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.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens trailer: The most extreme fan reactions on Twitter
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
Madonna might be a stand-up comedy virgin - but she wasn't terrible
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'