the last great pagan philosopher, Hypatia of Alexandria, and is smuggled out of Egypt by her slave-companion on the day of her murder. Centuries later, clues to the First Heresy are revealed in Ireland to a Norman youth and retired Templar Knight. Meanwhile, in Paris, a scholar of Persian descent, and connected to the Knights Templar, is drawn into the events that unfold.
Quiet City is the xxth novel by Philip Davison. [blurb] xx runs into an old flame while disposing of his wife’s favourite armchair at the municipal dump. The series of events that ensue throw his world into confusion – and have implications for everyone around him. A taut, beautifully written slice of midlife by one of our finest writers. Launching Philip’s previous book, Eureka Dunes, Bob Geldof described him as “Ireland’s best-kept secret”. We agree – and don’t want it be a secret any longer.
The Garfield Conspiracy is a cross between a psychological thriller and a historical novel by Owen Dwyer. While researching the life of assassinated US president James Garfield for his new book, acclaimed writer xx leaves his wife for a young research assistant. The people he’s researching become increasingly real to him, as his outward life crumbles. Are the voices helping him uncover the truth, or leading him into the depths? A superb, disturbing tale from the author of Number Games (“Irish fiction as we’ve rarely seen it”, as Darragh McManus put it in the Irish Independent.)
Publishing in Ireland, the UK and the US on 7 September.
We chose the name Liberties Press in 2003 because that’s where we were based – in the heart of what has been Dublin’s commercial centre since medieval times. Now, we’re in the suburbs – in Churchtown, to be precise. The suburbs have come alive in the past year or so – and this change is likely to remain.
Ely’s Arch is a triumphal arch on Braemor Road, in the style of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and Marble Arch in London, commissioned by Henry Loftus. It was originally the entrance to Rathfarnham Castle. The land between the arch and the castle has long been covered in housing, but the arch remains.
Back in the day, someone decided that this place was worth making distinguished. And the arch is still here – to remind us that culture does not flow outwards from a far-off metropolis, but is created – built, even – in places like Churchtown.
And we’re not the first publisher to be based here: the Yeats family (W.B., and, more to the point, his less-well-known sisters, Susan and Elizabeth, aka Lily and Lolly) ran Cuala Press from Dundrum: a high-minded effort to create beautiful crafts while employing local people. And from just down the road, in St Enda’s School, Padraig Pearse marched his teenage charges to the GPO to strike a blow for an independent Ireland.
In the very first book we published, More Than a Game, the great Kerry sportswriter Con Houlihan talked about the Left Bank of the Feale. Abbeyfeale had its intellectuals, he noted, and they gathered in certain public houses in that part of the town. It was Paris’s café society, with a local twist. And why not?
We’re moved by the same things, now as ever.
Books furnish a room; all culture is local – and begins in the home-place.