Cover Stories: Tom Hurndall; Dick Francis; Foyles; Queen's 80th birthday

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The Independent Culture

Cash-rich Bloomsbury this week spent more money, though this time in a good cause. It bought Jocelyn Hurndall's memoir of her son, Tom, the peace activist and photo-journalist who was fatally - and, it appears, deliberately - shot by an Israeli soldier while helping Palestinian children to safety in Gaza in April 2003. Last week an English jury found that Tom was unlawfully killed. Jocelyn and her husband Anthony feel that they are shining a light into corners that the British and Israeli governments would prefer to remain dark.

* Dick Francis, who put down his pen following the death of his wife six years ago, is writing again. Michael Joseph will publish Under Orders, his 39th novel, in September. Said Francis: "My family has talked me back into the literary saddle."

* Foyles has announced a partnership with the Historic Royal Palaces to create "destination bookshops" at Hampton Court and the Tower of London. There will also be "branded book zones" at Kensington Palace and the Banqueting House, Whitehall. Hampton Court will be the first to launch, in May. The deal will allow HRP to extend the range of titles it offers to include not just books specifically related to a venue but also historical fiction - novels such as The Other Boleyn Girl at Hampton Court, for example - as well as London-interest, travel, and children's books. Perhaps HRH, in a gesture of solidarity, may one day transfer her royal warrant from Hatchards to Foyles.

* Speaking of royals and Foyles, Royal Collection Publications will mark the Queen's 80th birthday with the publication of Queen Elizabeth II: A Birthday Souvenir Album. Collated by Jane Roberts, the Windsor librarian, it will feature 240 previously unseen photos and documents, including childhood letters to Queen Mary and (somewhat implausibly) HRH's ration book.

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