How #BardDirection saw Shakespeare join One Direction

April 23 is the birth date of Ngaio Marsh and Vladimir Nabokov, but it is also the day on which the birth of William Shakespeare is traditionally celebrated.

And so it seemed entirely inappropriate for us to post pictures of the bard against quotes attributed to him – but actually said by members of the British / Irish pop sensation One Direction. They all appeared on Twitter under the hashtag #BardDirection.

It’s what William would have wanted.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7

Easter opening times 2014

Easter is nearly upon us. Please note we will be closed on the bank holidays:

egg-161199_1280Week commencing April 14th

Mon: 8.30am-6pm
Tue: 8.30am-6pm
Wed: 9am-5.30pm
Thu: 8.30am-6pm
Fri: closed
Sat: 9am-5pm


Week commencing April 21st

Mon: closed
Tue: 8.30am-6pm
Wed: 9am-5.30pm
Thu: 8.30am-6pm
Fri: 8.30am-6pm
Sat: 9am-5pm

The @RainyCity rises for @McrHistFest’s RUINED


Let history record that our RUINED short story night for Manchester Histories Festival was an excellent success.

Eleven scribes told tales inspired by the lost buildings of Manchester: we had humour and horror, weirdness and whimsy, sadness and joy.

Our sincere thanks must go to our performers Abi Hynes, Adam Blaize, Benjamin Judge, David Hartley, Joe Daly, Lee Moore, Sarah Butler, Sarah Jasmon, Sian Cummins, Tom Mason, Trisha Starbrook and compere Fat Roland.

As past places came alive at the event, there has been an internet revival of sorts too. Rainy City Stories was a project that mapped Manchester with narrative. The stories from Ruined are now appearing there. Have a read of the five that have appeared so far:

Finding Mitchell Street by Sarah Jasmon;

Fort by Sarah Butler;

The History You Tell Them by JP Daly;

St John’s Church by Abi Hynes;

Lest We Forget by David Hartley.

An appreciation of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves (3 of 3)

Here is our third of three bloggish appreciations of Mark Z Danielewski‘s House of Leaves as a sideways way of celebrating the release of Fifty-Year Sword on Cargo Publishing. See the other blog posts here and here.

Our event with Mark is on Tuesday April 15th (buy your tickets now). This is our biggest event of the year so far and it’s unmissable. Seriously. Get a ticket or two before they all go.




S-comma, s-comma, s-comma…


Not just text.

An appreciation of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves (2 of 3)

In advance of our Mark Z Danielewski event on Tuesday, we take a little time out for a closer look at the postmodern genius of House of Leaves.

Do join us on Tuesday. The event will take place at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation at 6.30pm, and support will come from the winner of the Dundee International Book Prize, Nicola White 

Get your tickets before they sell out.


The beginning.


If you guess the connection between these names, you get a free lens cap.


Some words just spine chilling.

Clare Debenham book launch

In the shop:
Thursday, April 10th at 18:30 – 19:30

Join political historian Birth Control and the Rights of WomenDr Clare Debenham as she launches Birth Control And The Rights Of Women, her new book exploring the nationwide campaign for birth control – including Marie Stopes’ free “contraception caps” – after women were granted the vote in 1918.

The book, published by IB Tauris, explores a hugely important grass roots social movement, its threat to Victorian ideas about female sexuality, and its empowerment for women everywhere. It features brand new archival material in the forms of memoirs, personal papers and press cuttings.

The launch will be an informal affair, and all are welcome. We have wine and cake, and – crucially – on the night only, attendees can buy the book for £25 rather than the usual retail price of £59.95.

An appreciation of Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves (1 of 3)

On Tuesday, April 15th, we will host a book talk and signing with Mark Z Danielewski. He has a brand new edition of Fifty-Year Sword out on Cargo Publishing. You can buy your tickets for that event here.

In this, and two other blog posts, we appreciate the stunning beauty of his classic House of Leaves.


“hollowed out… beneath the belly…”


Positively waltz-like.


Lists and lists and lists.