the railway land

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” This last year has, for us, been very much a tale of two cities. One, a city of stagnation and darkness, its population reduced more than ever to a sense of urban isolation; its shops shuttered and pubs at a constant closing time; its streets silent. The other, an imagined city: a place populated by new ideas, close collaborations and shared ambitions. On a hard foundation rock, in the worst of weathers, we’ve plotted its cottages and castles, mapped its footpaths and rivers, laid its tracks and named its first stations. And we’ve called it the RAILWAY LAND PRESS.

A Heron, rising

The Railway Land in Lewes, East Sussex, used to be our refuge from fast-paced publishing. It offered inspiration on two levels since the land was itself reclaimed from industrial wasteland, rail yards reimagined as nature reserve. We would wander there at lunchtimes to gaze in wonder at the resident heron as it clambered into the air; to listen to marsh frogs sing; to thrill to the electric-blue crackle of a kingfisher; to share breadcrumbs with a robin perched head-cocked upon our toes. And now we have in turn reclaimed and reimagined that place, founding the Railway Land Press in that same spirit. We want it to be a place of contemplation and inspiration, of escape and imagination, of nature and renewal. We have always loved making books and now we want to make them in our own way. We may be a little ungainly at first, but once we’re aloft we think the views will be splendid.

birdsong

“There is a crack, a crack in everything,” wrote Leonard Cohen in Anthem, “That’s how the light gets in.” Our lives, our cities, our world, might seem cracked beyond repair at the moment. But from the cracks, from the darkness, something better will come. Many of us have already gazed at bluer skies, breathed cleaner air, listened to louder birdsong. We have found our escape in nature, in our own railway lands. Now, as we search for ways to reinvent ourselves, we hope our little company can grow to be a part of better times ahead.

Welcome to the Railway Land Press!

“…it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

A tale of two cities, charles dickens

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