Category Archives: Books

Let’s talk about Austen and Dickens!

Two posts in one day! I am outdoing myself. But I had to mention a writer’s website that I came across today via a link on the Jane Austen Centre newsletter. Due to the all-consuming effort to finish the first book of my family history series I usually I don’t have time to give such emails more than a glance. One of the links ‘Let’s talk about Jane Austen’ caught my eye and brought me ultimately to one of the most interesting writer’s website I have seen.

The website is Books and Things run by a young writer Katie Lumsden who describes herself as a  ‘writer, blogger, vlogger (?), booktuber and until recently…played Kitty Bennett at the JAC.’ She writes professional engaging reviews about the staggering number of books she reads. She also gives talks about books, writing and writers on her booktube channel.

The JAC link was to a booktube talk about Jane Austen: Let’s talk about Jane Austen. I viewed it twice. When she mentioned she had done a similar talk on Charles Dickens, Let’s talk about Charles Dickens, I viewed that, too. Dickens and Austen are my favourite authors – together with Evelyn Waugh. The talks were given with an infectious enthusiasm. I really enjoyed them.

Books and Things is well worth the attention, especially for young writers.

 

Duncan McLaren’s Evelyn Waugh tours

I have been so engaged in finishing the first book of my family history series that I have neglected the blogging for just about the whole year. I have a backlog of Duncan McLaren’s highly entertaining Evelyn Waugh tours to post. No Waugh aficionado should miss the entertainment and information in the Waugh tours. In order of reception:

Evelyn Waugh and Lord Berners

Evelyn in Appeldore

Evelyn and Alistair’s Grand Tour

Duncan’s book on Evelyn Waugh EVELYN! RHAPSODY FOR AND OBSESSIVE LOVE was published this year (available here and here). It is in the same eccentric style of his book on Enid Blyton LOOKING FOR ENID. Both are thoroughly enjoyable and a must for lovers Waugh and Blyton. I intend to write a review of the Waugh book after I have published Prison Hulk to Redemption. 

 

 

A RE-ORGANIZATION OF FAMILY HISTORY TITLES

My intention to undertake an extensive revision of my first family history title has resulted in a complete replanning and rewriting of the series. I had wanted to add much new information about family members and put all the people and action into their proper social and historical context.

I found, however, that the undertaking was not so simple. I had badly underestimated the time this would take and the amount of social and historical information I would have to add to give an adequate picture of the period in which my ancestors acted. Providing that adequate picture has meant reorganizing the books (and the existing text) into periods different from those I had originally planned.

The first book with a new title – Prison Hulk to Redemption – will cover the period 1788-1901.   I have given up setting publication dates because I have continually found it necessary to put them back. A paperback edition as well as an ebook edition of Prison Hulk to Redemption will be released in the second half of 2015.

The reason the third book is almost finished is that my original intention was to write a childhood memoir that included some background information about my immediate family (parents and grandparents) and of my pioneering ancestors. After writing about the 1940s and early 1950s, I found that I had material for more than one book.  The project eventually grew into four books.

The Wilson Family History series will now cover these years:
Book 1: 1788-1901 – Prison Hulk to Redemption (nearly there)
Book 2: 1902-1945 – War Depression War pub. 2016 (40% written)
Book 3: 1946-1953 – Me ‘n’ Pete pub. 2016 (90% written)
Book 4: 1954-1958 – Billycarts & Two-Wheelers, 2017 (10% written)

I will keep updating my progress on the rewriting of the first book of the family history series.

Invitation to celebrate Teresa Waugh’s birthday

Dear Evelyn Waugh reader,

Mr and Mrs Evelyn Waugh invites you to a coming-out celebration for their daughter, Teresa, on Thursday 5 July, 1956.

The celebration is divided between two sites:

1) The Hyde Park Hotel, 7pm, for dinner.

2) The tents erected in Kensington Square Gardens for photographs, afternoon drinks and post-dinner dancing.

Non-vintage champagne for all except Evelyn. Any departures from the correct formal dress for men (billiard-table-green tweed suit and orange-and-white brogues) will be recorded in his private diary.

To accept the invitation, simply click the link:

Best wishes,

Duncan McLaren (soc. sec.)