TLDR: We are publishing the ultimate edition of Agatha Christie’s masterpiece, DEATH ON THE NILE — the first ever fine press edition. Over the course of the campaign a Mystery will unfold for you to solve. A one-of-a-kind prize volume that money can't buy will be awarded to the first person who cracks the puzzle and prizes may be given to ALL backers to reward participation in the project and help us break new frontiers on Kickstarter.
The Thornwillow Edition of Agatha Christie's DEATH ON THE NILE
Having written more than 70 novels, 14 short story collections, as well as the longest running play in history, Agatha Christie is the most widely read author of all time. Her murder mysteries, above all, brought her fame and have endured in the public consciousness for nearly a century, earning her the undisputed title of the Queen of Crime. The popularity of these novels is no real mystery at all. As Dame Agatha Christie wrote in her introduction to Death on the Nile, “If detective stories are ‘escape literature’ (and why shouldn’t they be!) the reader can escape to sunny skies and blue water as well as to crime in the confines of an armchair.”
Yet for all that she has been celebrated, with television, film, and even video game adaptations of her work, she is not the household name that she once was. Now, we aim to honor her legacy, and shine a spotlight once again on the enduring brilliance of her work. It is with great pleasure that we announce that Thornwillow Press, with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s family and estate, is publishing the first ever fine press edition of one of her most iconic works—Death on the Nile.
A bibliographic excavation...
We are joined by archaeologist and crime fiction scholar Dr. A.T. Reyes of Groton and Oxford University. With a brand new original monograph and exquisitely reproduced collection of maps and ephemera from Christie’s travels, Dr. Reyes is our guide as we walk in the footsteps of the great Queen of Crime through a world of ancient tombs, evil curses, and archaeological discovery. For after all, what is an archaeologist but a reader and detective of the ancient past?
The novel stars Hercule Poirot, the archetypal detective and one of Christie’s most beloved and enduring characters. As Sophie Hannah, best-selling author and scholar of crime fiction describes him, Poirot is “a miraculous blend of opposites. He is the perfect memorable caricature, with his luxuriant moustaches, egg-shaped head and fussy ways ... but he is also a real person with depth, and past pain, and a third dimension that will forever remain hidden, which makes us believe in its presence all the more.” Of the more than 30 Poirot novels, Death on the Nile is among the best. Upon its release in 1937, The New York Times Book Review wrote “You have the right to expect great things… and you will not be disappointed.”
“Christie’s books are so much more than great puzzles,” said Sophie Hannah, best-selling author and scholar of crime fiction, “Each of her novels demonstrates a profound understanding of people–how they think, feel and behave–all delivered in her crisp, elegant, addictively readable style.”
Over the ensuing decades, the popularity of the novel has never waned. Death on the Nile has gone on to inspire countless stage, radio, television, and movie adaptations; it has even been made into a computer game and a graphic novel. In 2017, it was announced that 20th Century Fox is developing Death on the Nile as a sequel to their film adaptation of Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, with the great actor and director Kenneth Branagh returning as Hercule Poirot.
A MYSTERY for you to solve. A Spectacular PRIZE to Win:
Over the course of the campaign a Mystery will unfold for you to solve. Created by Dr. Reyes, we present this mystery to connect you to and celebrate the spirit and legacy of Agatha Christie.
A magnificent, one-of-a-kind prize volume that money can't buy will be awarded to the first person to crack the puzzle. But take note... the spirit of the contest is the more the merrier!
There will be prizes for ALL backers that reward participation. Join the contest. Get the word out. Invite others to take a shot. Build your crack team. Work in groups. The more who get involved, the more rewards there will be for everyone. Help us break new frontiers on Kickstarter.
GET 250 PARTICIPANTS BEFORE THE END OF THE CAMPAIGN (August 8, 2019 at 11:55PM New York Time) AND WE WILL RELEASE THE ANSWER TO A SECOND CLUE.
IF THE CAMPAIGN BREAKS $100,000 WE WILL POST WHETHER TO USE THE FIRST OR THE LAST LETTER FROM EACH CLUE'S ONE-WORD-ANSWER.
Here are the parameters for THE THORNWILLOW DEATH ON THE NILE MYSTERY:
- Each clue leads to a one-word answer. Some are more difficult than others. All clues have to do either with Archaeology or with Agatha Christie.
- There are 21 clues in all and therefore 21 one-word answers.
- Take EITHER the first OR the last letter of each of these words. These 21 letters will then unscramble to form three words.
- What links these three words?
HERE ARE ALL 21 CLUES:
- CLUE 21: The best will include an Egyptian city
- CLUE 20: Sounds like goodbye in part of old Ethiopia
- CLUE 19: Witness’ suspect is a rodent
- CLUE 18: Heaviness in Mary’s novel (14 Correct / 17 Submitted)
- CLUE 17: Christie’s man “who knows about money” with “over-large very white teeth” (16 Correct / 22 Submitted)
- CLUE 16: Egyptian temple site derived from Arabic “fortress” (19 Correct / 32 Submitted)
- CLUE 15: Hastings’ favourite issue (21 Correct / 25 Submitted)
- CLUE 14: “Dear love, I have your ------- and your heart” (5 Correct / 17 Submitted) = promisE
- CLUE 13: To a Sister, there is, within, respite from the desert (15 Correct / 31 Submitted)
- CLUE 12: Jessica and Jane share the same name? Not the first one! (21 Correct / 37 Submitted)
- CLUE 11: A likely name for a Christie maid (10 Correct / 57 Submitted)
- CLUE 10: Common ground for a lighthouse and a library (44 Correct / 54 Submitted)
- CLUE 9: Whither they came (46 Correct / 57 Submitted)
- CLUE 8: What Christie’s portrait was (58 Correct / 60 Submitted)
- CLUE 7: Egypt’s most famous stone (66 Correct / 70 Submitted)
- CLUE 6: Jordan’s most famous rock (63 Correct / 63 Submitted)
- CLUE 5: What P, a foreign character, is (9 Correct / 86 Submitted)
- CLUE 4: Writer of “The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side” (39 Correct / 109 Submitted)
- CLUE 3: A mound, say? (51 Correct / 81 Submitted)
- CLUE 2: Old Alexandria? (79 Correct / 118 Submitted)
- CLUE 1: Christie’s fruity secretary (117 Correct / 167 Submitted)
The number of correct submissions and total submitted is as of 1pm New York Time on August 2, 2019.
The number of submitted answers are not necessarily from unique participants
The PRIZE Book:
This precious volume is worth many thousands of dollars, but money cannot buy it. Only one will ever exist. This spectacular prize book will be stored at the press until the mystery is solved, at which time it will be presented to the winner.
It is bound in Scarlet full leather and hand-marbled end papers. It is hand tooled in genuine gold, set with a cabochon opal, and is presented in a suede-lined clamshell box. Only one copy will be made exclusively for the first person who solves the mystery.
How our books are made:
All of the design, printing, and binding are done at Thornwillow in our workshops in Newburgh, New York. We are perhaps the only fine press publisher in the world to unite these related arts and crafts of the written word under one roof, and we are committed to teaching and perpetuating them for readers today and for years to come.
We start with a beautiful layout. The text is set using classical ratios of type to page, giving each book luxurious margins and elegant proportions.
Once the book is laid out, the text is printed letterpress on our Heidelberg Cylinder Press. The type is literally pressed into the heavy archival stock, so that you can feel the letters as you run your fingers across the page. This is an ancient art—the same process by which Johannes Gutenberg printed his books 500 years ago.
Each book is then folded into eight page signatures, collated and sewn together.
The books are then bound by hand by our master craftsmen, who create the highest quality bindings in the world.
We are offering Death on the Nile in four distinct bindings: letterpress printed paper wrappers, half cloth and letterpress boards, half Morocco and handmade paste papers, and magnificent full leather. Each copy will also include a letterpress printed list of subscribers in recognition of their generous support and to let future generations of readers know how this book was made possible.
Death on the Nile is Christie at her best. Whether you are a Christie fan, a mystery reader, or a collector, the Thornwillow edition of this great novel is the one to own.
Paper Wrapper | $95 | Edition limited to 100 more than backed
Half-Cloth | $195 | Edition limited to 100 more than backed
Half-Leather | Starting at $595 | Edition limited to 25 more than backed
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: The first Thirty backers of Half-Leather will receive a complimentary copy of our "Mystery, Magic & Maps" Broadside Slipcase featuring 3 Broadside Portfolios each with 10 letterpress printed broadsides including Literary Riddles, Fingerprints, and The Curse of Arthur Conan Doyle among many others.
The Archaeologist's Notebook: A Special Reward Exclusively for our steady supporters on Patreon
We are pleased to give all of our monthly supporters on Patreon (at the "10pt Garamond" level or higher) a handmade notebook with any version of Death on the Nile that they back. This notebook is sewn, uses the same heavy archival stock of our fine press editions, and features a letterpress printed paper wrapper based on the cover pattern of Death on the Nile. If you are not yet a supporter of Thornwillow on Patreon, it is not too late. Sign up at www.patreon.com/thornwillow any time during this campaign to receive your bonus reward.
Deluxe Half-Leather: Tomb Raider Archaeologist's Edition | $995 | Only twelve available, out of an edition of eighteen.
The six reserved copies of this edition are currently being held for archival collections.
Full-Leather: Felucca | $1,500 | Only nine available, out of an edition of twelve.
The 3 reserved copies of this edition are currently being held for archival collections.
Deluxe Full-Leather: Sphynx | $2,000 | Only 6 available, out of an edition of 9.
The 3 reserved copies of this edition are currently being held for archival collections.
BONUS REWARD - BLAST FROM THE PAST - MOON LANDING COMMEMORATION - 3 Walter Cronkite books released from our Archives
Walter Cronkite's REMEMBERING THE MOON and Deluxe Full-Leather: Scarab | $2,500 | Only 3 available, out of an edition of 6.
30 years ago to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first Moon Landing, Thornwillow published REMEMBERING THE MOON with Walter Cronkite. This book has long been out of print, but we are releasing 3 copies of the full cloth binding from our archives to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing and will give them to the three backers of the Scarab Deluxe Full Leather edition of DEATH ON THE NILE.
REMEMBERING THE MOON was set in monotype Poliphilus and printed letterpress. These copies are bound in full cloth and feature original illustrations by Irena Martens.
Deluxe Full-Leather: Horus | $3,500 | Only 1 available, out of an edition of 2.
The one reserved copy of this edition is currently being held for archival collections.
Deluxe Full-Leather: Anubis with Millennial Cities Print Portfolio | $4,000 | Only 3 sets available.
If you back The Deluxe Full-Leather: Anubis with Millennial Cities Print Portfolio you will receive TWO incredibly rare Thornwillow publications. First is the special binding of Death on the Nile bound in full sand leather, hand tooled in genuine gold and set with a cabochon garnet. Second, you will receive a copy of our Millennial Cities portfolio of photogravure prints that present some of the earliest photographic images of the ancient world. We are making these three copies from this edition available at a very special price when combined with this project to help our best subscribers add important titles to their Thornwillow collections and to help us raise funds to support our Thornwillow Institute and Makers Village project. thornwillowinstitute.org.
Millennial Cities features hand-printed photogravures of some of the earliest images of Cairo, Beirut, Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Constantinople presented in a half-leather and pastepaper portfolio along with essays by Harvard University archaeologist Dr. Carney Gavin about the 19th Century photographers and the ancient cities in a half-leather bound volume, all presented in a suede lined clamshell box.
Super Deluxe Full-Leather: Nile River Boat with Agatha Christie GENUINE AUTOGRAPH | $5,000 | Only 1 available, Edition of one.
This unique volume is bound in blue full leather and hand-marbled endpaper. It is elaborately hand tooled in genuine gold with the image of a nile river boat and presented in a suede lined clamshell box with a gold tooled leather spine label. This one-of-a-kind volume will also include a photograph portrait of Agatha Christie among her books and a GENUINE Agatha Christie autograph.
About Thornwillow Press:
Thornwillow Press was founded in 1985 by Luke Ives Pontifell, when he was just 16. During college he ran the press from his Harvard dorm room and the barn at his parents’ 18th century farm in Western Massachusetts. Over the years, Thornwillow has grown to become one of the preeminent fine presses in the world. Thornwillow has published the original works of John Updike, President Barack Obama, James Merrill, and more. Thornwillow publications can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Morgan Library, the Vatican, and the Bodleian Library at Oxford, among many others.
To learn more about Thornwillow Press please visit thornwillow.com. To learn more about the work of the Thornwillow Institute and Makers Village — a 501(c)3 public charity committed to supporting craft, culture and community — and how you can help support our mission, please visit thornwillowinstitute.org.
Risks and challenges
We have successfully conducted twenty-six past projects, and are confident in our ability to manage any unexpected challenges. We do not anticipate any with this project. That said, we will always communicate them to our backers if they do arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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