The Mask And Other Stories by Herbert van Thal

Herbert van ThalHerbert Maurice van Thal, born in 1904, was a bookseller, publisher, agent, biographer, and anthologist who edited the infamous Pan Book of Horror Stories from 1959 – 1983.

His publishing company Home and van Thal was responsible for reprinting works by Rhoda Broughton, J.S. Le Fanu and Mrs J.H. Riddell. His agency, London Management, looked after authors such as Robert Aickman and William Sansom. At his death in 1983 he had edited, introduced and published over two hundred books.

The Mask and Other Stories (in a slightly different form) was originally published as Child Performer by The White Owl Press in 1933, and it gives us a tantalising glimpse into this mysterious and enigmatic editor. Noose and Gibbet Publishing is proud to offer this expanded edition to a new audience for the first time in nearly eighty years.

This is Herbert van Thal’s only collection of short tales, written when he was in his twenties. In addition to the original stories, this expanded volume also reprints A Recipe For Reading, an informative and witty essay written for his godsons Robin Douglas Home and David Hughes which shows another side to the man known more for his work on the Pan Book of Horror Stories and other classic horror anthologies. Also included in the book are a number of introductions that van Thal wrote to various collections and anthologies he edited over the years, as well as an extract from his autobiography The Tops Of The Mulberry Trees.

Cover spread of The Mask and Other Stories

The duty of an enthusiast about a forgotten author is constantly to bring his name before the public, in hope that such forgotten writers and the treasures of their work may be rescued from undeserved oblivion."

Herbert van Thal.

The book is limited to 100 hardback copies at £12 each plus £2 p&p and is selling fast. Copies can be obtained by sending an email to


Hardcover: 104 pages
Publisher: Noose & Gibbet Publishing (08/11)
Dimensions: 8 x 5 inches

Edited by Johnny Mains
Cover design by Wayouteast

Introduction by Johnny Mains
The Mask
Variations On A Theme
i Child Performer
ii Summer Idyll
The Old Lady Makes A Cup Of Tea
Essay: A Recipe For Reading
Appendices: Herbert van Thal's Introductions to:
A Strange Adventure In The Life Of Miss Laura Mildmay by J. Sheridan LeFanu
Tales Of Suspense by Wilkie Collins
Tales Of Mystery And Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe
The Pan Book Of Horror Stories Vol: 1
The Cock And The Anchor by J. Sheridan LeFanu
The Tops Of The Mulberry Trees (van Thal's autobiography)
The Bedside Book Of Horror
Tales To Make The Flesh Creep