Johnny Mains, is probably one of horror fiction’s top experts, what this man doesn’t know, probably isn’t worth knowing. Johnny, has just put up for pre order his biography of Herbert Van Thal. For those of you who do not know who Bertie is then shame on you. Bertie is the man responsible for The Pan Book of Horror Stories
Herbert Maurice van Thal
(1904-1983), better known as Bertie, was a bookseller, publisher, agent, biographer, and anthologist. His grandfather was a distiller (King’s Liqueur Whisky), and was a director of the theatre proprieters, Howard and Wyndham. Henry Irving and Harry Lauder were friends of the family.
After the second World War, he founded the short-lived publishing house of Home and van Thal, with his friends Margaret Douglas-Home and Gwylim Fielden Hughes. The house was known as a “mushroom” publisher, since it sprang up overnight after the war. Later he became a general editor of the Doughty Library published by Anthony Blond.
Van Thal was a friend and publisher of the critic James Agate, who he met in 1932. He had been impressed by Agate’s review of Wycherley’s The Country Wife
. Agate once described him as looking like “a sleek, well-groomed dormouse” out of a John Tenniel illustration of Alice in Wonderland, due to Bertie’s tendency to dress in a dapper suit, bow tie, monocle, and black shiny shoes. 
He had deep familiarity with Victorian literature, opera, and Restoration dramatists. He was one of the first publishers to recognize the talent of Herman Hesse, and reprinted novels by George Gissingand Theodore Hook
For only £12.99 (not including p&p) you can get your hands on a limited edition hardback copy, signed by both Johnny and the cover artist Les Edwards.
Click the link below to purchase, but hurry folks for there are only 100 copies