About Us

Harlequin Press began in 2008, when Frances Nicholson and Judith Stinton, both experienced writers and editors, decided to publish Judith’s book Weymouth & Mr. Punch. This tells the story of Mr. Punch as he travelled from Italy, and his role in the Commedia dell’Arte, on to France and then to England, changing character and appearance as he went. The book also follows the procession of Punches who have entertained on Weymouth beach for well over a hundred years.


The Way to Do It: Frank Edmonds Punch & Judy Man, which was published in 2014, came about because, having read the first book, so many of Weymouth’s residents, some of the regular visitors – and many members of Frank’s enormous family – sent Judith new information about him. The book is the first biography of a Punch & Judy Man.


Our latest publication, Chesil Beach, a peopled solitude, took five years (and a lot of walking) to write. Judith has unearthed many little-known histories and tales about the people on this unique stretch of coast, and their connections to a wider world.


We hope to show that there is more to Dorset than Durdle Dor, Shaftesbury’s Gold Hill and the Cerne Giant. A good deal more.