H O W   W E   P E D D L E 
Chapbooks originate from the sixteenth century and were pocket size books sold from door to door by pedlars known as chapmen. “Chap” comes from “trade” in Old English. The subject matter of chapbooks seems to have been slightly different than that of pamphlets. Typical topics were nursery rhymes, ballads, folk tales, almanacs, stories for children, bawdy or chivalric yarns, cookery recipes. . . Pamphlets were more likely to be concerned with current events, politics or religion. So although there were some chapbooks that were religious tracts, they tended traditionally to be about enjoyment of reading rather than propaganda like the pamphlets. Up to the late nineteenth century, chapbooks were a popular item peddled by the chapmen in both countryside and town.

We started peddling our Inchivala Press chapbooks just by word of mouth. People liked them (both the look and the contents) and told others about them. From now on (December 2009) we are also selling them directly through our website. See Orders page
Our chapbooks are also available from time to time in limited editions in certain places.

In June 2008, Up The Lane sets with original ink drawings were launched at our illustrator Barbara Sedassy’s exhibition of her paintings, Buckinghamshire. In September 2009, there was an Inchivala Press stall at an art installation (M L’s poems on canvas) in the Barn in Inchivala, South West France. In December 2009 there will be Sanchia Lovell’s Twelve Days of Christmas cookbooks available at The Charles Lamb pub, Islington, London, and The Mill Tea and Dining Room, Lyme Regis.

We have been invited to peddle Inchivala Press books on stalls at certain book fairs and markets in 2010. Keep an eye on the news page to see if there is an event forthcoming in UK, Ireland or France where Inchivala books will be on display. This way you get to pick your own cover.

For no other reason than its title, here below is one to enjoy by Charlotte Mew (1869-1928).


T H E   P E D D L E R 


Lend me, a little while, the key
That locks your heavy heart, and I'll give you back –
Rarer than books and ribbons and beads bright to see,
This little Key of Dreams out of my pack.

The road, the road, beyond men's bolted doors,
There shall I walk and you go free of me,
For yours lies North across the moors,
And mine South. To what sea?

How if we stopped and let our solemn selves go by,
While my gay ghost caught and kissed yours, as ghosts don't do,
And by the wayside this forgotten you and I
Sat, and were twenty-two?

Give me the key that locks your tired eyes,
And I will lend you this one from my pack,
Brighter than coloured beads and painted books that make men wise:
Take it. No, give it back!