06 June 2010

What? No Tutis?

A correspondent wonders why I gave
Tutis Classics a pass in the last post. The reason is simple: the greatest offence done to Grant Allen comes not from the perplexing POD publisher, but from rival BiblioBazaar. Need another example? Here, BiblioBazaar takes the author's most enduring work, botches the title, then repeats the error with an alternate cover featuring an image that it tries to pass off as Paris.

Those familiar with The Woman Who Did will remember Alan and Herminia's time in the City of Light.


Here it is in full:
They took the club train that afternoon to Paris. There they slept the night in a fusty hotel near the Gare du Nord, and went on in the morning by the daylight express to Switzerland.
Fans of Tutis will be disappointed to learn that it offers only two Allen titles. These are not, as one might expect, The Woman Who Did and An African Millionaire, but The Great Taboo and The Science of Arcady. Lesser works to be sure – the latter is a collection of essays wrapped in a cover that resembles an old textbook – though the former might be of interest. The Great Taboo was the second of four novels Allen published in 1890; Peter Morton's The Busiest Man in England: Grant Allen and the Writing Trade provides a very good summary:
Washed overboard from a liner in the South Seas, Felix Thurstan and Muriel Ellis swim to a Polynesian island, where they are promoted to the status of gods of Rain and Clouds respectively. Their reign will be short, however; they can expect to be killed, eaten and replaced after some months. Fortunately they learn, from the babbling of an ancient parrot once owned by a sailor castaway, the exact process by which the reigning supreme god, Tu-Kila-Kila, is himself replaced; armed with this knowledge, Felix steals the golden bough from the sacred grove and kills the incumbent in single combat. Felix and Muriel then introduce a humane and rationalistic regime before escaping on a passing ship.
As I say, a lesser effort, though Tutis does offer two different covers. The first appears to depict Felix and Muriel windsurfing their way to freedom. Bit of a mistake there – they actually leave by lifeboat, courtesy of a gun-toting sea captain – but I wonder whether the second, placing Felix in Conan the Barbarian gear before the frigid, snow-covered mountains of Polynesia, is any better.

By Crom!

Related post: Awful Allens


  1. Wonderful stuff. I thought the Bibliobazaars with the broken words were bad, but I'd never seen this Canadian version of Conan in my Tutis researches.

  2. Would that I could claim Felix the Barbarian as a countryman! Allen is a bit vague, but I think we're meant to believe that he's a British civil servant... a opposed to a British Barbarian.

    Couldn't resist.