Tim Waterstone

Roger Ordish was a TV producer for many years. His memoir, If I Remember Rightly, recently published by YouCaxton, is a very entertaining and interesting account of his years in television and of the celebrities whom he worked with. His old friend Tim Waterstone, founder of Waterstone’s bookshops, has  just sent a delightful recommendation.

 

If I Remember Rightly arrived yesterday, and I started reading it this morning, at 6.30 am, over my first-of-the-day mug of tea. Thereafter I couldn’t put it down, effectively reading it all through at one sitting. Roger – I really loved it. And, perhaps more importantly, really admired it, and indeed, from it, you. We were such close friends as teenagers, and it is a real pleasure for me to now realise, more fully perhaps than I had before, what a wonderfully rich and rewarding career, and life, that you have led. Your description of it absolutely holds the reader. And you write so well – the ‘voice’ is delightful – sometimes very funny indeed – (my absolute favourite of all your wonderful anecdotes being the little Ken Dodd piece) – sometimes unexpectedly vulnerable and exposed.

 

Ace stuff, all of it.So well done, my friend. T.’

Georgia Historical Society, Stan Deaton: Button Gwinnett

Stan Deaton, Professor at the Georgia History Library in Savannah, gives an excellent short summary of the life of Button Gwinnett (who signed the American Declaration on Independence) in this short clip, referring in complimentary terms to Button Gwinnett by Colin Gwinnett Sharp, published by YouCaxton Publications.

 

Well worth a listen:

Abergavenny Writing Festival

YouCaxton were set to give a workshop on self-publishing at the Abergavenny Writing Festival on 2 April. Sadly, the festival has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus emergency measures. We ourselves remain very much open for business. Indeed, we’re hopeful that self-immolation may lead some writers to complete their books ahead of schedule.  In any case, we wish everyone well.

 

Self isolation

Self isolation and writing sound almost like a tautology but writers are among the most gregarious of creatures. A couple of hours intense concentration then down the pub or the cafe or some other location where we can meet people. Perhaps the solution, now that a solitary life is imposed on us, is to have two books on the go, one a novel or some such very creative endeavour and another that depends more on research and organisation of the material. Here at YouCaxton we’ll be happy to offer advice and support.

 

Abergavenny Writing Festival, Self-Publishing Workshop

YouCaxton is hosting a workshop on self-publishing at the Abergavenny Writing Festival on Thursday 2 April at 16.30. Writers will hear a series of short presentations on the self-publishing process, from editing through to the production of print-ready files and publication. The workshop will also cover eBooks and marketing. There will be limited time for questions but Bob Fowke, our managing editor, will stay after the workshop has finished and should be able to answer them then.

 

Topics to be covered will include:

1. Editing and why it matters. 2. Preparing the manuscript and thinking about the niche, 3. Design, layout and print-ready files, 4. Printing, publication and ISBNs, 6. Distribution through Amazon, online sales, and bookshops, 7. eBooks, 8. Pricing your book.

 

Self-Publishing Workshop Stafford

Bob Fowke, YouCaxton’s Managing Editor, will be hosting a workshop on self-publishing in Stafford Public Library on 13th May, 7.00-9.00 pm. With him will be Shirley McLellan of Perfect Proof, our associate editor.

 

This will be an opportunity to learn about all aspects of self-publishing from completing your manuscript to decisions about design and layout, through to publication and the final print-ready files. There will be a series of short presentations with plenty of opportunity for questions. If you have written a book or you are in the process of writing one, do come along.

 

Topics to be covered:

1. Editing and why it matters. 2. Preparing the manuscript and thinking about the niche, 3. Design, layout and print-ready files, 4. Printing, publication and ISBNs, 6. Distribution through Amazon, online sales, and bookshops, 7. eBooks, 8. Pricing your book.

 

Free. To reserve a place please contact:
email: Stafford.library@staffordshire.gov.uk or telephone 01785 278351.

 

Opium & Pagodas – Talk

Duel Avenue Calcutta

Bob Fowke, YouCaxton’s Managing Editor, will be giving a  talk entitled Opium & Pagodas Aspects of life in 18th Century India at the Church Barn, Bishop’s Castle, Sunday 23rd February at 2.00 pm,  admission free.

 

In July 1775, Maharaja Nuncomar and Joseph Fowke were tried in Calcutta for conspiracy against Governor Warren Hastings. Nuncomar was hanged for a parallel offence; Joseph got off with a fine of fifty rupees. Two years later, Philip Francis, Hastings’s chief opponent on the Council and a friend of Joseph, was caught in flagrante with a ladder beneath the bedroom of beautiful Mrs Grand, who went on to marry Prince Tallyrand while he was foreign minister to Napoleon. Two years after that, Francis challenged Hastings to a duel but neither man knew how to shoot a pistol and Francis was wounded but survived. In the meantime, Joseph gambled away his second fortune and sailed for home, having sold his Stradivarius cello and complaining about the new-fangled music of Haydn.

 

Life for British residents in Calcutta in the late eighteenth century was incestuous but colourful. Bob Fowke explores some aspects of this exotic world in his illustrated talk.

 

Duel between Warren Hastings and Philip Francis

In 1773, Parliament passed the Regulating Act: in return for a loan of £1.4 million, the East India Company agreed to accept a Governor General appointed by Parliament and Warren Hastings was appointed to the post. In addition, the Regulating Act called for the appointment of three counsellors whose job was to oversee the Governor General. Unfortunately, these cousellors were hostile to Hastings from the start, in particular Philip Francis (lover of Mrs Grand see previous email, re ladders against windows and Prince Talleyrand). Francis sought to undermine Hastings’s authority at  every opportunity.

 

By  May 1780, Hastings had had enough. He decided that it had to be death or victory. He insulted Francis in a memorandum  to the Council; Francis took the bait and challenged Hastings to a duel.

 

At 5.30 am on 16th August the two principle members of the Calcutta Council met in the grey light of morning on the Alipur Road, both middle-aged, neither of them with much interest in exercise or fighting. Francis had never fired a pistol before and Hastings could remember doing so ‘only once or twice’. Their seconds measured fourteen paces. Hastings defered his fire while Francis misfired twice. The third time they both fired simultaneously. Francis narrowly missed but Hastings’s bullet struck Francis on the right side and lodged under his left shoulder blade. Francis called out ‘I’m dead’ and fell to the ground.

 

‘Good God, I hope not!’ Hastings called back and hurried over. Having checked on the damage, he rushed home in his palanquin and sent for the surgeon general and his own doctor. Philip Francis staged a remarkably swift recovery but he left for England that December.