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The Garden God: A Tale of Two Boys (1905)
Forrest Reid
Edited by Michael Matthew Kaylor

“This new edition from the American small press Valancourt Books is scholarly, meticulous and comprehensive, with an introduction by its editor Michael Matthew Kaylor, in which the case for Reid’s literary rehabilitation and canonicity is energetically rehearsed.

Nonetheless…The Garden God still feels dangerously overheated, its prose filled with the quality of overripe fruit – sensual and sweet, but with the promise of corruption underneath.” — Times Literary Supplement, September 14, 2007

“Lifted from obscurity, this text is delightfully revisited by Kaylor, whose admiration for this author is evident throughout his introduction.
We all have writers who are dear to us for one reason or another, and Kaylor espouses his love for Reid’s works with such honest familiarity:

‘Reid has ever been my “secret playmate,” a playmate whose texts–nearly sacred, at least to me–have always been read for pleasure, without a clutched pencil.’ Although one might joke about reading introductions last, this is an exception, since so much is added to the reading of the original text, made more poignant by Kaylor’s intricate description of Reid’s life, not to mention his thorough explanatory notes.” — English Literature in Transition, January 2, 2008

Fifteen year old Graham Iddesleigh dreams of a past life, where he frolicked in a garden with a young Greek god.
However, his dreams threaten to come to an abrupt end when his father decides to send him away to school.
But what is Graham’s surprise when he meets a fellow schoolboy, Harold Brocklehurst, who is the very image of the Greek god of his dreams!

Graham falls deeply in love with his new friend, and the two boys spend an unforgettable summer together — until a heartbreaking tragedy occurs, a tragedy that will change Graham’s life forever.

The Garden God was first published in 1905, in the wake of the Oscar Wilde trial and other scandals, and risked controversy with its undercurrents of pederastic desire.
Forrest Reid dedicated the novel to his idol, Henry James, who was outraged and never spoke to Reid again.

This first ever scholarly edition of the novel includes a new introduction and notes by Michael Matthew Kaylor, who dismisses the traditional view of Reid as merely a provincial novelist and argues for his inclusion among the major Uranian writers such as Pater, Wilde, and Frederick Rolfe.

ISBN 1-934555-04-5, $14.95 US