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Valdemar: a peculiar publishing house

Written by Carolina

Valdemar is a publishing house based in Madrid that was founded in 1989 by Rafael Díaz Santander and Juan Luís González. Over the years, Valdemar has become quite popular in Spain for the great quality of its books (both hardcover and paperback) and for specializing in alternative genres such as science fiction, gothic and horror (both classic and contemporary) and fantasy. The name of the company itself lets you know that this is not your typical publishing house: it was taken from “The Facts In the Case of M. Valdemar”, a gruesome and astounding short story written by iconic gothic author Edgar Allan Poe.

Most important collections

LovecraftThe books published by Valdemar are grouped in collections depending on their genre or when were they released. The most outstanding of them is the one titled Gótica, which consists of black hardcovers with incredibly beautiful and elaborate covers. These books are mostly canonic classics considered to be the bases of Gothic and horror literature. In this collection we find stand-alone masterpieces such as Robert W. Chambers’s The King in Yellow and Hanns Heinz Ewers Alraune, collections of a single author‘s shorter pieces (e.g. Henry James’s 13 cuentos de fantasmas, 13 ghost tales, and H.P. Lovecraft’s complete works, in two volumes), and anthologies of tales by various authors which are usually grouped based on a common theme or element: Vampiras (short stories about women vampires), Venus en las tinieblas (horror stories with a touch of erotism), Frenesí gótico (seven tales by the first Gothic authors)…

 DickensClásicos, another of Valdemar’s collections, is dedicated to universal classic works of literature. These books are not black but blue or grey with smaller cover illustrations and are just fifteen titles: the three volumes of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and Jean Santeuil, Gustave Flaubert’s Sentimental Education, complete short stories by Robert L. Stevenson, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel, the complete theatrical works by Oscar Wilde, Chalres Dickens’s Bleak House, Marquis de Sade’s Justine, Franz Kafka’s complete short stories and three novels (The Castle, The Trial, and The Man Who Disappeared), and Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.

Other books

peter-panApart from these two, there are various other collections by Valdemar: Histórica (historic short stories, novels and non-fiction), Intempestivas (essays on controversial topics), Planeta Maldito (erotica and extravagant fiction), Letras Clásicas (classic philosophy), Insomnia (contemporary horror)… They even publish children’s books such as Pinocchio, Peter Pan, and Winnie the Pooh. As you can see, even though Valdemar is primarily dedicated to horror and Gothic literature, its catalog is extensive and varied.

Where can I buy their books?

The books published by Valdemar can be found in almost every major bookstore (Casa del libro, Lé…) as well as in any Fnac (big shops that sell products related to culture, technology and leisure) and in their online shop. Moreover, you will find them at the 75th Madrid Book Fair, which will take place from May 27 to June 12 in park El retiro.

About the author


Carolina is an English Studies graduate, an English teacher, literary translator, bookworm and amateur writer.

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