The fourteenth novel in the Discworld Series
UK hbk: Victor Gollancz, 30,000 copies on 5 November 1992 (0-575-05223-6) repr. twice November 1992, then reissued, 1,750 (including 750 for BCA with gloss laminated jackets but without foil stamping) on 6 August 1998 (0-575-06578-8)
Book proof: 116 copies
Discworld Collector’s Library: The Witches Collection (hbk, cover engraving by Joe McLaren): Gollancz, 3 July 2014 (978-1-473-20027-2)
Pbk: Corgi, 242,000 copies on 4 November 1993 (0-552-13891-6), reprinted 1994 (twice), 1995, 1996, 1997 and numerous occasions since.
Corgi Canada printed and published an edition in 1994 with the above ISBN
New issue, with black/gold photographic design cover, on sale at same time as Kirby edition, July 2005 (0-552-15315-X)
Reissued B-format with modified Kirby cover: Corgi, 14 February 2013 (978-0-552-16752-9)
Book club: BCA, 14,000 in 1992 (CN 6998) repr. 1993, 1994
BCA’s Unseen Library: c.3,500 copies in January 2006 (CN 142975)
USA trade pbk (no hbk edition issued): HarperPrism (cover design by Michael Sabanosh), October 1995 (0-06-109216-9)
Proof: issued, ‘bound galley’ printed black on yellow covers, but no information as to quantity, April 1995
Mass market pbk: HarperPrism (modified version of original design by Michael Sabanosh), October 1996 (0-06-105692-8)
Premium pbk: Harper Premium, 29 October 2013 (978-0-06-223739-2)
US book club: Science Fiction Book Club Selection, December 1995 (Jacket art by Jael) 17 October 1995 (ref.10467)
Brazilian: Bertrand Brasil [not yet published]
Bulgarian: Господари и Господарии, trs. , Vuzev/Akhont-V (954-422-067-4)
Czech: Dámy a Pánové, trs. Jan Kantůrek Talpress, 10,000 copies in August 1997 (80-7197-103-0)
Double volume with Small Gods: ills. by Paul Kidby, Talpress, 2011 (978-80-7197-435-2)
Dutch: Edele Heren en Dames, trs. Venugopalan Ittekot (pseud. of Ruurd Groot), Het Spectrum, 5,000 copies in 1996 (90-274-4747-0)
Reissue: Mynx, 2008 (978-90-225-5126-4)
Estonian: Härrasrahvas, trs. Allan Eichenbaum, jacket illus. Hillar Mets, Varrak, August 2003 (9985-3-0737-2)
Finnish: Herraskaista väkeä, trs.Mika Kivimäki, Karisto, August 2004 (951-23-4552-8)
Pbk: Karisto, February 2007 (978-951-23-4851-0)
French: Nobliaux et Sorcières, trs. Patrick Couton, L’Atalante, October 1999 (2-84172-117-5)
Reissue, with new introduction by Terry Pratchett (dated September 2014), 19 May 2015 (978-2-84172-762-9)
Pbk: Pocket, November 2003 (2-266-13179-6)
Pbk with Marc Simonetti cover: Pocket, February 2011 (978-2-266-21194-9)
German trade pbk: 1. Lords und Ladies, trs. Andreas Brandhorst, Goldmann, 30,000 copies on 1 October 1995 (3-442-42580-0)
mass market pbk: September 2000 (3-442-44675-9)
2. Lords und Ladies, trs. Regina Rawlinson, Manhattan, 20 May 2013 (978-3-442-54714-2)
3. Lords und Ladies, trs. Gerald Jung, Goldmann, 20 February 2017 (978-3-442-48536-9)
Hungarian: Hölgyek és urak, trs. Veronika Farkas, Delta Vision, 23 July 2010  (978-963-9679-10-8)
Italian: Streghe di una notte di mezza estate, trs. Valentina Daniele, Salani, May 2012 (978-88-6256-741-1)
Massmarket pbk: TEA September 2014 (978-88-502-3437-0)
Norwegian: Herskap og hekser, trs. Torlief Sjøgren-Erichsen, Tiden Norsk, 2005 (82-05-34232-6)
Polish: Panowie i Damy, trs. Piotr W. Cholewa, Prószyński i S-ka, 2002 (83-7337-106-0)
Romanian: Seniori si doamne, trs.??, Rao, 28 November 2013 (978-606-825109-7)[not yet seen]
Russian: Дамы и Господа, trs. N.Berdennikov, Eksmo, 2002 (5-04-009488-4)
Double volume with Witches Abroad: Eksmo, 15 April 2003 (5-699-03624-5)
Serbian/Yugoslav: Gospoda i Dame, trs. Aleksandar Milajić, Laguna, 1,000 copies in 2003 (86-7436-077-7)
Spanish large format pbk: Lores y damas, trs. Albert Solé, Plaza y Janés, 24 June 2002 (84-01-32949-3)
DeBols!llo, October 2004 (84-9793-472-5), first printing with new cover 10/13
Kiosk edition: Altaya, 2008 (978-84-487-2617-1)
Swedish: Herrskap och Häxor, trs. Peter Lindforss,Wahlströms, 1994 (91-32-31877-4)
Pbk: BW-Pocket/Wahlströms, 1997 (91-92-43027-2)
It’s a hot Midsummer Night.
The crop circles are turning up everywhere – even on the mustard and cress of Pewsey Ogg, aged four.
And Magrat Garlick, witch, is going to be married in the morning.
Everything ought to be going like a dream.
But the Lancre All-Comers Morris Team have got drunk on a fairy mound and the elves have come back, bringing all those things traditionally associated with the magical, glittering realm of Faerie: cruelty, kidnapping, malice and evil, evil murder.*
Granny Weatherwax and her argumentative coven have really got their work cut out this time…
With full supporting cast of dwarfs, wizards, trolls, Morris Dancers and one orang-utan. And lots of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place.
*But with tons of style.
Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad. Lords & Ladies, pp.122-23
I enjoyed his latest Discworld novel so much that I just have to tell you about it. . . . Here is a paradox. Terry Pratchett on top form (as he is here) is exquisitely funny. So how come he also manages, at the same time, to be as scary as just about anyone writing fantasy? There are an awful lot of po-faced fantasy writers of the Tolkien-clone school of writing who cannot evoke, in whole ten part trilogies, what Pratchett manages here . . . just remember, elves shouldn’t be cute; they shouldn’t be familiar; they shouldn’t even be merely scary: they should be heart-stoppingly terrifying – as Pratchett has them here. (And oh yes, of course it’s Pratchett doing Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, at least after a fashion – and who’d have thought that Granny Weatherwax could ever have been a heartbreaker?) Liz Holliday in 451°
Undoubtedly one of Pratchett’s best to date…. a very funny tale indeed. Serious Pratchett readers will know to find a quiet corner where you can giggle in peace. Established fans like myself will undoubtedly love the sarcasm and many veiled double entendres, but Lords and Ladies is also the ideal introduction to Pratchett, for those who have yet to discover his brilliance. Amy Anderson in Aberdeen Evening Express
Lords and Ladies, while in no sense an inferior example of what Pratchett has learned how to give us, cannot be said to stress the medium of comedy like its immediate predecessor, the superb Small Gods (1992); nor does it suffer any internal collapse – as Moving Pictures (1990) did – from a plot structure insufficiently weighted to carry its burden. Lords and Ladies, in other words, lies deep within the Discworld tessitura: funny and fluent, loving but swift, sane and paradisal.
It is a more or less direct sequel to Witches Abroad (1991) – a tale which suffers from the same lack of gravitas in the plotting that diminished Moving Pictures, though less seriously in this case – and features the same three witch protagonists: Granny Weatherwax, who is getting touchingly close to becoming a voice the reader will identify with Pratchett’s own; Nanny Ogg, on something of a back-burner; and Magrat Garlick, inching to the utmost verge of being marginally less of a damp page when you open the book. The eponymous elves are – it is a relief to say – vicious, and their attempt to return to the world is – it is good to know – thwarted. It ends in twilight, with small silver bells through slow air.
Shore it, reader, against the day. John Clute in Interzone
I think his humour is brilliantly unique. Taxi Globe
It’s difficult to improve on perfection; it is, however, his best Discworld novel since Guards! Guards!
Brendan Wignall in The Oxford Times
Pratchett has the kind of flair for somersaulting your preconceptions that Adams strives very hard to not quite achieve. City Limits
This novel features Pratchett’s first truly malevolent villain, the Queen of the Elves, who is completely humourless and genuinely chilling. However, this is a very funny book, including morris dancers acting out A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Archchancellor and Librarian travelling to the wedding, and Casanunda the dwarf, who carries a stepladder to aid him in his romantic activities. I have never been fond of Pratchett’s witches, but in this volume they come into their own. Terry Pratchett keeps getting better and better. Vector, Feb/March 1994
Background illustration © and by courtesy of Marc Simonetti