White Chappell Scarlet Tracings by Iain Sinclair
Trade Paperback – Valancourt – 2015
‘In this extraordinary work Sinclair combines a sort of spiritual inquest or seance into the Whitechapel Ripper murders and the dark side of the late Victorian imagination with another plot-thread, done in hectic picaresque, of a posse of seedy book dealers hot on the trail of obscure rarities of that period. These ruined and ruthless dandies appear and disappear through a phantasmagoria – Dickensian London gripped by cholera, the shambles of a Victorian surgeon’s operating theatre, vultures flapping around the Farringdon Road bookstalls as the ropes come off – interspersed with occult conjurings and reflections on the nature of fiction and history.’
So wrote a critic for London’s Guardian newspaper, which chose Iain Sinclair’s brilliantly original debut novel, White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings (1987), as runner-up for the prestigious Guardian Fiction Prize. This first-ever American edition features a new introduction by Alan Moore, whose graphic novel From Hell was partly inspired by Sinclair’s novel.