Between the Covers 07/04/2013
Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
Saturday 06 April 2013
Between the Covers was intrigued to be invited to Thursday's
The Speedicut Papers – the personal correspondence of
Colonel Sir Jasper Speedicut, "Victorian soldier, courtier,
bisexual philanderer and reluctant hero".
According to a story published on 1 April, the papers were discovered by one Christopher Joll and "immediately compared" by academics to the journals of Sir Harry Paget Flashman "famously discovered by George MacDonald Fraser in 1969". The book is really the first in a series of novels about Jasper Speedicut, a character from MacDonald Fraser's Flashman series. In an appendix appear two rather strange characters: "Quentin Nesbitt, the renowned art dealer" and "Eugene Nailer the former Cabinet Minister, football pundit and classical music specialist". Philip Mould and David Mellor, on whom they are modelled, were both at the party on Thursday. Says Mould: "I was looking forward to suing Christopher when I heard I been immortalised as the art dealer, Nesbitt. Alas, he turns out to be the sort of engaging figure whom I would buy a second-hand picture from any day."
Fans of Christopher Fowler's "Invisible Ink" slot in these pages clearly include Waterstones Brighton, which has had the canny idea of selling the new book of his columns in a promotion alongside 25 books by the authors mentioned in those columns. "Forgotten" authors and books that have been remembered by Fowler and Waterstones include Alexander Baron's The Low Life, Roger Longrigg's Switchboard and A High-Pitched Buzz, and – the two best sellers – Postscript to Poison by Dorothy Bowers and The Beast With Five Fingers by William Fryer Harvey. Between the Covers is told that the table "is all the work of Eddie who runs our fiction section and is well known for his passion and expertise at selling esoteric fiction … Without sounding too lofty about it, having displays that are different and interesting is really important to the identity of our bookshop and all that we are trying to achieve here." Three cheers for bookshops, and for remembered authors.
Spare a thought for the modern pilgrims who are setting out on Wednesdayto follow the 65-mile route of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, staying in medieval pilgrim towns and telling tales along the way. The 20 storytellers will tell "The Knight's Tale" outside a Tesco on London's Old Kent Road, "The Shipman's Tale" at The Ship pub in Cobham, and "The Nun's Priest's Tale" among the Dippy Egg Farm chickens, outside Sittingbourne. There's not much engendring of flours yet this April, so if you don't want to catch up with them on foot you can follow them on Twitter @ChaucerWalks.
Keith Richards waited until he was 66 before publishing his autobiography, Life, in 2010. Will Young was 33 when he published his, Funny Peculiar, last year to mark the 10th anniversary of his Pop Idol win. The boy band Union J, however, have signed a deal with Penguin, just four months after being eliminated in the X Factor semi-final and two months before releasing their first single. "We are … looking forward to the chance tell our stories…" says a band member.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before a character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven
Black-ish: America's new 'racist' TV sitcom has had a mixed reception
Cilla, episode 3, ITV, review: Ed Stoppard steals the limelight as Beatles manager Brian Epstein
The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before a character like Homer or Lisa
The Jungle Book: A tale as old as time
Doctor Who, The Caretaker - review: Bland Earth-based adventure fails to excite
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
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