English and History -Sex, drugs and Scottish fiction: a literary love story
Cait Woods

Head of English, Chris Elliot is struggling with his stressful teaching job at Aberlayne Academy, a High School in North-East Scotland. Caught in a downwards spiral of depression and self-doubt, he is horrified to learn that the student teacher to be placed in his department is an unwelcome figure from his past.
Ally McClay’s placement threatens the last threads of Chris’s sanity, especially when he brings with him a toxic and dangerous connection to the powerful Binnie family. For Chris, reconnecting with Ally also means facing a past that he has never come to terms with.
English and History follows Chris’s journey through the chaotic mess of his inner life via the haven of literature to self-acceptance and love.

Published:October 2018
Paperback:290 pages
Price:£9.99
ISBN:9-781912-419456


Available from Amazon

Cait studied medieval French literature to doctoral level and taught at Aberdeen University, before retraining as a Secondary School teacher. She lives in North East Scotland with her kids, cats and beloved Arab horse. English and History is her first novel.


Reader Reviews

Amazon Reader - Neil Curran
Absolutely loved this book.
Read it in one day, which is quite unusual for me but I got so involved with the characters and their stories that I found it impossible to put down.
Highly recommended!


Amazon Reader - Lorna
It was so easy to get into, in fact, so hard not to just at the collection office and read it!
Totally gripped me and kept me reading. Look forward to many more..
Read in a day - could not put it down.


Amazon Reader - Steven Woods
Absolutely loved this book.
Read it in one sitting and loved every beautifully crafted sentence.
If you buy and read one book this year make sure its this one. A truly joyous read!


Robert Clive in Shropshire

Bob Fowke, Managing Editor at You Caxton, will be  talking about Robert Clive and Shropshire on Wednesday 14 November, 3.15 pm, at Shrewsbury Museum.

 

Robert Clive is perhaps Shropshire’s most famous son after Darwin. He was clever, absurdly brave and absurdly rich and suffered from bouts of depression. Bob Fowke pieces together the story of his long and colourful association with Shropshire and examines the importance of ‘county’ or ‘country’ in eighteenth-century life.

 

Clive was born at Styche Hall, the impoverished family home near Market Drayton, and it was there that he first displayed his ‘martial disposition’. On his return from India in 1760, aged thirty-four and already famous, he returned to Shropshire, rented Condover Hall and became MP for Shrewsbury. The following year, he bought Walcot Hall near Bishop’s Castle where he installed his younger brother William as MP. Later he bought Oakley Park near Ludlow where his widow Margaret continued to live after his death.

 

Clive’s story started in Shropshire and it ended there. He died in London, at his house in Berkley Square, probably having committed suicide, but his body was returned to Shropshire secretly and buried at dusk in an unmarked grave in Moreton Saye Church near Market Drayton.

Ironbridge Ogre

The Ironbridge Ogre, a children’s story by Toni Sian Williams, published by YouCaxton Publications and supported by Telford Council, is being launched on 1st November at Southwater Library Telford, 11.00 am – 2 pm. All are welcome.

 

 

Auntie Emmie’s Suitcase
Susan Davies

Emmie Chester died on 9th March 1988. For the previous ninety five years, she had lived a quiet life in Shropshire, looking after her parents and family and later her great-niece Susan Davies, but once, long ago she had lived a very different life. It was something she didn't talk about very much.
During World War One, she had served in France in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and was wooed by a handsome Australian entertainer. She might have moved with him to Australia.
On Emmie's death, Susan found a battered old suitcase in the attic, which contained a jumble of her aunt’s letters, photographs, documents and souvenirs from that time. The suitcase revealed a life of comradeship, austerity, romance and also of sadness and it gave an insight into the changing role of women in society during the early twentieth century.

This is the story of Emmie Chester’s life in France told in words and pictures, as it emerged from the contents of a battered old suitcase.
Published: October 2018
Paperback: 64 pages
Price: £7.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419333

£7.99 (+ £2 postage)
Number of copies:


Available on Amazon

Following a long career in the Probation Service, Susan Davies now enjoys an active and varied retirement in Shrewsbury.
Reviews...

Ironopolis – Correctly defining the ‘original Black Country’
Nick Moss

Nick Moss started to seriously research the history of Wolverhampton within a Black Country context around 2015, saving various articles for personal interest only. In studying local books about the Black Country, he was surprised to find a considerable disconnect between the views expressed by highly-respected local bodies such as the Black Country Society or some 20th Century authors, and those views expressed prominently in local newspaper archives or in books written during the critical 1800s-period - when the ‘original Black Country’ evolved both in name and as a physical entity.
Increasingly, he found strong evidence that fundamentally contradicts the now-widely accepted definition of the Black Country based solely on the existence of the thick coal seam. And Wolverhampton, once widely considered its original ‘Capital’ or ‘Metropolis’ has increasingly seen itself removed from Black Country history in recent years, and this work attempts to correct what he perceives as an anti-Wolverhampton stance and a misrepresentation of local history.
Published: September 2018
Extent: 474 pages
Paperback: £17.70
ISBN: 9-781912-419395



Available from Amazon

Nick analyses the different Black Country definitions, and clarifies the original, widely-accepted one which he proposes should still apply. Additionally, he hopes that anyone with an interest in Wolverhampton, will find it to be a detailed and enjoyable read, that in turn provides definitive but controversial and to some, surprising conclusions, that may cause considerable waves in some circles, and perhaps even kick-start a reappraisal of elements of Black Country history.
Reader Reviews...



Story Telling Revisited
Alan Kestner


Alan Kestner produces paintings which are very detailed and superficially naive but which have sinister undertones. They tell stories which are open to interpretation. This book has been produced to accompany his exhibition at the North Wall Gallery in Oxford.
Published:September 2018
Hardback:56 pages
Size:210 x 210 mm
Price:£7.50
ISBN:9-781912-419296

£10.00 (+ £2 postage)
Number of copies:




Look Inside
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The Ashes of D. H. Lawrence
John Welsh

In the summer of 1936 a young Englishman is sitting in a Siena café when he is approached by a stranger. It is an uncomfortable encounter but the man’s words draw him inexorably into the lives of a writer, his wife and their immediate friends. Eventually their identities become clear to him but he keeps this to himself at further, seemingly chance, meetings. Overtaken by events in Europe and the war that is to come he can eventually return to his notes. After the success of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence is able to travel from Italy to France no longer beset by a lack of money. His friendships and the relationship with his wife are tested as, increasingly constrained by ill-health, he is beset with reminiscences, regrets, and contradictory emotions about his past and present life.

With thanks to John Farrington for the cover image.
Published:October 2018
Paperback:196 pages
Price:£9.00
ISBN:9-781912-419203


Available from Amazon

The author was born into a Fife mining community in 1938. After Grammar School he worked briefly in banking until joining the Royal Air Force and subsequently entering college. Following a short teaching career and a post-graduate course at Reading University he again changed course to gain a Masters degree, lead an economic research team in the Midlands and was invited to the Triplex Lloyd Chair of Management in Brno a few months after the 1989 Czechoslovak revolution.
Now retired, he lives in Shrophire and walks, writes and plays golf, both at Crail Golfing Society on the banks of the Firth of Forth and at Ludlow. He also travels frequently through central Europe by car and is familiar with some of the locations in which the Ashes of D.H. Lawrence is set..


Reader Reviews

Amazon Reader
Lovely read, heard about the book thanks to local newspaper.
Read in a day - could not put it down.
Characters were believable. Liked the time hopping element.

Atlantic Lady – The oldest woman to row any ocean
Dianne Carrington

In the spring of 2016, recovering from burn-out and depression after many years in the NHS, Dianne Carrington was ready for a new challenge.
So when the phone rang and an old friend asked if she was ready to row the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Challenge, how could she say no?
She had always had an interest in outdoor activities and a big project like this was just what she needed to get back on track. Or was it? To row the Atlantic at any age is an undertaking beyond most of us but for a team of women in their sixties, and that was the idea that her friend was suggesting, it seemed almost impossible.
After all, the Talisker Whisky Challenge is one of the most demanding competitions on this planet.

Published: October 2018
Hardback: 156 pages
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419494

£9.99 (+ £2 postage)
Number of copies:


Available on Amazon

At twenty-one I was in the Olympic squad for white-water slalom canoeing but left to take up my career. I taught outdoor pursuits for ten years by the sea. I've always loved the sea and canoed on it almost daily, challenging my limits. Then learnt that I couldn't have children and I trained as a nurse, working my way up the career ladder in the NHS. At fifty-five I had to end my career prematurely after I burnt out, having given more than 100%. I lost confidence and my body was racked with pain; I was in a bad place. A team of wonderful people helped me get well again and I wanted to give something back. What better way than to raise money for charity and go back to the oceans that I love? Life is too short to not live it to the full. I set out to gather a lovely team of ladies as close to my age as possible who would be passionate about rowing across the Atlantic with me. I wanted to inspire women and show them that we are never too old to do what we want to do. I wanted to help them embrace the courage to leave sight of the shore and to accomplish great things.”
Reviews...