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.
After much planning, we have finally started work to convert some redundant commercial buildings in Bishop’s Castle into a Writer’s Lodge, intended to compliment services already provided by YouCaxton. It will involve the conversion of a Victorian slaughter house and a medieval barn to provide space for seminars along with technical facilities and self-catering accommodation for aspiring writers.
Writers will be able to participate in courses, retreats, seminars and one-to-one tuition on a wide variety of pre-publishing issues. They will also be given access to the expertise at YouCaxton Publications for help with book design, as well as planning, publication and distribution.
Central to the project is the creation of a two-bedroom cottage and studio, both with lovely views over the south Shropshire hills and this is the renovation work which has now started. We expect it to be finished before the swallows return in June.
We also have a new member on the team, Caroline Denham, to oversee the project.
It’s Not About Shakespeare, Aspects of Ordinary Life in Stratford-upon-Avon 1775-1915 by Val Horton, published by YouCaxton Publications, has received a long and favourabel review in the Stratford Herald:
‘Prepare to be transfixed by chapters on slavery, insurrection, the workhouse, education, housing, suffragettes and more … We tend to think the past is largely about strong men dominating the scene but strong women are also key in this tale and, of course, some of the financial details are fascinating – seeing how much landmark buildings once cost and realising that the seemingly trifling sums quoted are considerable in today’s terms.
Indeed, the house that started it all was sold for the first time, a few years old, for £450 in May 1911 and in 1930 reached the giddy heights of £650 when it was sold again. But we’re drifting again into the detail.
Let’s just say this is the kind of book that is certain to add to what most of us will know of Stratford’s past, linking every aspect of life across the years. As others have said, it is brilliantly researched at the treasure trove that is the birthplace trust’s archives, with some of the evidence coming from past editions of the Herald.’
Philosophy Now has published a wide-ranging review of Consciousness Matters by Oliver Leech, published by YouCaxton Publications in 2017. ‘On a kindly reading, Consciousness Matters is an easy-to-read, nicely paced, clear introduction to philosophical ideas about consciousness. It is free from distracting jargon, provides a lot of accessible examples and analogies, and has the very great merit of taking seriously lines of argument even when they lead to highly counterintuitive conclusions.’
Snapper Films, an independent production company, has taken on The Seagull Hotel by Kirstine Richards, published by YouCaxton in 2018, the memoir of a remarkable young woman who, together with her German friend, opened a hotel in post-war Exmouth. Two female script writers are working on the project.
Joanne McShane will be reading from her new novel, Honora and Arthur, the last Plantagenets, at the Border Bean café, in Kington on the mid-Wales border, on Wednesday 20th November at 3.00 pm. The book is a meticulously researched, fictionalised account of the life of Honora Grenville who married Arthur Plantagent during the reign of Henry VIII.
The launch of Richard Whittingham’s biography Terence Keyes: Imperial Disguises will be held 6 – 8pm on Monday 21 October at the Morris Hall, Shrewsbury. This very well-researched book is an account of the life of a remarkable soldier, diplomat and secret agent who devised a scheme to overthrow the Bolshevik regime.
During the summer of 1919, the White Movement came within two hundred miles of Moscow and the overthrow of the Leninist regime was widely anticipated and yet, in less than a year, White resistance was effectively over. Terence Keyes was one of the major players in the British Government’s involvement in the murky world of regime change. He knew many of the most colourful characters at this pivotal moment in twentieth century history and had secret dealings with Lenin himself.
Bob Fowke, Managing Editor at YouCaxton, will be chairing a workshop at the Knighton Literary Festival on Saturday 2 November at the Public Library. The workshop will provide a brief introduction to the pleasures and pitfalls of self-publishing and there will be plenty of time for further discussion and questions over coffee afterwards.
Details: from 10.00-10.45 am, Saturday 2 November, at Knighton Public Library.