David Attenborough

The Wildlife Roleplay Book by Jenny Sugen, published by YouCaxton, received a charming boost the other day. Jenny’s daughter was at a conservation evening in London where Sir David Attenborough was  a special guest. Not only was Sir David happy to pose with Jenny’s daughter and the book, he also wrote to Jenny by hand afterward to thank  her for letting him see it.

Nazeing History Workshop, Essex

David Pracy’s minutely researched new book, A Purely Agricultural Parish? Nazeing before and during the Great War, published by YouCaxton and part of our History Series, is being launched at an exhibition by the Nazeing History Workshop, 5-7 May, at St. Giles Hall, Nazeing Road, Essex, EN9 2HU. Admission is free and there is a special offer on titles previously published by Nazeing History Workshop.

A Purely Agricultural Parish?  contains a wealth of detailed information about Nazeing families of all classes immediately before and during World War I and is enlivened by 180 illustrations. It is a very effective account of the social make-up of Nazeing at that time. It will be on sale at £10.00.

Margaret Clive and Friends

 

At 7.30 pm on Thursday 17th May, in Bishop’s Castle Town Hall, YouCaxton Managing Editor Bob Fowke will be repeating his talk, ‘Margaret Clive and Friends’, interest from the public having exceeded the available space in February.

During the eighteenth century some remarkable young women crossed the ocean to India to seek their fortunes. Margaret Maskelyne who married Clive of India and was sister to Nevill Maskelyne, Astronomer Royal, was one of the cleverest – and funniest. Bob Fowke will be exploring her life and the network of her friends,  in a talk relating to his upcoming book.

‘Women were an essential element within the Company from its earliest days. The gravestones and memorials around Saint Mary’s Church in Fort St George, Chennai/Madras, bear ample testimony; around a quarter of them are of women, several dying early in childbirth. But those tragic deaths tell only part of the story. It took courage, ambition and a spirit of adventure to travel to the far side of the world in search of love and fortune and the young women who undertook that journey were exceptional people, setting out of their own accord, sometimes with only the grudging consent of parents or guardians, and confidently accepting the risks. Many of them traded independently and some were of high intellect …’

Ian Flintoff

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An excellent review in the Oxford Times, 18 January 2018 by Christopher Gray of Ian Flintoff’s novel, Gatsby at Trinity, production and distribution by YouCaxton Publications:

‘THE television showing over Christmas of the excellent 2013 film version of Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio (and an even better Tobey Maguire) prompted me to take out a book that had languished some months in my ‘waiting to read’ pile. This was Gatsby at Trinity (Pitchfork Production, £9.99) by the Oxford-based actor, writer and director Ian Flintoff – and what a delight it proved. Impeccably researched and elegantly written, the novel traces the mysterious millionaire’s formative years, after First World War service in the US army, as an undergraduate at Oxford University. His student days are, of course, alluded to in The Great Gatsby, though it is never entirely clear whether they were pure invention. Gatsby certainly convinced the sinister character Meyer Wolfsheim. Who can forget his observation: “He’s an Oggsford man. He went to Oggsford College in England. You know Oggsford College?” The college in fact was Trinity, alma mater to Ian Flintoff too. Tom Buchanan, supercilious about Gatsby’s claim in The Great Gatsby, is shown a photograph of Jay in Trinity Quad – “the man on my left is now the Earl of Doncaster”. We get to meet the aristocrat as Lord Cusworth, one of Gatsby’s college companions, in Gatsby at Trinity. It turns out that it was his expression “old sport” that came to be borrowed by Gatsby. “Where’d you pick that up?” Tom asked him in The Great Gatsby, but answer came there none.

In the prequel we learn from Lord Cusworth that he employs the device as a means of disguising the fact that he has forgotten someone’s name. “Nobody’s offended and the old memory gets a decent break for a change.” Highlights of the novel (and Gatsby’s Oxford social life) include a ball at Blenheim where guests include Bernard Shaw, Noel Coward and Edward Elgar.

Great stuff.’

Lady Clive & Friends

SLady_Clive

During the eighteenth century some remarkable young women crossed the ocean to India to seek their fortunes. Margaret Maskelyne who married Clive of India and was sister to Nevill Maskelyne, Astronomer Royal, was one of the cleverest – and funniest. YouCaxton Managing Editor Bob Fowke will be exploring her life and the network of her friends, at Bishop’s Castle Town Hall on Wednesday 21st February at 2.00 pm in a talk that relates to his upcoming book.

‘Women were an essential element within the Company from its earliest days. The gravestones and memorials around Saint Mary’s Church in Fort St George, Chennai/Madras, bear ample testimony; around a quarter of them are of women, several dying early in childbirth. But those tragic deaths tell only part of the story. It took courage, ambition and a spirit of adventure to travel to the far side of the world in search of love and fortune and the young women who undertook that journey were exceptional people, setting out of their own accord, sometimes with only the grudging consent of parents or guardians, and confidently accepting the risks. Many of them traded independently and some were of high intellect …’

An Army Veteran’s Journey by Narrowboat
Martin Farmer

9781911175797 Looking back a furniture van would have been a more practical and much quicker way to relocate, but not so much fun. Convinced by watching far too many Youtube “The end is nye” documentaries the author decided that drastic measures were needed to safe guard his future. At the same time and probably more realistically fulfilling a long and growing need to escape from his institutionalised lifestyle and exile in southern England. Financially the only options available to him were a cardboard box, or a boat. It was a close run thing but he eventually settled on the life a float choice. As an ex soldier extensive travel and a nomadic life style were familiar. Although |other than the Harwich to Hamburg ferry clueless about anything that floated The story begins in a marine in Watford where a suitably priced boat was purchased. It was decided after a year or so of getting the hang of things and wasting lots of money, that a change of scenery and a different boat was becoming more than just a dream…or nightmare! 
Published: Jan 2018
Paperback: 222 pages
Price: £9.00
ISBN: 9-781911-175797
Available from Amazon
After getting reacquainted with an old buddy the decision was made to travel the two hundred and ten miles by canal to chirk in northeast Wales, alone…almost. Not a romantic tale of hot and sunny days filled with relaxed and tranquil cruising. Trying his hardest, the entire journey was completed in nineteen days, despite boasts from some that the journey could be completed in around four to six days. If the time taken wasn’t a record then the number of mishaps, encounters with interesting characters and the abysmal weather surely was. A slightly tongue in cheek account of a sometimes reluctant and of course grumpy-ish boater. The adventure takes us via one or two tangents from a “lock virgin” to almost expert helmsman… who still hates canals and boats!
 
Reader Reviews... B GIBSON A book that kept me on the edge of my ... A book that kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for the author to join the fish, or see what other bit of boating equipment he would loose next. ie tennis balls on a boat? A must for anyone thinking of taking to the water for the first time with information on what to do and what not to do. Amazon Customer Excellent read, witty and funny it gives a great ... Excellent read, witty and funny it gives a great account of what it is really like on the water, (canals). A must for all Narrow Boat enthusiasts.  

Shrewsbury Festival of Literature

shrewsbury

The Self-Publishing Expo of the Shrewsbury Festival of Literature is being held this year, on the 25th November 11am-2pm, at the University Centre, the former Borough Council building in Frankwell. Bob Fowke, Managing Editor of YouCaxton Publications, will be master of ceremonies. A number of publishing experts and some successfully self-published authors will be speaking and will be available to take questions.

 

Bleddfa Centre

Bleddfa-Centre-Small

‘You’ve Written a Book, Now What? Routes to Publication: an Information Day’ was a day-long workshop held at the Bleddfa Centre in Powis on Sunday 22 October. It was chaired by Caroline Sanderson, writer and associate editor of the Bookseller. Around forty writers attended and there was a series of talks and discussions by published authors, publishers, a literary agent and from YouCaxton, represented by Bob Fowke our editor. It was a very productive day and especially interesting in that it spanned the gap between traditional trade publishing, independent publishing and self-publishing. Bleddfa will be holding more workshops in the future.