The latest local books previewed
We review some of the latest titles available from independent Cotswold booksellers
THE WAY OF ST JAMES WITH MY FATHER, HIS LOVE (AND A DODGY BIKE) by Scot Whitlock
The Way of St James is known in Spain as Camino de Santiago, and from 812AD when St James’s remains were discovered, it has been the pilgrim’s route across Northern Spain to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried.
When Scot Whitlock’s father died, he undertook this epic pilgrimage by bicycle as a “simple mark of respect”. This book is the chronicle of that pilgrimage, telling of the joy, the hardship and the grief, and eventually of coming to terms with loss. It is an impassioned account of the author’s journey, both physical and spiritual.
NELLY ERICHSEN: A HIDDEN LIFE by Sarah Harkness
Feminist pioneer Nelly Erichsen has to some extent been largely overlooked by art historians, so it is good to see that she is now been given recognition in this beautiful book by Cotswold author Sarah Harkness. An accomplished and prolific artist, a translator and travel writer, Erichsen lived through five decades of dramatic political and social progress for women before dying tragically of Spanish flu in 1918. Beautifully illustrated, Nelly Erichsen – A Hidden Life is the first book by Sarah Harkness, and the result of 15 years of research into this fascinating and dynamic woman. An illuminating homage to a woman who did so much for the feminist cause.
BEEF CUBES AND BURDOCK: MEMORIES OF A 1950S COUNTRY CHILDHOOD by John Phillpott
To the casual observer, the English countryside may appear largely unchanged since the end of the Second World War. But on closer inspection it is arguably a different world, and the modern world has changed country life in often unseen ways. The biggest changes are perhaps to the people who live and work in the rural heartlands; old values and attitudes have been replaced by new ones, industries that had existed for centuries are now no more, and in their place a new digital workforce has emerged.
John Phillpott spent his childhood in North Warwickshire during the 1950s before entering into a career in journalism aged 16. Beef Cubes and Burdock is his story – of Dansette record players, 100-cap Lone Star pistols, and Radio Luxembourg – told with lashings of humour and a healthy dose of sentimentality.
FAYKE NEWES: THE MEDIA VS THE MIGHTY, FROM HENRY VIII TO DONALD TRUMP by Derek J Taylor
As we all know, the truth is largely subjective, and usually dished out in small ‘economic’ portions. A couple of decades ago, the bending of reality was given the rather innocent turn of phrase ‘spin’, as if to justify the practice, and in more recent times the expression ‘Fake News’ has entered into the popular lexicon… a variant on the same theme, and yet another euphemism for lying. The relationship between Government and the media has often been fractious; often it seems with both sides manipulating the truth to suit their own ends. In Fayke Newes, Derek J Taylor examines this age-old battle from the Tudor era to the Modern age. A fascinating insight into a somewhat murky realm.