Hodnet Memorabilia

The Parish of Hodnet, some interesting memorabilia

Elizabeth Vernon (1572-1655)

We are presently working on a book by Gerald Mothershaw, based around the little Shropshire village of Hodnet, once home to Bishop Heber, he of ‘From Greenland’s Icy Mountains’ fame. A prolific local writer, Mr. Mothershaw has constructed a compendium of local lives and anecdotes. The first chapter is taken  from the Brattleboro Reformer Newspaper, Canada 1839, the story of a wealthy and mysterious visitor to the village who marries a local girl. Another chapter features an idyllic account of childhood in the village between the wars by a Eva Starkey. Other chapters, written by Mr Mothershaw himself, include a brief life of Elizabeth Vernon who married Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, probably the ‘fair youth’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets. (Shakepeare dedicated his poem The Rape of Lucrece to Wriothesley in fulsome terms: ‘The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end … What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have, devoted yours.’) It is hoped that sales of the book will contribute towards the upkeep of Hodnet Church.

Why Caxton?

William Caxton himself

Why Caxton?

William Caxton (c. 1422 – 1491) the first English-language printer and publisher, was also the first English self-publisher. His first book The recuyell of the historyes of Troye (1473) was his own translation of a French romance and he published several other of his own translations in the eighteen years before his death.

Blue Scars

Blue Scars

We have just completed work on Blue Scars by Glenn Lee, a poetry collection from the South Wales valleys. ‘Blue Scars’ of the title refers to coloured scar tissue on the hands of miners caused by coal dust and the poems evoke the texture of life and work in the Welsh Valleys from the 1950s. They are frequently elegaic, sometimes regretful and always honest and moving. Many of them have been performed at meetings of the Anglo-Welsh poetry Society.

Glenn Lee is a Shropshire writer. The book is due for publication shortly. http://bluescarspoetry.co.uk

John Wilmot

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, and us

We have been delighted to discover that Mike Willmott, a well-known Shrewsbury editor  and colleague, is the descendent of illegitimate progeny of John Wilmot, 1647-1680, Second Earl of Rochester. John Wilmot was perhaps the most licentious of the Restoration poets, in fact much of his output is too flagrant to post on this blog. Mike is himself a poet although nothing should be inferred from his antecendents. Bob takes a particular interest in John Wilmot because Wilmot was at  one time appointed ranger and keeper of Woodstock Park by Charles II – and Woodstock is where Simon Hatley the ‘real’ Ancient Mariner came from. Rochester once ran naked in the Park with a companion, ‘upon a Sunday afternoon, expecting that several of the female sex would be spectators but not one appear’d’. We’ll leave it there.

British Library

 

Clive of India

British Library in a flutter

MSS EUR D546 1-33 may not be everybody’s idea of a good read but it is meat and drink to some of us. The numbers refer to a collection of private letters between India and England written 1720-1780, held at the British Library where I have just spent two wonderful days.  The women’s letters are of particular interest but the men’s are not half bad. I came across them originally through a family connection. An extract may help to justify my  obsession:

Letter from Robert Clive, London, to Luke Serafton, Bengal, 2 December 1770, introducing Joseph Fowke (Lady Clive and Joseph’s deceased wife, Elizabeth, had been close friends) who had lost £18,000 ‘at play’ and hoped to return to India to recoup his fortunes:

‘’I need not trouble you with the history of Joseph Fowke – you know his passion for play. I could not refuse him letters of introduction to my friends in India, & as I have always understood him to be a man of principle & sense, tho’ not common sense, I cannot help wishing you would give him all the assistance in your power to rescue him from his present state of distress.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

 Robert Clive’

Craftsmanship and Art

Craftsmanship and Art

We have just completed work on Professor Philip Dark’s vast, 670-page anthropological work Craftsmanship and Art. It was left uncompleted when Professor Dark died some years ago. An extraordinary book. One of its strengths is that much of the research was conducted in the period 1955-1980, since when many of the practices it describes have been abandoned. The following from the index gives a brief glimpse of its breadth:

Ute Indians
basketry 320
currency of dessicated fingertips 440
Wodabe people
cicitrization 370
hair of women 411
pack oxen 294
stretching of children’s limbs 403

Professor Dark was a remarkable man, a hero of the wartime raid on St. Lazare. It was while in prison camp in Germany that he first became interested in anthropology.

We’re hoping the book will find a home in academic libraries in the Pacific region and the Americas. It deserves to be widely distributed.

top ten self publishing Birmingham

YouCaxton Publications began life in the 1980s as Lazy Summer Books Ltd., the Oxford-based publishing and book design company. They have been creating high-quality books for over thirty years. They provide publishing services to authors wishing to self publish and they develop finished books for other publishers, managing the entire process from commissioning through to print, including design, research and editorial. They also publish a small number of their own books each year under the YouCaxton imprint.

Authors who choose to self-publish with YouCaxton have access to all the editorial, production and design services available to commercial publishers and have full use of our unique author-management system. The author is always in control and decides what they would like to do themselves and what they would like YouCaxton to do for them.

 

top ten self publishing west midlands

YouCaxton Publications began life in the 1980s as Lazy Summer Books Ltd., the Oxford-based publishing and book design company. They have been creating high-quality books for over thirty years. They provide publishing services to authors wishing to self publish and they develop finished books for other publishers, managing the entire process from commissioning through to print, including design, research and editorial. They also publish a small number of their own books each year under the YouCaxton imprint.

Authors who choose to self-publish with YouCaxton have access to all the editorial, production and design services available to commercial publishers and have full use of our unique author-management system. The author is always in control and decides what they would like to do themselves and what they would like YouCaxton to do for them.